What does BISAC mean?

BISAC Categories explained

BISAC is an abbreviation for “Book Industry Standards and communications.” Mostly, BISAC Codes and Subject Headings are a long list of various topics created by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG).

BISAC Codes are a publishing industry-approved list of nine-character alphanumeric codes that represent broad descriptors of genre or subject matter. There are thousands of BISAC codes, and they allow libraries, retailers, and online stores to accurately catalogue and “place” your book among their millions of other offerings. Your new book can only be accurately categorized if it has the right BISAC Codes.

Tips for Selecting the Right BISAC Subject Code for your new book

The right BISAC Codes are ones that describe your content accurately and concisely. It’s never a good idea to go for codes that apply to only a few chapters or touch on one peripheral topic or theme of work.

However, if your book has more than one subject matter, you may select more than one subject code.

The best practices are; Select no more than three BISAC Codes. Choosing three BISAC Codes is considered the best method to help ensure the broadest reach for your book. It is best to give your writing more than one opportunity to be found if you can. Try to provide it with three. As a rule, look for codes that reflect the breadth and depth of your book’s content.

Consider how your customers view themselves when looking for a book on your topic. If they think of themselves as parents who have a challenge with a child, for example, then maybe parenting is the right category.

The first subject code should be the most accurate, and most specific code possible. When your BISAC code is more precise, there are more chances to attract more targeted readers who are more likely to purchase.

If possible, consider selecting codes from multiple top-level BISAC categories to broaden discovery.

To do this: Do not use ‘General’ Codes.

Classify your book depending on its content and the key aspects that will resonate with potential buyers.

There is no point of including a ‘General’ code if you have already chosen a more specific BISAC code for a given category or subcategory.

BISAC codes are supposed to exhibit consistency across different formats of the same work.

BISAC CODES SELECTION LIST

ARCHITECTURE

ART

BIBLES

BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

BODY, MIND & SPIRIT

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

COMPUTERS

COOKING

CRAFTS & HOBBIES

DESIGN

DRAMA

EDUCATION

FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS

FICTION

FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY

GAMES & ACTIVITIES

GARDENING

HEALTH & FITNESS

HISTORY

HOUSE & HOME

HUMOUR

JUVENILE FICTION

JUVENILE NONFICTION

LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES

LAW

LITERARY COLLECTIONS

LITERARY CRITICISM

MATHEMATICS

MEDICAL

MUSIC

NATURE

PERFORMING ARTS

PETS

PHILOSOPHY

PHOTOGRAPHY

POETRY

POLITICAL SCIENCE

PSYCHOLOGY

REFERENCE

RELIGION

SCIENCE

SELF-HELP

SOCIAL SCIENCE

SPORTS & RECREATION

STUDY AIDS

TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING

TRANSPORTATION

TRAVEL

TRUE CRIME

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION

View the book titles and taglines below

Tagline: ’32 Girls. 1 Crown. The competition of a lifetime.’

Book Title – The Selection

This tagline is a good one. The tagline tells would-be buyers exactly what kind of book and storyline to expect.  It does give would-be readers an idea of what is at stake.

Tagline: ‘Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.’

Book Title – An Ember in the Ashes

This tagline above tells you to expect a romance read. While communicating the key conflict and characters. The book wasn’t the type of reading I was looking for, but this tagline did its job of selling it to me. All in all, I did enjoy the reading.

Tagline: ‘Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time.’

Book Title – Cinder

A real reflection of the story told. (It appears to be fairy-tale-inspired and set in a  futuristic world). ‘Once Upon a Time’ adds an enchanting feel to it, don’t you think? You have to credit this title for not applying this cliché phrase in a sappy way. It does complement the cover and title well also.

Tagline: ‘Her beauty is a weapon – and Fire is going to use it.’

Book Title – Fire

I do like this one.  This title does offer something quite intriguing. Read the title: How is her beauty a weapon, and how is she going to use it? Does my mind boggle? It does reflect the core focus and a magical element of the story. It also refers to the main character within the tagline.

Tagline: ‘Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.’

Book Title – The Hunger Games

The tagline above does not have the same smooth flow or a nice rhythm as others. However,  it still has the power to do its job. A would-be reader would get a sense that big things are at stake, perhaps. The focus looks obvious to be on a game or competition.

Tagline: ‘Dive into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind – and none of the heart…’

Book Title – Slave to Sensation

Again, this could lack some of the grace and flow of others we have mentioned. Still, it does for sure communicate the setting, the genre and the conflict defining the heart of the story. It also has enough intriguing elements to make me want to get into it and read on.

Tagline: ‘Sometimes being a God is no fun at all…’

Book Title – Pyramids

Short and sweet for sure. It looks at both the humorous and the central focus of the story. Do you find yourself asking, ‘What would make being a god, not fun?’

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