1. Add data to the product template spreadsheet

  • Each row in the spreadsheet template represents one product. Complete one column or many.
  • The title column name must be present in the top row to identify the spreadsheet as an import of products.
  • Each row must have data in the title column to be valid.

New products only

A new product is created for each row in your spreadsheet. Currently, you cannot update existing products using the importer.

Each new imported product will automatically create a new work and a contract with the same name. If the product name and work name should not be the same, update the work name manually within Consonance after import.

Multiple new products for the same new work

If several products in your spreadsheet should belong to the same work (hardback, paperback and ebook, for example), use a matching same work identifier for each product. The same work identifier can be any set of characters that is unique within that column. You might choose one of the product’s ISBNs.

alt text

2. Product columns


  • Automatically de-prefixed. The Hobbit is stored with The as the title prefix and Hobbit as the title, for ONIX compliance. Titles longer than 255 characters will be truncated.


  • Longer than 255 characters will be truncated

Edition number

  • Must be a positive number

Series codes


  • Will be validated for the correct number of characters and digits, and the standard ISBN checksum. You can enter an ISBN here with or without hyphens.
  • Will be formatted for ONIX compliance
  • ISBN-10 will be automatically converted to ISBN-13 for ONIX compliance.
  • If your available ISBN list exists in Consonance, use the keyword “assign” to automatically allocate the next available ISBN.

Same work identifier

  • All rows with matching work identifiers will be created under the same newly created work. For example, placing 01 in the same work identifier column on the row with the hardback and the row with the paperback, will create both products under the same work. Otherwise, two separate works will be created, one for each product.
  • Can be any set of characters that is unique within that column, for example, one of the product’s ISBNs

Pub date

  • Must be in the format YYYY-MM-DD for absolute clarity
  • Must make sense with publishing status. For example, if the pub date is in the future, the publishing status must be forthcoming

Publishing status

  • Must be a valid ONIX publishing status: either the code, description or one of the keywords: OP or OOP
  • Must not be 00 Unspecified or 09 Unknown because these are strongly advised against by ONIX recipients
  • Must not be 12 Recalled (deprecated) because it is deprecated
  • Must not be 16 Temporarily withdrawn from sale because this requires additional fields
  • View ONIX publishing status codes
  • Must make sense with publication date. For example, if the publishing status is forthcoming, the pub date must be in the future.
  • If this field is not provided and a pub date is present, the system automatically assigns: future dates to “02 - Forthcoming” status, past dates to “04 - Active” status.
  • If this field is not provided and a pub date is not present, the system automatically assigns “00 - Unspecified”. Be sure to update this field manually after import.

Product form

  • Must be a valid ONIX product form code such as BB or DG, or a digital publication type keyword as below
  • 00 Undefined or anything ending in A are disallowed as too generic.
  • Valid digital publication type keywords are: epub, html, ibook, kindle, mobi, pdf. This will set the ONIX product form code to DG and the ONIX epublication type code to the specified keyword’s code.
  • View ONIX product form codes
  • If nothing is provided, the system automatically assigns the ONIX product form 00 Undefined. Be sure to update this field manually after import.

In-house format

  • Must be an existing in-house format code

Notes: Your team may use in-house descriptions of product formats, including the product form, measurements, and other features, as a shortcut to assign many format values to a product in a single step.

If you would like your products to be described in those terms within the system and on your AIs, etc, set up in-house format descriptions.

Once in-house format descriptions have been set up, the product importer can assign new products to the description using the existing code.

An in-house format description will supersede a product form, and the ONIX product form assigned within the in-house format description will be what is sent out in ONIX.

In-house edition

  • Must be an existing in-house edition code

Notes: If you are using in-house format descriptions, in-house edition descriptions gather up the format descriptions into more general categories such as “Paperback” and “Hardback”.

If you have products that are roughly of the same format, but for different markets – geographical (US Edition), or sector (Library edition) — you can gather them under edition descriptions such as “For export” or “Hand sewn”.

The in-house edition description is used throughout the system when displaying products, to help distinguish products within the same work with the same title.

Once in-house edition descriptions have been set up, the product importer can assign new products to the description using the existing code.

Imprint code

Main Thema

Main BIC subject


  • Are included in ONIX to aid discoverability
  • MUST be separated by a semi-colon. No other separator is acceptable. For example: “murder; magic; suspense; romance; Gothic; strong female lead; doctors”
  • Are imported to the work level, because Amazon specifically requests keeping your keywords consistent across formats
  • Include at least three. There is an automated metadata check in place to ensure at least three keywords on each work, so the product importer requires more than one keyword.

See the keyword advice documentation for more details.

Audience codes

There are many kinds of audience codes, but the product importer only accepts the commonly-used ONIX list 28 audience codes (stemming from the ONIX audience type code 01).

  • Must be a valid ONIX audience code from List 28
  • Multiple codes from that list can be separated by a semi-colon, for example “07; 08; 09”

In-house classifications

There are four in-house classification categories that are displayed at the top of a work’s metadata page. Each is importable:

  • Type
  • Season
  • Project stage
  • Marketing tier

alt text

If you cannot see these fields, your team has chosen to turn it off for your system. Please raise a support ticket to reinstate it.

Each of the classifications can be enabled as a pre-defined client-specific limited set. If your system is set up that way, the values you import must match exactly the list you can see in the system (case-sensitive).

Otherwise, the import is free form, and a new classification type will be created, unless it matches exactly an existing one (case-sensitive).

Number of pages

  • Can be any positive number
  • Will populate approximate page count
  • If product form or in-house format is completed with a digital format, number of pages will also populate the in print counterpart field.
  • If a product form or in-house format is completed with a physical format, number of pages will also populate the main content field, which is important for print format ONIX and for marketing materials.

Note: these fields can be viewed and edited in a work’s metadata page, in the extents section. More specifics on extents can also be found in the help notes there.

Number of illustrations

  • Can be any positive number
  • Stored at the product level, to allow for differences in format. For example, when the printed book has the illustrations but the ebook does not.

Illustrations note

  • Can be any string, for example “16 Colour Plates” or “Index with approximately 800 entries”
  • Stored at the product level, to allow for differences in format. For example, when the printed book has the illustrations but the ebook does not.

Note: more granular control of this information is strongly encouraged, post-import. ONIX has codes for what it calls “ancillary content”, such as illustrations. For more specifics, please see our documentation on ancillary content.

  • Must be a number between 1000 and 3000
  • Stored at the work level
  • Free form text field, should include year and full list of owners
  • Stored at the work level

Copyright year and the list of copyright owners are sent in ONIX as a dedicated set of copyright elements, in addition to a copyright statement. The copyright statement is required only for complex situations in which the copyright cannot be expressed simply as a year and a list of owners.

For complex copyright situations, the importer will take a text description of the copyright, including the formal copyright statement of the year and copyright owners. e.g. (Copyright © 1998 XYZ Publishing Ltd, except for contributions by U.S. Government employees. The contents of Chapters 3 and 7 are Open Access under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License)

Language of text code

  • Must be a valid language code from ONIX list 74
  • Will be saved at work level
  • Will be categorised under language role code 01 from ONIX list 22

More complex language codes can be handled individually, within the system.

3. More product bulk upload options

Other product attributes are available to manage in bulk elsewhere in the system: