A Grindable, Clickable eBook Table of Contents

There’s been a lot of confusion and debate over how to create a table of contents in an eBook that will survive KDP and Smashwords conversions. Some say you have to do it all manually, and some say you can use MS Word automation. Lynne Cantwell wrote a post about the manual method, and Dick Waters just recently wrote about a more sophisticated style.

Personally, I go with a completely manual method, because I run all my eBooks through MobiPocket Creator and convert them to a prc before I upload to KDP – and that will for certain strip out any coding MS Word has graciously conjured up. The lovely Laura Clark (author LB Clark) showed me how to do this way back in 2011 when I self-published my first collection of short works with fellow author Newton Love. (The prc method was one of the ways KDP recommended for conversion back in 2011 – but you don’t have to do it this way. It’s just my method of choice because it’s what I’m used to.)

You can use this table of contents method on an existing document or a new document, that’s not a gating factor. I usually do it in an “assembly line” fashion, as that’s faster, but I’m going to do it one “chapter” at a time so the sequence is clear. Continue reading “A Grindable, Clickable eBook Table of Contents”

Building a Multi-Layer Table of Contents in MS Word

I needed to put a Table of Contents (TOC) into an existing Word document for my latest book, which is a collection of flash fiction (2013 Flash Fiction Anthology). My plan was to publish on Amazon in eBook format containing a TOC with hyperlinks to each story prompt and actual story.

However, I had a problem building the TOC. Then I used ‘help’ feature in Word without any success. Finally, I referred to some articles on the subject and still wasn’t successful. I finally worked through it, and thought others might be able to benefit from a post on my approach.

I’m sure those familiar with building a TOC will get a chuckle out of this post, but my approach does work. Continue reading “Building a Multi-Layer Table of Contents in MS Word”

Building an Active Table of Contents

A discussion started here Tuesday on K.S. Brooks’ post about common formatting mistakes in print books about whether a novel needs a table of contents. I like a healthy discussion, but I like facts better. So I did a web search to try to find out whether Amazon requires a ToC in every Kindle book.

The answer is no.* The KDP Publishing Guide mentions ToCs in two places. It says here that an active ToC is recommended, and here it says that an active ToC is “highly recommended.” In neither spot does it say that a ToC is required. Even Amazon’s official Kindle Publishing Guidelines pdf (which gets very granular – CSS, anyone?) uses the word “recommended,” not “required,” when talking about ToCs. Continue reading “Building an Active Table of Contents”

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