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BISG Implements New Subject Headings for Young Adult Books

1 February 2016

From Publishing Perspectives:

For the last 10 years, there has been exponential growth in the children’s book market, largely in the Young Adult category.

As an interesting outcome to that growth, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has implemented new BISAC code subject headings, migrating from Juvenile Fiction (JUV) and Juvenile Non-Fiction (JNF) to YAF (Young Adult Fiction) to YAN (Young Adult Non-Fiction).

The reason for adding the YA headings is that, over time, YA has become its own subject or genre.

Although discussion around the codes has gone on since 2003, it wasn’t until 2014 that the idea of creating a new section devoted to young adult books began to gain more ground.  After a survey of BISG’s entire membership showed that more than 80 percent of members would find it valuable if the BISAC included specific codes for teen/young adult content, talks were undertaken with some of the biggest stakeholders—such as Penguin Random House, Nielsen, Barnes and Noble—to define the benefits of this change.

Stakeholders noted that YA content would benefit from its own designation for potential sales opportunities, awards tracking, and to help with unreliable audience codes and age ranges and grades.

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives

PG says discussions started in 2003 and new codes are announced 13 years later – another data point demonstrating that Big Publishing is not operating on internet time.


13 Comments to “BISG Implements New Subject Headings for Young Adult Books”

  1. Yeah this is waaaay overdue!

    I fussed over where to put my YA because “juvenile” seemed too young. Now if Creatspace would just update to include this, that would be great. 😛

    • Yes, getting people like Createspace to impliment the updates is another hurdle. I remember a while back trying to get my romantic comedy book in the romantic category which definitely existedi according to the list of BISAC codes, but it hadn’t migrated. Even emailing customer service got a response to say that there is a code for romantic comedy, but it’s not on our system (that may have changed since).

      And young adult is definitely not the same as children’s books. I applaud the move, but why did it take soooooo long?

  2. About dang time.

  3. I’m with those who say it’s about time.

  4. I still need Fiction>Sports>Equestrian.

  5. i think we should have T, W, B, labeling in liquor stores, and P, J&J and G in the children’s dept in clothing stores, and maybe just call everyone by their initials and have code words for everything

    INSTEAD OF CREATIVE PEOPLE, you know, NAMING their OWN cats.

    I was born in a bad mood today.

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