BISG’s BISAC Subject Headings List has now been updated and replaces the edition published in November 2012. It is available here.

The BISAC Subject Headings List remains free to BISG members. Non-members can purchase an annual license for the entire BISAC Subject Headings List allowing unlimited use and uploading into internal databases here or can look up individual titles without charge.

The BISAC Subject Headings List is maintained through the dedicated work of the Subject Codes Committee, chaired by Connie Harbison of Baker & Taylor. Committee members members represent major publishers, wholesalers and other data aggregators, and retailers.

Most of the significant changes in the new 2013 Edition affect four sections (Business and Economics, Family & Relationships, Fiction, and Self-Help) and include additions requested by major publishers who specialize in those subject areas. For example, in response to multiple requests, categories for "Military Families" and "PTSD" were added. In another change that should prove popular, there is now a "Fiction / Romance / New Adult" category.

The Committee makes changes based on a thorough review of publisher catalogs and retailer categories. Requests submitted by both publishers and individual BISAC code users – often independent authors – represent the bulk of the remaining changes, which affect at least 26 categories. The number of individual user requests grows with each new edition in a trend that shows no signs of slowing. Each such request is evaluated by the Committtee to ensure that the proposed new category does not repeat an existing one and that it represents a classification relevant to retailers.

The Committee has maintained the BISAC Subject Headings List since 1995 and has provided guidance to publishers, retailers, wholesalers, and others on its implementation and use with tutorials and FAQ’s. Click here to see guidelines for choosing the most accurate BISAC category and for the range of resources available. Training webinars can also be arranged; please email if your company is interested in that option.

Book discovery—whether the customer is scanning physical bookstore shelves or using an online search engine—is impossible without accurate and searchable descriptions using standardized language. The BISAC Subject Headings Listfacilitates book discovery and offers a wealth of suggestions for using the codes as effectively as possible.

About the Book Industry Study Group
The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is the U.S. book industry’s leading trade association for policy, standards, and research. The mission of BISG is tofacilitate innovation and shared solutions for the benefit of all companies and practitioners that create, produce, and distribute published content and the organizations that support them.Membership consists of publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media. For over 35 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and efficiently address issues and concerns to advance the book community. Learn more about BISG at