Minding My Own BISAC

BISAC codes, as I discovered while preparing to publish Restoration Day, are basically subdivisions of genre. And sub-subdivisions, and so forth. Not content with classifying a book as Fiction, they will go further and classify it as, say, Mystery & Detective. And then break it down further: Hard-Boiled? Or is it Cozy? And if Cozy, then Cats & Dogs, Crafts, Culinary, or General?

Being as I am my own publisher, I have to decide on which codes to use myself. This seems like it should be easy, but once you get past the macro level, it can become very subjective – particularly since more than one code can be used.

Stirling Point Signpost 110
The BISG‘s BISAC Subject Codes Committee very sensibly add more categories as time goes on. For example, among the new categories in 2019 was FIC077000 Fiction / Nature & the Environment.

Had it been among those present when I was sorting out the technicalities for Restoration Day, perhaps I would have used it. Perhaps I could still. I don’t know whether retroactive BISACking is permitted.

For those of you who have read Restoration Day, do you think it could reasonably be described as falling into the category of Fiction about Nature & the Environment?

And for those of you who have read The Wound of Words (draft 2.2), do you think it could reasonably be classified under FIC009100 Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure? I’m really not sure. How much action and adventuring is required?

Angampora sword-shield fight
Otherwise, it will most likely end up with the same codes as Restoration Day has: FIC009000 Fiction / Fantasy / General, and FIC043000 Fiction / Coming of Age.

If classification is a matter of interest to you – if you’re on first-name terms with Mr Dewey and could find your way blindfolded through a Library of Congress layout – then you may find the BISG’s website worth a visit. Also worth taking a peek at is the Appendix of Inactivated Codes, which sounds like it should have a novel of its own.

What do you think?