Welcome back! 

We have so much to look forward to in 2023. We're kicking off the year with an important CIBA team update, a preview of our plans for Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, new business resources, and more.

Let’s jump in, shall we?


After two years spent at the helm of CIBA, Doug Minett has made the decision to step down as Executive Director. Doug was instrumental in creating the association including everything from feasibility studies to grant applications, member outreach to web development. His impact on the organization cannot be overstated and we are grateful for his vision, dedication, and perseverance in this leadership role.

Doug will remain part of the CIBA team as our technology specialist and will lead the planning and development of our new Indie Web Hub. This exciting initiative – supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage – will be a boon for independent bookstores across the country. We can’t wait to share more details!

We are pleased to announce that Laura Carter will move into the role of Executive Director. Over the past year Doug has worked closely with Laura in her role as Project Director. Laura has been with CIBA since its inception and brings with her 15 years of experience in the Canadian book industry.   

"The Canadian independent bookselling industry owes a great debt of gratitude to Doug Minett. He has single-handedly pulled this organization together, put it in the position to succeed for many years to come, and has been a great mentor along the way. We are delighted that Doug will stay involved in a reduced capacity and has agreed to accept our calls anytime we need his advice!" 
– Chris Hall, Board President

CIBA’s growth would not be possible without the support of its members. Thank you for continuing to invest in this important work. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Carter or Chris Hall.

The countdown is officially on! Canadian Independent Bookstore Day will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2023. Building on our success in 2022, this year’s campaign will once again celebrate indie bookstores and their immeasurable contributions to Canadian culture. 

Here is a preview of what we have planned:

Contest for Book Lovers

Our wildly popular Contest for Book Lovers is back! Again this year, we will reward three lucky book buyers with generous gift cards to their favourite indies.

  • First Prize: $1,000 – sponsored by Penguin Random House Canada
  • Second Prize: $500 – sponsored by Simon & Schuster Canada
  • Third Prize: $250 – sponsored by Orca Book Publishers

Any book purchased from a Canadian indie bookstore on April 29 will be eligible for one entry into the contest. Books by Canadian writers and/or illustrators will be worth double the entries. 

Giveaways & Exclusives

CIBA is working with publishers and partners on exciting initiatives that will help drive customers to indie bookstores on April 29.  

Customer giveaways include:

  • Collectible prints by Pete Oswald and “Shop Local” chocolate bars from HarperCollins Canada
  • "Shop Local" enamel pins and stickers from Penguin Random House Canada
  • "I love my local bookstore" cotton totes from Kids Can Press
  • Booklets and Mo Willems bumper stickers from Canadian Manda Group
  • Posters, stickers, and more from Raincoast Books
  • Poetry postcards from the League of Canadian Poets
  • Sticker sheets from Groundwood Books

Exclusives for retail sale include:

  • A limited-edition novella by Ann Cleeves, featuring Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez from the award-winning Shetland series, from Publishers Group Canada
  • A 500-piece puzzle designed by Jane Mount and a canvas "Shop Indie" tote bag from Raincoast Books
  • Exclusive paperback edition of Little People, BIG DREAMS: Amanda Gorman including author-signed bookplates from Canadian Manda Group
  • Graphix promotional pack including stickers, signed art prints, and activity booklets from Scholastic Canada (customer giveaways; bookstores must place a minimum order to be eligible)

We’ll provide details about these opportunities to booksellers in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Resources for CIBA Members

Canadian artist and illustrator Alex MacAskill has created custom artwork for the 2023 campaign that celebrates the role that indie bookstores play in their communities.  A comprehensive toolkit full of promotional graphics featuring this artwork will be made available to CIBA members in mid-March.

Watch this space for our artwork reveal in February!

Additional Promotion

We also have a number of promotional initiatives in the works this year.

  • Friesens Corporation will provide CIBD 2023 promotional bookmarks to Bookseller Members in advance of the big day
  • Raincoast Distribution Group will sponsor campaign advertising
  • We are working with Zg Stories to engage media and new audiences
  • We'll work with publishers and industry partners to engage Canadian creators in promotion of the campaign to their readers

Thank you to our partners and campaign sponsors for their integral support. We look forward to celebrating indie bookstores with everyone this year!

Not a member yet but want full access to the campaign? Join us today.

While all indies will benefit from this campaign and our contest, our promotional assets and additional resources will only be available to CIBA members.


Publisher Picks: Spring Edition
Thursday, January 26 – Multinational Publishers
Tuesday, February 7 – Independent Publishers
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 spring edition! We'll bring you to the heart of publisher marketing discussions to discover the season's best bets – the books you might not know you need but will be glad you have on hand.

Watch these events live or view the recording within two weeks for a chance to win publisher prizes!

Penguin Random House Demonstration of the BIZ Portal
Thursday, February 16
12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET, 4pm AT, 4:30pm Newfoundland

The PRH self-service portal was relaunched in 2021. The new site provides tremendous business value and amazing capabilities 24/7 – placing orders (including an upload process), tracking shipments, searching a database of over 110K titles, viewing and downloading invoices, and more. This demonstration is a chance for those who don’t use it, or don’t use it enough, to see it in action. It’s also an opportunity for existing users to ask questions and flag enhancements they’d like to see in the future. 

Ask the Bookseller: Successful School Relationships
Tuesday, February 28
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

Schools in your local community could be an untapped income stream for your store. But what does the bookstore-school relationship look like? How do bookstores ensure that school orders are a profitable venture, given the time and work involved? Join our panel of experienced booksellers to learn how they do business with schools and what you should know before you put a school-sales plan into action.

We are pleased to share an update on our ongoing project to help Bookseller Members curate and order French-language books including our growing partnership with ANEL (Association nationale des éditeurs de livres).

There are several resources currently available in the Member Portal: 

Currently, we’re developing a closer relationship between CIBA and Québec Édition so that members have more direct access to French-language publishers. As part of this partnership, ANEL will sponsor the participation of selected booksellers in a professional development program at the Salon du livre de l'Outaouais. Stay tuned for more details!

This project is a priority for members and the CIBA team. Our ongoing work includes the development of timely communications about happenings in French-language children's publishing and advocacy amongst distributors to facilitate ordering.

If you have questions or comments, please reach out to Danielle LeBlanc.

As you know, CIBA’s social channels are public facing and designed to raise the profile of indie bookstores while developing new audiences for Canadian books. This year, we will continue to run themed book features on our feeds and promote our members to our growing audience.

Here are the features we have planned for the first half of the year:

  • Black History Month (February 8)
  • International Women’s Day (March 8)
  • National Poetry Month (April 12)
  • Spring Preview for Adults (May 17)
  • Spring Preview for Young Readers (May 24)
  • Pride Month (June 7)
  • Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21)

Throughout the year, we will also run regular content with themes like Meet Our Members, Love Notes to Indie Bookstores, Window Shopping, and Indie Bookstore Magic. If you would like to be profiled, want to show off your merchandising skills, or have a special story to share about your bookstore, please get in touch.

NEW RESOURCE: Notable Public Dates Calendar

To help members plan their marketing activities, CIBA has created a living calendar that features key dates like public holidays, themed days/weeks/months, awards announcements, and more. This resource is accessible as a list-by-date and as a traditional calendar.

Members can access the calendar here.

We will continue to add to the calendar as information becomes available. If you have any questions or wish to add a key date that may be of interest to all members, please email Kayla Calder. 

Allison the Bookman in North Bay, ON is turning 50 this year! This beloved family-run shop is known for its wide selection of new, used, and rare books, as well as its knowledgeable staff and friendly atmosphere. We spoke with third-generation owner, Annette Allison-Vander Waal, about the store’s incredible history, growing up in a family of booksellers, and more.

“I think indie bookstores are a unique part of a community. They provide a place for people to commune and share what they enjoy reading or learning about with like-minded people.” 

Read the article here.

Bookseller Members are invited to fill out our new Supplier Relations Survey.

Our Supplier Relations Committee meets regularly with major suppliers to negotiate improved terms of trade for independents. Survey responses help ensure the committee’s priorities align with the needs of members. It should only take 15 minutes to complete. 

The results survey will be collated and shared with publishers and distributors. All personal information will be omitted and kept confidential. The deadline to respond is January 31.

Click here to access the survey

We are grateful to those who have helped us build this community and we hope you will continue to invest in CIBA in 2023! 

Annual members will receive an official notice from our system prior to their renewal date with instructions about how to renew. Depending on when you joined, you may have received this already. Once you’ve renewed, you can log in and download your 2023 member certificate.

Not a member yet? Now is the time! When you join CIBA, you’ll have access to a range of benefits including:

  • Professional development opportunities and business resources
  • Marketing campaign materials
  • Participation in advocacy and supplier relations activities
  • Community, connection, and shared learning
  • News, research, and industry reports

Bookseller Members also have access to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) through CIBA’s discounted group rate, including a wide range of cost savings opportunities, business resources, and more.

Click here to learn more or join today

If you have any questions or wish to discuss CIBA membership, please contact Laura Carter. We'd love to hear from you!


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