And the more precise your categorization , the easier it will be for readers and retailers to find your book. Which segues nicely into the categories and marketing. Self-published authors know discoverability is an important part of growing your brand and earning more sales. So you should use three codes, so long as each one is accurate and helpful. BISQ warns against simply adding classifications for the sake of doing so.
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Assigning BISAC headings correctly can ensure that a title efficiently makes its way through intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers into the hands of happy readers. On the flip side, coding a book incorrectly may mean it ends up in a forgotten corner of a bookstore or Website, surrounded by dissimilar titles that would never attract the people who are likely customers for it. The latest one, published in December , includes more than 73 new headings and 55 changes to almost 30 different sections.
Take two steps: 1. Although the cap is arbitrary to a degree, no more than three BISAC headings should be assigned to any single book. A title cannot have both a Juvenile and an Adult heading, for instance; and the same book cannot have both a Fiction and a Non-Fiction heading.
Usage notes for the Humor subject area include the following, for example: HUMOR: Use subjects in this section only for individual works of humor or for collections of humor. Note that all main subject areas include General as a second-level term. This can be useful for books covering a topic at the broadest level or for books with narrow scope that cannot be better described by one of the other terms within the relevant section.
After all, the point of applying a BISAC Subject Heading is to help the end user get a specific understanding of what a book is about, and General is hardly specific. It should not be used to describe the audience for the book. It should not be used to describe the author. Keep in mind that the committee considers three factors when deciding whether or not to add a new BISAC heading: 1.
Does the suggested heading describe the content of the book and not the audience, format, or language? Are there at least unique titles from different publishers in the supply chain that would have this heading? Would adding the requested heading require extensive expansion of the list we try to keep the number of headings at around 3,? Those who would like to incorporate the BISAC Headings List in their own database system can acquire the right to do so by either joining the Book Industry Study Group or by paying a modest annual license fee.
BISAC: What It Is And Why It Matters
The BISG recognizes that one of the main reasons why the use of BISAC headings for the physical arrangement of books is not officially recommended is because sometimes publishers prefer to use their traditional systems for this purpose. However, an idealistic future in which BISAC headings are printed on books and in the catalogs was also envisioned by the BISG: "Printing the descriptors is a very good idea although not an official recommendation at this time due to the desire on the part of most publishers to continue use of their traditional merchandising syntax. According to Bole et al. The role of volunteers in setting the standard was highlighted again in by Bole and Harbison, and by Harbison in , although, as Sanford Thatcher noted, this volunteer work is strictly restricted to BISG members and its consequent fee payment Thatcher However, the BISG website also states that if a heading that does not appear in the list is needed, "the Subject Codes Committee considers all requests from members of BISG and the industry at large for topical content currently not covered by the terms in the Headings list" BISG a , emphasis added.