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

Settle in and scroll down for your association update.


On April 29, CIBA hosted its third edition of Canadian Independent Bookstore Day—and it was one for the books! Between in-store activities, media coverage, 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 a comprehensive campaign that benefitted all booksellers while allowing them to put their unique spin on the festivities.

Here are the highlights of this year’s celebration.

Contest for Book Lovers

Our beloved national contest received thousands of entries from readers and book-buyers across Canada. This year, we saw an increase of 45% over 2022 and an increase of 250% over 2021!

Congratulations to our three lucky winners: 


Giveaways & Exclusives

We worked with publishers and industry partners to secure a wide range of giveaway items including enamel pins, stickers, chocolate bars, posters, tote bags, activity booklets, and more to help bookstores celebrate with their customers.

We also encouraged the development of exclusive items for retail sale including a chapbook by bestselling author Ann Cleeves and a 500-piece book puzzle designed by Jane Mount.

Media & Advertising

We hired the talented team at Zg Stories to oversee media relations in the lead up to the big day. We saw a great deal of coverage including two rare syndication hits (CBC and Metroland). The coverage featured a wide range of stores and a handful of authors who wished to support the campaign. 

Zg Stories also ran a comprehensive advertising campaign and engaged influencers in addition to advertising coordinated by the CIBA team.  

Marketing Materials

We commissioned original artwork from Canadian illustrator Alex MacAskill and worked with a graphic designer to build a massive toolkit 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.

For the first time this year, we created and distributed promotional bookmarks to CIBA members. These bookmarks were designed to be given out to readers in advance of the event, encouraging them to return to stores on April 29.

Author Engagement

We reached out to authors via our publishing partners to secure support in the form of Author Love Notes. We also provided authors with a custom toolkit so they could promote the campaign on their own channels. Revisit our Author Love Notes here.

A small group of authors also supported our media engagement. For example: David A. Robertson was interviewed in 14 local CBC shows encouraging readers to shop indie on April 29. Back-to-back, no less!

Sales Impact

All this work resulted in a notable increase in book and other sales for Canadian independents on April 29. Thanks to our partners at BookNet Canada and Bookmanager for these insights.

Sponsors & Partners

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 2024, 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.

Not yet a CIBA member?

Our team is proud to coordinate this campaign on behalf of its members and the wider independent bookselling community. If you would like to contribute to this growing campaign and our vibrant community, please join today.

Thank you to all the booksellers who completed our Supplier Relations Survey earlier this year and joined us at the recent Town Hall to discuss the results.

Using your feedback we created individual reports for eight major distributors and shaped relevant agendas for the Supplier Relations Committee’s most recent round of meetings. Survey results and the meeting details are now available for Bookseller Members to review in the Member Portal.

Now in its second year, the committee has broadened its focus and is working to develop big picture strategies that will foster a healthy book ecosystem. The committee also continues to address crises on behalf of members as they arise.

If you are facing challenges in your store with specific distributors, please get in touch with Lori Cheverie, Committee Chair. This information greatly supports the work of the committee.

RESCHEDULED: Ask the Bookseller: Demystifying Co-op
Wednesday, May 24
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

You asked, we listened! In a recent survey, Bookseller Members shared a need to talk about co-op. What is it? Who offers it? What should you ask for? What frameworks can help keep you organized? Join our panel of experienced booksellers to learn all this and more. 

Who should attend? Bookseller Members

CIBA Coffee Break: Connect with the CIBA Board and ED
Tuesday, May 30
10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET, 2pm AT, 2:30pm Newfoundland 

Grab a coffee, pull up a chair, and join us for a chat! Please bring your questions, share concerns or experiences, and let us know where you need support. This session is an opportunity for Bookseller Members to talk directly with the CIBA board and team.

Who should attend?  Bookseller Members

RESCHEDULED: Simple Strategies for Increasing Profits Using Sales Data
Thursday, June 8
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland 

Kelly McKinnon from Kidsbooks (Vancouver, BC) has been selling books for more than 30 years. Her superpower? Actively using sales data to fuel decision-making and drive profitability. Join us for an interview and demonstration to learn how creating and analyzing simple reports can boost your sales and efficiency by at least 10%!

Who should attend? Bookseller Members

Ask the Bookseller: Subscription Box Success Stories
Thursday, June 15
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

The popularity of book subscription boxes is on the rise! With Support for Booksellers funding once again earmarked for improving online sales, there’s no time like the present to introduce this sales concept in your store. Learn how your peers administer their book subscriptions programs, what sales income it adds to their stores, and more. 

Who should attend? Bookseller Members

Ask the Bookseller: What I Learned from Opening My New Bookstore
Tuesday, June 20
3:30pm PT, 4:30pm MT, 5:30pm CT, 6:30pm ET, 7:30pm AT, 8:00pm Newfoundland

A sunlit room, shelves full of books, and a friendly bookstore cat… The dream, right? But how do bookstore owners turn dreams into real, money-making businesses? Join a panel of CIBA members as they share their experiences of launching their recently opened stores.

Who should attend this event: Bookstore owners with young businesses (less than five years old), members planning to open a bookstore

Bookseller Members frequently ask us where they can source various supplies for their stores, from stickers and paper bags to cost-effective shipping to promotional items. So, we've begun curating a list of bookseller-preferred vendors for items frequently used by retailers!

Members can access the list now in the Bookseller Forum. This list will be updated as we receive more suggestions. If you wish to recommend a vendor, please comment in the forum and we'll add your suggestion to the spreadsheet.

Additionally, we've received requests for templates that booksellers can send straight to the printer. We have now created a range of designs including stickers and bookmarks like “Signed by the Author,” “Canadian Author,” “Shop Local, Read Local” and many more. Visit the Member Portal now to download the templates. 

We’ve curated two collections of new books to help fill out your customers’ to read lists. Authors featured include Michelle Good, Steven Heighton, Omer Aziz, Gordon Korman, Sarah Everett, and Linh Nguyen.

Check out the reading list for adults here.

Click here to see our list for young readers.

We will share our list for adults across our social channels later today. Our list for young readers will be shared publicly next Wednesday, May 24.

We are pleased to share that audiobook provider will introduce Canadian pricing! This exciting update will come into effect in July.

A growing number of Bookseller Members are making audiobooks available to their customers with The service provides readers with an alternative way to purchase audiobooks while also supporting their local independent bookstore. Participating bookstores earn 15% on à la carte sales and 10% on monthly membership payments made by their customers. Participating booksellers also gain access to the Audiobook Listening Copy (ALC) program for complimentary audiobooks.

New to Click here for details.

Contact with questions about signing up.

Indie bookstores saw a ton of coverage in traditional media outlets over the past few months—especially around Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.

Here are some highlights:

Indie bookstores redefine reader’s retail shopping experience — and become part of the community (Toronto Star, April 2023)

Ten Canadian writers share their favourite independent bookstores (The Globe and Mail, April 2023)

Dancing in bookstores: the crossover that's bound to make you smile (CBC Arts, April 2023)

Independent bookstore day is this Saturday (CTV Montreal, April 2023)

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day (City News Vancouver, April 2023)

Annual Independent Bookstore Day shines a light on local indie bookshops (The Georgia Straight, April 2023)

'A recognition of what indie bookshops do': Canadian Independent Bookstore Day invites readers to shop locally (CBC Books, April 2023) 

Ottawa indie bookstore crawl (CTV News Ottawa, April 2023)

Cause for celebration at South Surrey-based Black Bond Books (Surrey Now-Leader, April 2023)

Cedar Canoe Books brings literary events and more to Huntsville (Huntsville Doppler, April 2023)

Independent bookstores 'have deeper meaning in community' (The Standard, April 2023)

How a 30-year-old bookstore in rural Ontario is surviving a changing industry (CBC News, April 2023)

New Independent Bookstore Well-Received (Chat News Today, April 2023)

Stir Bedside Table: Hilary Atleo (Stir, April 2023)

Uxbridge bookstore to celebrate its independence on April 29 (Durham Region, April 2023)

Someday Books (Niagara This Week, April 2023)


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