Download BISAC Codes

Incorporate BISAC into your business

Purchase or Download Complete BISAC List

Want to incorporate BISAC subject codes into your internal database or other business systems? BISG members get free access to download the full BISAC Subject Headings lists in Word, Excel, and PDF formats, as well as a map of BISAC-to-Thema and of BIC-to-BISAC (2015). Note that BIC plans to deprecate its subject headings in February 2024.

Please note: the download doesn’t include information on BISAC codes assigned to specific books, by ISBN or otherwise. This information may be available commercially through companies like Bowker, which is also the U.S. ISBN agency, and NPD Bookscan.

Downloading the BISAC Code List

Members can download a free copy of the current code list by clicking on the relevant category, below. Non-members can purchase a license and download the list with pricing based on your annual company revenue. These fees allow BISG to maintain the code standards. To download the full BISAC list, click on the category that fits your company's annual book-related revenue:

Level A (under $1 million in annual book-related revenue): free to members; $295 for non-members

Level B ($1-$5 million in annual book-related revenue): free to members; $395 for non-members

Level C ($5-$10 million in annual book-related revenue): free to members; $595 for non-members

Level D ($10-$50 million in annual book-related revenue): free to members; $895 for non-members

Level E (over $50 million in annual book-related revenue), free to members; $1,195 for non-members

Important End-User License Information

The licensed file download is valid on a company-wide level — including any and all subsidiaries — but isn’t transferable, including to clients of any company. Don’t provide a copy or access to a copy of the licensed product to anyone outside your organization.

If your organization provides products or services that include access to the complete BISAC subject codes list, you’re responsible for verifying that the end user has a license for the BISAC version they’re accessing. BISG can provide you with a full list of current members. All non-members must purchase a license in order to access the list within any third-party platform.

Want to browse codes?

There’s no fee to browse the current list and select and use BISAC codes to categorize a book. Additionally, no permission is required to use BISAC codes; simply follow the directions to select the best subject code(s) for your book and provide your chosen code(s) to your publishing partner.

Browse codes for free

What’s included

A download of the full code list includes:

  • BISAC 2022 in Excel, Word and PDF formats.
  • A map of BISAC 2021 to Thema 1.5. (The map of BISAC 2022 to Thema 1.5 will be released in the first quarter of 2023.)
  • A map BIC 2.1 to BISAC 2015 (BIC was sunset in 2015. The map is no longer updated, and BIC plans to discontinue its subject codes in 2024.)

To assist BISAC users who buy and sell internationally, BISG created a BISAC to Thema mapping and a BIC to BISAC mapping (included). Thema is the unified international standard for subject classification, intended to limit the need to map to multiple subject category schemes when buying and selling books across multiple geographic territories. The BISAC to Thema and BIC to BISAC mappings are included with the purchase of a BISAC license.

BISAC Subject Headings describe the topical content of a book. They don’t cover non-content-oriented ways of grouping titles (such as "gift books"). Other fields in metadata communications formats (language, audience, age range, grade range, format / binding / packaging, supplementary format / binding / packaging, merchandising themes) are used to describe a book in ways not covered by the Subject Headings list. Since Merchandising Themes are closely related to Subject Headings, the Themes and codes used in this field are included at the end of the Subject Headings package (along with usage instructions).


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