This month, we're delighted to share the results of our second Canadian Independent Bookstore Day campaign, member profiles, exciting upcoming events, and more.

Settle in and scroll down for this month's update from your association.


On April 30, CIBA hosted its second edition of Canadian Independent Bookstore Day – and what a day it was! Between bookstore activities, national interviews with booksellers, and the outpouring of appreciation on social media, the energy was palpable. 

We kept bookseller needs at the forefront of our planning again this year. The CIBA team built out a comprehensive campaign that benefitted all booksellers while allowing them to put their unique spin on the festivities – whether it was through author events, scavenger hunts, or the literal spinning of prize wheels! 

Here are the highlights of this year’s celebration.

We worked with publishers and industry partners to secure high-quality swag, enviable product exclusives, and more. Our revamped Contest for Book Lovers saw incredible engagement from readers across Canada – we almost tripled our numbers over last year! 

Congratulations to three lucky readers:

Thank you to our contest sponsors: Annick Press & ECW Press, HarperCollins Canada, and Thomas Allen & Son.

We hired a top-notch PR specialist to secure media coverage, partnered with the expert team at Penguin Random House Canada to expand our reach via advertising, and sent letters to our members’ MPs about the event. 

We commissioned original artwork from Canadian illustrator Kellen Hatanaka and provided a treasure trove of marketing materials that members could use in their own communications.

We also promoted the campaign on our website and social channels to help raise awareness and provide additional content for booksellers to share.

We reached out to authors via our publishing partners and worked with Authors for Indies to secure support from a wide range of creators. These love notes were shared in the weeks leading up to the campaign.

You can revisit all our Author Love Notes here!

All this work resulted in a massive increase in sales for Canadian independents on April 30! We are grateful to our partners at BookNet Canada and Bookmanager for providing these statistics.

We are thrilled with the results of this year’s campaign and we hope you are too! We want to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors and partners who helped make the celebration possible.

And thank you to all the booksellers who participated!

To help inform our planning for 2023, we want to know about your experience this year. If you haven’t yet done so, please send your feedback to Kayla at your earliest convenience.

Our team is proud to coordinate this campaign on behalf of its members. If you’re not yet a CIBA member, we encourage you to join today and contribute to our vibrant community.

French-Language Books for Young People (Part 2): Publisher pitches
Tuesday, May 17
Thursday, May 19
3:30pm PT, 4:30pm MT, 5:30pm CT, 6:30pm ET, 7:30pm AT, 8:00pm Newfoundland 

Get to know French-language publishers of literature for young people. Each event will feature eight publishers from Québec and Francophone Canada who will introduce their publishing house as well as present 3-5 titles in a range of genres and reading levels. 

Who should attend? Bookstore owners, managers, and staff interested in curating and stocking French-language children's books.

Hosted by: Québec Édition / Association nationale des éditeurs de livres

Use Your Voice: Share feedback with publishers on the future of virtual and in-store events
Thursday, May 26
12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET, 4pm AT, 4:30pm Newfoundland

As COVID-19 restrictions ease across the country we must begin to question what business will look like with our new “normal.” Join us for this important and timely session and share your input on a range of questions posed by publishers related to the future of events and marketing. Register now and ensure your voice is heard as publishers begin to make their promotional plans for the fall.

Who should attend this event: CIBA bookseller members who want to share feedback about the future of events and marketing and publishers who have pressing questions they'd like answered by the indie market.

PUBLISHERS: If you have questions that you'd like to ask to help inform your near-future events and marketing plans, please send them in advance to Nicola.

Mythbusting with BookNet Canada: Canadian book sales at your store
Tuesday, May 31
9am PT, 10am MT, 11am CT, 12pm ET, 1pm AT, 1:30pm Newfoundland

Curious about your store’s sales of Canadian-authored books? Whether you’re interested in how domestic authors are performing in your store or how they’re performing across independents generally, SalesData has the tools you need to benchmark your sales and compare them to the independents overall. We’ll also show a few SalesData reports and CataList searches you can use to stay up to date on forthcoming Canadian titles.

Who should attend? Bookstore owners, managers, and staff interested in how to audit their store’s sales of Canadian-authored titles and compare them to the indie market.

CIBA Publisher Picks: Summer edition
Thursday, June 2 – Multinational Publishers
Thursday, June 9 – Independent Publishers (Part 1)
Tuesday, June 28 – Independent Publishers (Part 2)
3:30pm PT, 4:30pm MT, 5:30pm CT, 6:30pm ET, 7:30pm AT, 8:00pm Newfoundland 

CIBA's Publisher Picks series is back with its summer edition! We will bring you to the heart of publisher marketing discussions to discover the season's best bets – the books you might not know you need to stock but will be glad you have on hand. Publishers will present the highlights in a speed-dating format.

Who should attend? Bookstore owners, managers, and staff who want to find out upcoming publisher highlights and how to sell them.

Think Local: Independent Canadian publishers and you
Tuesday, June 21
12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET, 4pm AT, 4:30pm Newfoundland 

Much like our members, independent publishers operate in communities across the country and offer an exciting mix of diverse titles that cut across genres. At the forefront of new Canadian writing and local storytelling, independent publishers produce books that can become a competitive advantage: local authors, unique stories, Canadian content.

Presented by the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), this panel discussion will introduce CIBA members to just a few of the publishers working in Canada today and will explore how our respective sectors can work together to mutual benefit. 

Who should attend? CIBA Bookseller Members who want to engage with independent publishers in Canada. ACP members will also receive a special code to register.

Moderator: Kate Edwards, Executive Director, ACP

Reminder: Members can tune in any time!

Can’t find the time to attend CIBA events live? No problem! Members can access our event recordings in the Member Portal.

Not a member? Join CIBA today to access event recordings and a range of other member benefits.

Pride Month is coming up in June and CIBA is planning to feature some new releases – plus a few backlist favourites – that readers can seek out at their local indies in celebration of this important celebration.

This month, we're sharing a special preview of this feature for booksellers who are looking to add to their selection of LGBTQ2S+ titles for June. 

Check out the books we chose hereOn Tuesday, June 7, we'll post our selections on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Here at CIBA, we know that indies do more than sell books. In this series for the Member Blog, we share examples of indie booksellers going above and beyond for their customers and communities in unique and creative ways.

Spring is here – the perfect time to take in some sunshine with your favourite podcast hosts in your ears. We’re highlighting book podcasts created by Glass Bookshop, Librairie Saint-Henri Books, and The City & The City Books.

Members can log in to read the post here.

Not a CIBA member? Join today to access a range of benefits including exclusive content on the member blog!

The Penny University bookstore and café in Regina, SK was founded in September 2020. Since then, it has been operating as a place to discover new favourites, meet local authors, discuss ideas, and more. We spoke with owner Annabel Townsend about her adventure so far.

“The bookshop is very colourful inside and I’ve added strange little things on the shelves that you can only find if you’re looking carefully – like a crocheted Cthulhu and a large turkey made from book pages. Just because.”

Read the article here.

Booksellers can rely on BookNet Canada for important research and resources related to the Canadian book industry. This month, you can:

We are a member-led association and we want to hear from you on a regular basis! Our new newsletter feature allows the membership to weigh in on questions from the CIBA Board and team.

In advance of CIBD, we hired a publicist who organized media coverage across the country including interviews with booksellers. As we look to engage with media throughout the year, we'd like to understand whether this is of interest to our Bookseller Members.

Are you interested in learning more about media relations and being interviewed about independent bookselling? 


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