November is here and with it comes cold weather and holiday shoppers—hopefully browsing your shelves as you read this! This month, we're sharing important association updates, interviews, resources, and more.

Let’s get into it.

CIBA’s Supplier Relations Committee recently wrapped their fall meetings with seven major suppliers. Generally, the supply chain seems in good shape for the upcoming holiday season. Everyone is ready to sell books!

In addition to planning for the holidays, the committee discussed each supplier's strategy for growth in the indie market. They also advocated for new stores to be assigned a sales rep—especially when building initial orders—among other things. Bookseller Members can now access a detailed report on these meetings in the Member Portal.

If you are facing difficulties with specific suppliers, please email Lori Cheverie, Supplier Relations Committee Chair.

Our micro-campaign for the holiday season is in full swing! Thanks to everyone who encouraged people to shop early again this year.

We are now in phase two, which highlights some of the bestselling books of the year that are likely to be in stock or readily available from most stores. Booksellers who want to participate in the campaign can share CIBA’s picks on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you are posting your own recommendations, consider tagging @CIBAbooks so we can boost the signal.

Like the look of the campaign? Members can find assets here.

Over the past year, CIBA has been building a “Guide to Bookselling in Canada.” This virtual guide is a combination of curated content, CIBA-developed resources, and case-study interviews with Bookseller Members.

The guide will address the needs of prospective, new, and experienced booksellers alike. Once we have completed the initial draft this fall, we will work with booksellers and an editing team to finalize the guide for release next spring 

As the guide is a living document, we will continue to develop it over time as financial resources allow. Updates will include additional CIBA-generated resources driven by member needs and interests. 

Thank you to the booksellers who have already shared their resources and time to help develop the guide. If you would like to contribute your insights or volunteer to review and edit content, please contact Nicola Dufficy.

Any bookseller “in-the-know” will tell you that handselling is the secret to sales success. Each store provides recommendations to their customers with their own distinct flair and a hand sell can give a huge boost to Canadian-authored or indie-published titles.

So, what is the art of handselling? We asked some Bookseller Members to share their insights and advice when it comes to this important sales strategy.  

“The best place to start is with the customer’s interests. From there, our experience is that customers are looking for our ‘expert’ opinions as readers. They want to know what we thought about a book, what other staff thought, what other customers have said, and whether there is buzz...”
– Ryan Smith, Owl’s Nest Bookstore

Visit the Member Blog for insights from Ryan, Melissa Bourdon-King (Once Upon a Bookstore) and Carolette Liburd (Knowledge Bookstore).

This fall, Black Cat Books in Sherbrooke, QC celebrated two anniversaries: 25 years in business and one year with its new owner, Anne-Marie Bailey. We spoke with Anne-Marie about becoming an indie bookseller, recent releases she can’t wait to read, and her vision for the future of this beloved store. 

“With over 14,000 books packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling, in under 700 square feet, it’s a treasure trove; a dragon’s hoard of books as far as the eye can see, and a book lover’s dream.”

Read the article here.

We are happy to share the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF)'s third research publication with CIBA Members: “E-commerce Platforms for Independent Bookshops.”

Most of our Bookseller Members use Bookmanager or Shopify technology for their webstores, but this paper will allow you to explore what booksellers are doing in the Netherlands, Spain, and the USA as they take the plunge into online sales. The report also reflects indies' increased market share of the digital marketplace.

Members can now access the full report on the Bulletin Board. Additional industry insights can be found on EIBF’s website.

Members: a reminder that many resources are waiting for you in the Member Portal including our primer on using Canva, our favourite graphic design tool.

Canva has become a major part of operations for small and independent businesses. We use Canva for almost all of our graphic design and create campaign resources with this platform in mind. It’s powerful, intuitive, and free—a program that should be in every store’s toolbox.

This information guide is for those who are new to Canva, although it contains a few tips and links to additional resources that may be helpful for all users.

Members can access the guide here.


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