Hello all,

Autumn is in full swing! The leaves are changing, award finalists are being announced, and people across the country have begun to chip away at their holiday shopping lists.

We have some important information for you this month including a preview of CIBA’s holiday campaign, funding updates, bookseller insights, and more.

Pull on a cozy fall sweater and read on.


As mentioned last month, the CIBA team is delighted to lead a marketing campaign on behalf of indies this holiday season. 

Our annual membership survey found that booksellers are pressed for time when it comes to the holiday season while others have well-established holiday campaigns of their own. To support the former and complement the latter, we will promote broad-appeal messaging on our reader-facing social media channels throughout the last quarter of the year.

The campaign will involve three distinct phases:

Phase 1: Shop Early
Our positive messaging will focus on the perks of shopping early (e.g., “avoid holiday stress”) and remind readers about ongoing supply chain issues and limited print runs, when appropriate.

Phase 2: Indie Bestsellers
Our content will highlight some of the bestselling books of the year (that are likely to be in stock or readily available from most stores), supported by data from BookNet Canada.

Phase 3: Gift Cards
The messaging will be a mix of celebrating gift cards as presents (e.g., “Gift the indie bookstore experience”) and promoting them as perfect last-minute gifts.

Our messages will be shared weekly and accompanied by eye-catching graphics that evoke the holiday season. Members who would like to take advantage of the campaign can do so by sharing CIBA’s posts on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter or by creating unique content using campaign assets found here.

We can’t wait!


Did you apply for Support for Booksellers funding through the Canada Book Fund? If so, you can expect to hear from program officers soon!

The Department of Canadian Heritage has informed us of its aim to confirm with applicants by late October. However, as the service standard for the program is 28 weeks, communications may come as late as early November.

You may consider in the meantime how you will invest your funding, should your application be successful. To help you plan, CIBA recently hosted a session for booksellers on this exact topic! Members discussed how they invested their funding in year one and what they have planned for 2023-24 with an eye to increasing online presence and book sales.

Click here to watch the recording.

No-cost and Low-cost Ways to Improve Accessibility in Your Store Today

Advancing accessibility is about creating barrier-free communities, workplaces, and services for all Canadians. In advance of the 2023 holiday season, audit your retail environments and discover ways to improve your accessibility. This session, led by Donna Herrington of The Herrington Group, outlined simple changes you can make to your business today. The recording includes a handy, downloadable accessibility checklist.

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for their support of this event.

Get a Handle on Digital Advertising 

Are you busy refreshing your marketing strategy to ensure that your bookstore is a gift-buying destination this holiday season? CIBA was recently joined by Ariel Hudnall, Managing Director of ZG Stories, to answer members’ burning questions about digital advertising. Check out the recording now to set yourself up for marketing success!

Ring in the Holiday Sales with the Four Rs: Re-Up, Revisit, Resurrect, and Refine

Prepare yourselves—and your shelves—for the holiday shopping season. In this recording, Lily Dwyer and Kalpna Patel, BookNet’s SalesData experts and expat retailers, share tips, tricks, and tutorials on using sales data and reports to maximize your sales this fall. 

Not a CIBA member? Join now to access a range of benefits including live events, recordings, and other business resources. 

Unlike chain stores, indie bookstores have their own distinct atmospheres. The colour palette, the displays, the sounds, the layout—all these factors speak volumes about the type of business you run. So, we asked some Bookseller Members to share the inspiration behind their store design and how they want their customers to feel when they step through the door. 

“The checkerboard floors are similar to one my aunt had in her kitchen, where I spent a lot of time as a young girl. Countless days of comfort and nurturing happened in that kitchen, and I wanted people to come in and feel a similar sense of comfort and welcome in my store.” – Brandi Morpurgo, Daisy Chain Book Co. (AB)

Visit the Member Blog for more from Brandi as well as Cole Davidson (The Spaniel’s Tale, ON), and Liz Crocker and Suzy MacLean (Woozles, NS).

It’s book awards season! Books that bear the stamp of approval from an award jury provide a unique draw for customers, whether they are seeking out exciting new reads for themselves or to give as gifts.

Are you caught up on the latest announcements? If not, visit our overview of the fall awards season now on the Member Blog. 

Not a member yet? Join CIBA today and access original content on our blog as a benefit of your membership.

Laughing Oyster Bookshop in Courtenay, BC will celebrate 50 years in 2024. We spoke with owner Evelyn Gillespie about this wonderful store, its role in the community, and what she loves about being an indie bookseller.

“Our staff hears the word ‘discoverability’ a lot from me. We are constantly changing displays, facing out books so there is always something new to see... This is one of the great strengths of independent bookstores. What we do is not as much about selling as it is about inspiring, introducing, and sharing.”

Read the article here.

CIBA is delighted to have recently joined the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF). 

Through the EIBF and their RISE Bookselling project, CIBA members gain access to industry resources as well as opportunities to participate in international conferences and exclusive programs.

We encourage you to check out their latest campaign, Reviving the High Street, which highlights the unique value that bookshops bring to town centres and main streets and functions as a call to action for politicians and stakeholders. Although the campaign focuses on the European market, much of it applies to Canadian communities.

Bookseller Members can also register for the RISE Bookselling Conference, taking place from March 17-18, 2024 in Lisbon, which will feature a packed programme of keynotes, panels, workshops, and networking opportunities.

Click here to check out highlights from 2023's conference in Prague.

Many resources are waiting for you in the CIBA Member Portal including:

  • Bookseller Forum – a dedicated forum accessible only to booksellers who wish to discuss business challenges, crowdsource answers, and share information

  • Bulletin Board – a space for all member types to share ideas, initiatives, event invitations, and opportunities with industry colleagues

  • Member Resources – a growing archive of business resources, event recordings, marketing assets for campaigns and general use, and more

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the portal more easily. This guide includes information about things like logging in, editing your member profile (including your privacy settings), registering for events, posting to the forums, and more. 

Click here to access the Member Portal guide.

If you encounter any issues in the portal or have questions about the website, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team.


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