Some Notable New BISAC Subjects – Military Families, PTSD and Real Life

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January 23, 2014

(BLOG POST)

JonathanPerryBy Jonathan Perry, Jared & Perry

[Originally published at Jared & Perry Metadata. Used with permission.]

There are 75 new BISAC subjects this year, every one the result of much work by your peers on the Book Industry Study Group’s (BISG’s) BISAC Subject Codes Committee.

Every code is important in some way or another, but here are a couple which jumped out at me in this year’s list. You see, these aren’t just some phrases in a dry list; they appear here because of an increased need for them, which in turn was driven by the increased numbers of books being published on that subject. The increasing number of books on these topics is driven, of course, by what is happening in the world around us.

[Note: The BISAC Subject Codes List online says it’s the “2013 Edition”. Don’t let that confuse you! The BISAC Subject Codes Committee publishes the new list at the end of each year. So, the 2013 Edition is the current edition taking us through the end of 2014.]

FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Military Families (FAM055000). Military service has been impacting families and personal relationships at least since Odysseus sailed off to Troy. Recent years, though, have brought large numbers of women in combat, multiple deployments, and a surge of veterans who have returned home alive but not unharmed. A number of helpful books have been published and many others will surely follow.

Use this subject for nonfiction books written for laypersons, i.e. not psychologists or medical professionals. Also, these books are not histories, policy statements or sociological studies; they are to advise service members, their families and other loved ones on family or relationship issues related to military service.

SELF-HELP / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (SEL043000). It so happens that another subject new to the table this year is PTSD, which, sadly enough, seems to have far more causes than crime, abuse or war. If you are doing a book in this area, please remember that Self-Help subjects, like Family & Relationships subjects, are for books aimed at laypersons. Books written at the professional level should probably have Psychology subjects instead.

Our metadata is important because our readers, and the books they need, are important. Keep up the good work.


JonathanPerryAbout the Author: From my first day in my own bookstore, I quickly realized I needed correct information – to find a book for a customer, to order ​inventory from a publisher – to organize my store in a way that made shopping pleasurable and actionable.

While working in bookstore management, and later in sales and sales management for a couple of established publishing companies, I found I was spending up to 25% of my time doing database and metadata work. I chose to do so because many of the books I was trying to sell had such limited information; customers could not find them, much less make a purchase! It was clear to me that without complete, accurate information – metadata – I had problems; and with it, I had happier customers and increased sales.

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