The Book Industry Communication (BIC) was created by the Booksellers Association, British Library, Library Association, and Publishers Association to foster standards within the book trade. BIC oversees bar codes and EDI standards, among other activities.
Book Industry Communication (BIC) is a set of standards for exchanging information regarding books and publishing between different organizations. Maintained by BISG, these standards are utilized by publishers, booksellers, libraries, and all those involved with the bookselling/publishing industries.
BIC has been around since the early 1990s and was initially intended to assist booksellers when ordering books from publishers. Over time, it has grown beyond this original purpose to encompass other information, such as book metadata and cover images. BIC uses international standards like ISO 2146 (International Standard Book Number) and ISO 639 (Language Codes), making exchange easier between organizations.
BIC is widely utilized throughout the book industry. Publishers use BIC to inform booksellers of their books; libraries use it to order from publishers; booksellers use it when ordering from wholesalers; while some online bookstores such as Amazon utilize BIC for information exchange regarding books.
The BIC has been extended beyond ordering information to include more – book metadata (title, author, and subject details on books) and cover images that booksellers or libraries can use to promote books are also part of BIC.
BIC is an integral component of the book industry and is used by various organizations to share information regarding books.
The BIC is essential because it helps ensure everyone is on the same page and publishing a book according to the author’s vision while eliminating miscommunications that might delay or prevent the publication of the said book.