BISG has just released the 2010 version of the BISAC Subject Code List. To some you it may sound like a boring announcement, but the smart ones out of you realize that this actually impacts our business, a lot.
So BISAC Subject Code List, why are you so important? Well, here’s why:
The BISAC Subject Headings List, also known as the BISAC Subject Codes List, is a standard used by many companies throughout the supply chain to categorize books based on topical content. The Subject Heading applied to a book can determine where the work is shelved in a brick and mortar store or the genre(s) under which it can be searched for in an internal database.
The people deciding on and assigning subject headings to titles need to be aware of new developments. Using an outdated code could lead to your book being misclassified or not classified at all.
Metadata is populating more and more websites—retailer websites, industry organization websites, media websites and social media platforms—and this is why BISAC codes are increasingly important. Invalid BISAC codes will prevent your books from being presented properly and from showing up in search results. And once the industry makes the switch to CataList, the miraculous BNC e-catalogue service, it will be even more crucial for titles to have proper tagging because buyers and media will rely on it.
Take a quick look at the changes made to the BISAC list because some of them might surprise you. For example, did you know that there is no BISAC code for Current Affairs? It hasn’t been used for years. If you’ve got a book labelled as Current Affairs, the subject category isn’t registering. This seemingly small oversight means the book isn’t listed properly and risks losing sales, especially online.
So get the latest code list and make the right choice. The BISG website is ridiculously easy to use as a reference. Use the 2010 Subject Headings List to look up the categories that do exists and their codes. The lists will even redirect you if you’re in the wrong spot. When you look up multi-author short story collections in Fiction, it helpfully tells you for “FICTION / Short Stories (multiple authors) see Anthologies (multiple authors)”. They’ve even got a separate list of old BISAC codes that have been deactivated and a list of just the 2009 changes. You could be the newest of newbies and still find your way to the right classification. So don’t let your book fall behind, check out the 2010 Heading List and get that metadata right the first time.
Make sure to save this link: http://www.bisg.org/activities-programs/activity.php?n=d&id=73&cid=20
For more info on BISAC refer to our BNC 101 post here.