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Norman D Gutter
03-26-2012, 09:19 AM
My first book with a TOC has been up a while. The TOC is messed up, everything not aligning. Given that's one of the first things a reader sees, I'm sure that's a turn off.

Tonight I formatted and uploaded another book (using the filtered html format), and took more time to prepare a simpler TOC, but including links via the Word bookmark and cross-reference feature. But checking the TOC and it's all messed up again on the preview window. I went ahead and completed the upload and the book will be for sale shortly.

How do you create a nicely formatted TOC for Kindle? I couldn't find any help through the Kindle menu system.

Thanks,
NDG

merrihiatt
03-26-2012, 09:34 AM
Here's a link to Amazon KDP's Table of Contents page. Amazon KDP TOC (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A2BQILI6OJWLTC) I've never included a TOC with my fiction books.

oaktree
03-28-2012, 05:23 PM
I have a TOC question as well.

I created my TOC in OpenOffice, and it seems to work fine. The problem is that the kindle does not seem to recognize it as a TOC... when you attempt to navigate to the TOC, that particular option is not available. I'm guessing I need to tag the TOC somehow so that the kindle knows what it is, but I can't figure out how.

James D. Macdonald
03-28-2012, 05:57 PM
I've used Smashwords' step-by-step process (in the Smashwords Style Guide (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52) (free download)) to create tables-of-contents, and they seem to work fine and look fine in Kindle. (e.g. Witch Garden and Other Stories (http://www.amazon.com/Witch-Garden-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B0056AE85M)).

Rather than my summarizing it here (it's a bit lengthy and complex), I'd just get a copy and follow it.

Generally speaking, if you follow Smashwords' guide, your Kindle book will turn out okay.

msfowle
03-28-2012, 06:11 PM
I have this same problem, therefore my books do not contain an active ToC inside the book itself. I followed this guide to format my ebook (because I can't read or edit html format or whatever it's called): http://cameronchapman.com/ebook-formatting-the-easy-way.htm
It says to use Words built-in ToC but it doesn't transfer over into Sigil. I suppose it's not a huge deal considering my book is a novella and only 4 chapters long, but if there's a better guide out there I'd love to see it.

James D. Macdonald
03-30-2012, 10:47 PM
No, you don't use Word's built-in TOC generator. That doesn't work. You use the Insert Bookmark and Insert Hyperlink features of Word.

What you do is:

Create a Table of Contents in ordinary text, formatted however you want to format it.

Bookmark (off the Insert tab on the ribbon) the words "Table of Contents" and call that bookmark ref_TOC

Go through your text and insert bookmarks on every chapter heading (or whatever it is you're bookmarking). Highlight just the words you want to bookmark. Don't cross lines or paragraphs. Call the Bookmarks with names that don't include spaces or any characters other that A-Z and 0-9 or underscores.

Go back to your table of contents and insert hyperlinks (again from the Insert tab in the Word ribbon) inside the document, from each of the Table of Contents lines to the appropriate bookmark.

Go back to each bookmarked place in the document, and hyperlink it back up to the Table of Contents (ref_TOC).

Save.

You're done.

Medievalist
03-30-2012, 10:53 PM
Alternatively you can completely control the appearance of your TOC if you hand code it using html internal anchors.

http://allisonkraft.blogspot.com/2011/07/epub-done-and-kindle-toc-tips.html

oaktree
04-03-2012, 01:24 AM
James,

Thanks so much for posting those instructions. They were much simpler than the others I've found. I do appreciate the help.

Norman D Gutter
06-11-2012, 06:19 PM
I'm rather late coming back to my own thread to see who replied and with what information. Thank you all.

Jim, it seems what I hadn't done was the last hyperlink back to the ref_TOC. I inserted bookmarks at the chapter heads, and inserted hyperlinks to the bookmarks in the TOC. But when I did that and uploaded to Kindle, the active links didn't show. They showed in my copies before uploading, but not after. It seems they were wiped out in the e-book building phase.

When I get home tonight and have the right files at the ready I'll try adding the hyperlinks back to the TOC and see if that does the trick.

NDG

Norman D Gutter
06-12-2012, 06:04 PM
Well, that didn't work. I followed your steps, Jim. I put book marks at the chapters, hyperlinks to those bookmarks in the TOC, bookmarked the words "Table of Contents", then added a hyperlink at each chapter back to the TOC. I uploaded that last night to Kindle, and it's already gone live. No hyperlinks show in the "look inside" on Amazon.

I don't really know what to do next. Shouldn't the hyperlinks show on the "look inside"? If anyone wants to see it, it's the last item in my signature.

Medievalist
06-12-2012, 11:33 PM
Did you see this (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245850) Norman?

A bunch of stuff on TOC issues.

Norman D Gutter
06-13-2012, 06:17 PM
Thanks, Medievalist. I'll look it over. I already looked at the TOC link. It deals with html, which I don't know. Some in the linked thread said what the writer proposed worked, some said it didn't. I guess I'm looking for a way to create a linked TOC in MS Word that doesn't somehow get washed out in converting to filtered html then to .prc. I'll look over the other links in that post.

Fins Left
06-13-2012, 11:09 PM
I just had your book open and the TOC -> Chapters worked.

Each chapter title is also live link that took me back to the TOC (found that a bit odd?).

I didn't look at it in preview, but that is how it is working in Kindle For PC

Norman D Gutter
06-14-2012, 06:39 PM
Fins:

I had a man on a Facebook author page I'm a member of fix it for me. I never have figured out why what I did didn't work. The link back from chapter title to TOC was suggested by Jim McDonald in another post in these forums.

Medievalist
06-14-2012, 10:06 PM
Fins:

I had a man on a Facebook author page I'm a member of fix it for me. I never have figured out why what I did didn't work. The link back from chapter title to TOC was suggested by Jim McDonald in another post in these forums.

It's pretty common in ebooks, especially if they're a collection of stories or essays.

kevinkliu
08-09-2013, 09:33 PM
Are people out there having problems with setting up TOC in MS Word or in other programs?

Let me know if you need help. Looking to build my experience formatting books!

Gale Haut
08-10-2013, 01:10 AM
Let me know if you need help. Looking to build my experience formatting books!

If you are hoping to charge people to format their ebooks, you should expand your expertise beyond MS Word.

There are lots of free resources for learning html and css, and many of them will hold your hand (http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/web) through it. Best of luck with your endeavors, friend. :D

Old Hack
08-10-2013, 01:58 AM
Are people out there having problems with setting up TOC in MS Word or in other programs?

Let me know if you need help. Looking to build my experience formatting books!

Kevin, you're welcome to have a link in your signature to your own website or blog, but please don't pimp for work here on AW. It's not appropriate, and will get you banned for spamming. Thanks.

kevinkliu
08-10-2013, 07:04 AM
Thanks, Gale/OldHack!

Medievalist
08-10-2013, 10:43 AM
Are people out there having problems with setting up TOC in MS Word or in other programs?

Let me know if you need help. Looking to build my experience formatting books!

Learn to hand-code HTML/XML and CSS. Otherwise, you're competing with InDesign and AppleScript, and you'll lose.

Laer Carroll
11-30-2013, 08:25 AM
For my first ebook for Amazon and B&N formats I did everything in HTML and CSS, because Iíve been using them since they were invented. But for later works I found a faster and more convenient way which still turns out a quality project.

Crucial to this way is to use Wordís Styles and Formatting feature. I created two custom headings, based on Heading 2 and Heading 3 styles. I also changed the defaults for font and the look of the font, and the amount of space over and under the text. When converted by Word to Web Page, Filtered they translate as HTML's H2 and H3 with the appropriate CSS formatting. I use these two styles for my Chapter and Section headings.

The generated code looks like this.


<h2 style="text-align: center; text-indent:0; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 14pt;">Chapter 1 - Return to the Moon</h2>
<h3 style="text-align: center; text-indent:0; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 14pt;">The Spaceplane</h3>
<h3 style="text-align: center; text-indent:0; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 14pt;">The Moon Base</h3>
Then I use Sigil (http://code.google.com/p/sigil/) (not Calibre, which has several technical problems which limit what I want to do). I add the several HTML files, one for each chapter, one for cover, and one for other elements like copyright, title page, dedications, and Also By Laer Carroll into Sigil. I click convert and in a few seconds I have an epub. This goes to B&N (and any other vendor who sells epub books).

Sigil automatically creates a ToC and a TOC.NCX file inside the epub. THEN I use Calibre (http://calibre-ebook.com/), to convert the epub to a mobi file for Amazon. Only if I want an explicit separate ToC which looks different from the default do I need to create a separate file and add it to all the other HTML files.

Bottom line: use automated tools to do all the routine work. This leaves us more time for the tasks which require judgment and esthetic sensibility.

girlyswot
11-30-2013, 04:31 PM
A couple of people near the top of the thread were saying that they don't bother with TOC for fiction.

PLEASE BOTHER.

Different readers will want to navigate your book in different ways. For me, when I'm re-reading or reviewing a book, I want to be able to skip easily between chapters, as well as click on a particular chapter in the TOC. An ebook without that function always strikes me as lazy and unprofessional.