AbeBooks is focused on the health and safety of our employees, and based on regional regulations and social distancing requirements this has resulted in longer than usual response times from Customer Support. Please be patient.
If you have a specific question about an order, we recommend contacting the seller directly. This is often the fastest way to obtain order information. View instructions.
Due to Covid-19, delivery times may be longer than normal in your area. Learn more
Many other questions can be answered by visiting our help center.
When buyers click the Browse link in the red bar at the top of any AbeBooks web page, or through the ‘Browse for Books’ section in the left-sidebar, they can browse books by subject based on a standardized category list.
If your listings are categorized, the Categories you’ve used will also be displayed on your Storefront, allowing buyers to browse your inventory exclusively.
Search engines also access and index listings through the Categories on our ‘Browse’ pages and seller Storefronts, making your books easier for buyers to find.
Categories are automatically assigned based on ISBN matching. You can also add Categories yourself, by adding category numbers in a dedicated ‘Category’ field, or through the Online Inventory Management system. You can assign up to 10 categories to each listing.
The standardized list of Categories is available to you as a reference tool. You can view the list through your AbeBooks account. Simply click ‘Download AbeBooks Categories’ in the My Downloads section of your Members Menu.
The AbeBooks Browse Categories will be listed on the left side of the page. Click the [+] sign next to each category to view its sub-categories.
Note that the ‘Download Category List’ link does not currently work. To obtain a downloadable copy of the list, please contact Customer Support.
Customer Support will provide you with the category list in a text file that can be opened in a word processing program or in Microsoft Notepad. If you’re familiar with a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, you can import the file to view it there as well.
Each line in the file corresponds to one subcategory. The file includes the following fields:
AbeBooks Category Group ID: This is the number assigned to each category in our database. Use this number in your Category field to categorize a listing.
Parent ID: This is the ID of the top-level category for a sub-category.
Category Name: This is the category or sub-category name as it appears on the Web site.
Category Path: You can tell which top-level category a sub-category is in by reading this path.
BISAC Category Code: If there is a corresponding BISAC category code, we list it here.
Category ID: If there is a category ID number, we list it here.
Is Leaf: This field is filled in with either “T” for true or “F” for false. You can assign your listings to “T” categories, but not to “F” as they are on the top-level.
3109|44|Camping|/Sports & Recreation/Camping|SPO009000||T|
To add the category ‘Camping’ to a listing, you would add the category number 3109 to your dedicated Category field. Note that only numbers can be used in a Category field.