We’re Writing Wednesday – Know Your Genre: Nonfiction
Did you know that an estimated 80% of all books published are Nonfiction? That seems crazy to some of us because it seems that what we really talk about are the fiction titles.
What exactly is Nonfiction?
First and foremost, it is one of the two main categories that divides the written word (fiction and nonfiction).
To narrow it down further, nonfiction is typically considered an essay, memoir, and other narrative forms that are based in factual support, regardless of delivery (straight forward vs. artistic liberties).
Things get even more fuzzy when you're going through the list to find the world of semi-fiction, nonfiction that places fictional characters into the leading and supporting roles.
Where do you even start to understand these genres?
To start, if you are going to publish a book or self publish your own book, you'll get initiated to BISAC codes REAL quick. BISAC codes are created and adjusted by BISG, Book Industry Study Group.
To see a full grouping and try to figure this out for yourself, visit https://www.bisg.org/bisac-subject-codes
According to BISG, unless your book is a blank book and thus unclassifiable, it will have a subject identifier that it can be assigned.
The very first heading for BISAC falls into nonfiction and it is Antiques & Collectibles.
This is a great category to start with because it's pretty self explanatory. Your book is nonfiction, it's written about the process of identifying, acquiring, and/or collecting the objects, and your book DOES NOT deal with the techniques needed to physically make these items (this would be CRAFTS/HOBBIES). Your book will then fall in to one main category and 3-4 additional sub categories from one of the below:
|ANT000000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / General|
|ANT001000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Americana|
|ANT002000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Art|
|ANT003000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Autographs|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Automobiles see Transportation|
|ANT005000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Books|
|ANT006000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Bottles|
|ANT007000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Buttons & Pins|
|ANT054000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Canadiana|
|ANT008000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Care & Restoration|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Cars see Transportation|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Ceramics see Pottery & Ceramics|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / China see Porcelain & China|
|ANT010000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Clocks & Watches|
|ANT011000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Coins, Currency & Medals|
|ANT012000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Comics|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Costume see Textiles & Costume|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Dance see Performing Arts|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Disneyana see Americana|
|ANT015000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Dolls|
|ANT053000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Figurines|
|ANT016000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Firearms & Weapons|
|ANT017000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Furniture|
|ANT018000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Glass & Glassware|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Gold see Silver, Gold & Other Metals|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Hummels see Figurines or Popular Culture|
|ANT021000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Jewelry|
|ANT022000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Kitchenware|
|ANT023000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Magazines & Newspapers|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Medals see Coins, Currency & Medals|
|ANT024000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Military|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Movies see Performing Arts|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Musical Instruments see Performing Arts|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Nautical see Transportation|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Newspapers see Magazines & Newspapers|
|ANT028000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Non-Sports Cards|
|ANT029000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Paper Ephemera|
|ANT025000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Performing Arts|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Pewter see Silver, Gold & Other Metals|
|ANT031000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Political|
|ANT052000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Popular Culture|
|ANT032000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Porcelain & China|
|ANT033000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Postcards|
|ANT034000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Posters|
|ANT035000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Pottery & Ceramics|
|ANT036000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Radios & Televisions (see alsoPerforming Arts)|
|ANT037000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Records|
|ANT038000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Reference|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Restoration see Care & Restoration|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Royalty see Popular Culture|
|ANT040000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Rugs|
|ANT041000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Silver, Gold & Other Metals|
|ANT043000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports (see also headings under Sports Cards)|
|ANT042000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / General|
|ANT042010||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / Baseball|
|ANT042020||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / Basketball|
|ANT042030||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / Football|
|ANT042040||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / Hockey|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Stained Glass see Glass & Glassware|
|ANT044000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Stamps|
|ANT045000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Teddy Bears|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Televisions & Television-Related seePerforming Arts or Radios & Televisions|
|ANT047000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Textiles & Costume|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Theater see Performing Arts|
|ANT055000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Tobacco-Related|
|ANT049000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Toy Animals|
|ANT050000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Toys|
|ANT009000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Transportation|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Watches see Clocks & Watches|
|ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Weapons see Firearms & Weapons|
|ANT051000||ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Wine|
The next category is Architecture.
Like Antiques & Collectibles, it is very straight forward. It is a category for professional related texts, or, texts aimed to advance the education of professionals. This does not include texts created to talk about the actual construction and creation, these instead would be under Technology & Engineering, further subdivided into Construction. Texts written for nonprofessionals would be moved to HOUSE & HOME.
This category is a great example as we can look at home decorating. Interior Designers would find industry specific texts under Architecture/Interior Design/General, whereas books written about how to decorate your home, such as those by Martha Stewart or Nate Berkus, would not as they are made for a more general audience. These titles may use Architecture/Interior Design/General as a secondary code to seek placement in this category for search purposes in libraries, sales catelogues, or keyword searches, but it would not be the primary or recommended selection.
We aren't putting the full list here for Architecture, but if you want to see it, click on the blue link above and check it out for yourself.
See how specific this is? This is pretty easy to understand. It gets a little hairier as we move into other topics that aren't quite as straight forward. In some of the more iffy areas, we will look at each BISAC code individually and we'll include some pop-quizzes of short synopsis and BISAC options for placement.
What are your big genre related questions? Leave us a comment and we'll address them in a future blog.
Cheers and happy Writing Wednesday!