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Audience Codes

What are the audience codes?

The Audience Codes are used to pinpoint the intended reader of your book.

Where can I find them?

There are currently two BISAC standards which can provide Audience Code values: the X.12 832 list and ONIX Code List 28. Both have been quoted below for easy reference.

Which list should I use?

You can determine which code list to use based on either your needs or the needs of your trading partners.

If you currently send and receive ONIX messages, you should choose your codes from the ONIX list, as the X.12 values will not be compatible with an ONIX message. Similarly if you are using the X.12 message, ONIX values will not be compatible.

If your trading partners do not use either X.12 or ONIX, you should check with them to determine which values their systems are capable of sending/receiving.

However, if you have several different trading partners or are unsure as to which list to use, BISAC recommends taking your codes from the more-widely-used ONIX list.

Can I use more than one audience code to describe a single book?

ONIX Best Practices recommends that only one Audience Code--the one which best fits the work--be supplied.

X.12 832 Audience Code List (Audience Code, Description)

  • COL- College
  • JUV- Juvenile
  • PSP- Professional and Scholar
  • SCH- Elementary/High School
  • TRA- Trade
  • YA- Young Adult

ONIX Code List 28 Audience Code List (Audience Code, Description)

  • 01- General/Trade
  • 02- Children/Juvenile
  • 03- Young Adult
  • 04- Primary & Secondary/Elementary & High School
  • 05- College/Higher Education
  • 06- Professional and Scholarly
  • 07- English as a Second Language
  • 08- Adult Education


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