Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Does Chapters/Indigo Support Canadian Authors?

Chapters/Indigo is a major Canadian book retailer through its “bricks and mortar” and online stores. And in my opinion Chapters/Indigo does not fully support Canadian or local authors. Allow me to give you two examples:

  • My most recent book, “Win-Win Influence: How to Enhance Your Personal and Business Relationships” (
    was published on June 23, 2012. Within a week, it was available for sale on the Internet at all Amazon stores around the world (USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Canada) and at Barnes and Noble. Today, almost three months later, in addition to the retailers mentioned earlier, it is available for sale at,, (India), (Australia), (New Zealand) plus many other online retailers, but not at This, despite the fact that my book is listed in Library and Archives Canada’s Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) program (CIP enables the cataloguing of books before they are published, and the prompt distribution of this cataloging information to booksellers and libraries. This statement comes from the Library and Archives Canada website).
  • Chapters/Indigo to their credit does provide shelf space for local authors (for authors in large metropolitan areas, there can be considerable competition to have your books displayed on these shelves). However, if you are lucky enough to have your books on these shelves, your books are not listed as being available in the store’s inventory system even if your book is listed in Chapters/Indigo’s internet database.
As a result, even though your book is prominently displayed on the “local interest” shelves, the vast majority of in store shoppers are not aware of your book and its availability at that store, especially if it is a genre other than “local interest”.

I have found independent bookstores provide much better support for Canadian authors. For example, if they don’t have it on their shelves, they are very helpful in looking up its availability and ordering it for you. In fact, Ottawa based Singing Pebble Books ( has copies of my books on their shelves and my books are listed in their online catalogue – something that seems to be too difficult for Chapters/Indigo to accomplish.

This inaction by Chapters/Indigo has a negative impact on both me and Chapters/Indigo. My book sales are affected as the many regular Chapters/Indigo shoppers do not have access to my book while Chapters/Indigo is impacted as I am not able to list them as a supplier of my book in my various promotional activities. Thus I send these potential book buyers to Chapters/Indigo’s competition.

What would I like Chapters/Indigo to do?

At a minimum, I would like Chapters/Indigo to:

  • Include all books that are listed in the Library and Archives Canada’s CIP program in Chapters/Indigo’s online database within one month of being published.
  • Include books that are accepted for placement on the Local Authors shelves (only those books with an ISBN) in that store’s searchable inventory database.

I welcome your thoughts either supporting or adding to my views or providing evidence to the contrary.

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