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Trade Publishers

One of the segments of the book eco-system that BISG serves is trade publishers. We have trade publishers represented on our Metadata Committee, Rights Committee, Identification Committee, Subject Codes Committee, Content Structure Committee, Supply Chain Committee, and always welcome new members or current education publishers members to join any of our other committees.



BISG Resources for Service Providers:


The BISAC Subject Headings List, also known as the BISAC Subject Codes List, is a standard used by many companies throughout the supply chain to categorize books based on topical content. The Subject Heading applied to a book can determine where the work is shelved in a brick and mortar store or the genre(s) under which it can be searched for in an internal database.

The complete BISAC Subject Headings List is available online at no cost for one-to-one look-up [you can view that here]. You may also request an End Users' License to download versions of the Subject Headings List in Excel, PDF and Word for unlimited use or for incorporation in your company's internal databases.

Audience Codes

Used to pinpoint the intended reader of a book. Click here to view more. 

Best Practices for Identifying Digital Content

This BISG Policy Statement on recommendations for identifying digital products is applicable to content intended for distribution to the general public in North America but could be applied elsewhere as well. The objective of this Policy Statement is to clarify best practices and outline responsibilities in the assignment of ISBNs to digital products in order to reduce both confusion in the market place, and the possibility of errors. This Policy Statement was initially published in December 2011. BISG always intended to revise the Statement from time to time in order to keep up with the ever evolving digital market place. To this end, a revised version was published in February 2013.

What's new in the revised February 25, 2013 Policy Statement?

  • Shifted focus from ISBN assignment to product identification, embracing the concept of Proprietary Identifiers
  • Expanded coverage on third party assignment of identifiers
  • Changed structure to organize the use case recommendations around: (1) Content, (2) Format, and (3) Usage Constraints
  • Revised recommendation for enhanced content to say enhanced e-books should always get a different identifier (ISBN or Proprietary ID)
  • Added recommendation for identifying e-books components (chapters, etc.)
  • Added descriptive sections on different Identifiers, including GTIN-13s and DOIs
  • Clarified language around DRM and different file formats
  • Clarified sections on usage constraints, purchase vs. rent, purchase vs. lend

Some of the organizations to indicate support of POL-1101 include:

  • Book Industry Communication (BIC)
  • BookNet Canada
  • IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association
  • National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
  • U.S. ISBN Agency

Download the PDF for free here

EPUB 3 Support Grid

The EPUB 3 Support Grid was designed to be a handy reference to what enhancements and features of EPUB 3 render correctly on the most commonly used devices, apps, and reading systems. The Grid represents results of reading system tests conducted by industry experts representing leading publishers, service providers, and technology vendors through the auspices of BISG's Content Structure Committee. 

Through a partnership between BISG, the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), and the DAISY Consortium, the website was created as the new home of both the EPUB 3 Support Grid and the EPUB Testsuite, a set of EPUB 3.0 files designed to enable anyone to systematically test an e-book reading system's support of various EPUB 3.0 features. These files were used to generate the results in the new BISG EPUB 3 Support Grid.  

Go to the website here or here to find out more details about the history of the creation of the EPUB 3 Support Grid. 

Field Guide to Fixed Layout

To help address some of the challenges facing digital content creators, BISG, through its Content Structure Committee's Fixed Layout for E-Books Working Group, has created a Field Guide to Fixed Layouts for E-Books.

Download the guide here.

Field Guide to Fonts for E-Books

The use of custom fonts in digital books has begun to show promise, but as this guide explains, ensuring your custom fonts will display correctly on the myriad of devices and reading systems available to consumers takes thought and careful planning. BISG's Content Structure Committee created the Field Guide to Fonts for E-Books to help designers make the bets choices when selecting and styling type for digital publications. 

Download the guide here.

ISBN Users' Manual

Published by the International ISBN Agency. Valid from January 2007 onward. Go to the ISBN Users' Manual here

Roadmap of Organizational Relationships

Developed as an educational tool portraying the relationships between key organizations important to the book industry, the Roadmap of Organizational Relationships provides a graphic presentation of the various organizations as they service. In an effort to upgrade and improve the Roadmap of Organizational Relationships, critique is encouraged. Please send all comments to

Download the guide here

Barcode Suppliers & Barcoding Guidelines

The following suppliers will make sure your barcodes and labels are correctly formatted to BISG's Barcoding Guidelines for the U.S. Book Industry.

Click on a name for more information.

Brea, CA

Bar Code Graphics, Inc.
Boca Raton, FL; Chicago, FL; Los Angeles, CA

Film Masters
Wadsworth, OH

Product Identification & Processing Systems, Inc.
New York, NY; Richmond, VA

Swing Labels, LLC
Shirley, MA

Learn more about Barcoding Guidelines here

ONIX for Books

ONIX for Books is the international standard for representing and communicating book industry product information in electronic form. ONIX for Books was developed and is maintained by EDItEUR, jointly with Book Industry Communication (UK) and the Book Industry Study Group (U.S.), and has user groups in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the Republic of Korea.

In April 2009, EDItEUR announced the release of a major new version of the ONIX for Books standard: ONIX 3.0. This release of ONIX is the first since 2001 that is not backwards-compatible with its predecessors and, more importantly, provides a means for improved handling of digital products. A revised version (3.0.1) was subsequently released in January 2012.

Click through here to the resource.  

ONIX 3.0 Implementation Grid

The BISG ONIX 3.0 Implementation Grid is intended to provide up-to-date information for ONIX data providers and recipients in the United States about their trading partners' status and plans for implementing ONIX 3.0, and to serve as an industry resource for anyone interested in tracking the U.S. market's migration from ONIX 2.1 to ONIX 3.0.

Click here to download the Grid.

Product Metadata Best Practices

Best Practices for Product Metadata provides detailed instructions on improving the accuracy of product data throughout the supply chain in order to increase efficiency between trading partners, and to make content more discoverable.

Click here to download the Product Metadata Best Practices.

The Development, Use, and Modification of Book Product Metadata

Success in the book publishing continues to rely extensively on the consistent preparation and use of product metadata. As digital products continue to grow and evolve, this is true now more than ever. 

Download the Development, Use, and Modification of Book Product Metadata here.





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