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LucyPR
03-19-2015, 02:53 AM
Hi all,

I'm going through the headache that is formatting my story ready for self-publishing. It's very short at just over 5,000 words and so has no chapters. Do I still need a table of contents, and what should I include please? The only things I can really link to are the copyright page, the bio and the start of the story.

Thanks!

Lucy

RedWombat
03-19-2015, 03:23 AM
If it has no chapters, then it's less of an issue. Some readers really like a ToC, some don't care, so it's generally best to include them, but on a short story, I can't say I'd worry about it, myself.

J. Tanner
03-19-2015, 05:42 AM
Technically, it's required on Kindle, so it's better to create it yourself than let it be auto-created by their system.

For my short stories, I create my own HTML based around the process outline in Guido Henkel's guide, and then convert it to MOBI/EPUB in Calibre. The nice thing here is that I can make the TOC invisible during page turning, but accessible through the TOC button on the Kindle.

That may be possible using a Word DOC, but I wouldn't know how to do it, and see a lot of ugly TOCs when I Look Inside books that appear to be uploaded as a DOC.

My TOCs for shorts tend to be very simple like so:

Copyright Info
[STORY TITLE]
Author's Note

M. H. Lee
03-19-2015, 07:10 AM
I don't put tables of contents in my short stories and I upload a .doc file on Amazon. Just checked the Look Inside for one of them and they don't seem to insert one on me. So I have a page with title and author followed by a page break and then I start the story on the next page.

LucyPR
03-19-2015, 03:27 PM
Okay, I'm going to go with a short TOC but HOW ON EARTH do I make the cover clickable please?

I think I am over-thinking this whole thing, and it's giving me a headache.

J Tanner, what you do sounds fantastic, but it also sounds difficult!

WriterBN
03-19-2015, 07:45 PM
Strictly speaking, you need a TOC and NCX file to comply with accessibility standards, but it depends on which epub version you're using. The epub3 guidelines may help:
http://www.idpf.org/accessibility/guidelines/content/nav/toc.php

ETA: Sigil (http://sigil-ebook.com/about/) makes this process very painless.

J. Tanner
03-20-2015, 03:00 AM
J Tanner, what you do sounds fantastic, but it also sounds difficult!

It's a bigger learning curve than uploading a DOC for sure, but it's less difficult than figuring out what went wrong with your DOC if/when someone notices something weird in your ebook file like missing indents, the story being in all italics for the second half of the story, the font changing to Courier 6 point for a few paragraphs, ragged right edges rather than the reader's desired justification, and so on. (And those are all things I've seen myself in other's books--I've heard of many more oddities.)

LJD
03-20-2015, 03:12 AM
I don't self-publish, but I regularly make epubs of my work to read on my e-reader using Calibre. I put in an .rtf with the headings marked as "Heading 1" in Word, and the TOC turns out fine. The TOC is not its own page, but comes up if you click on the TOC button. Just saying, as I find this method pretty straightforward.

J. Tanner
03-20-2015, 03:26 AM
I don't put tables of contents in my short stories and I upload a .doc file on Amazon. Just checked the Look Inside for one of them and they don't seem to insert one on me. So I have a page with title and author followed by a page break and then I start the story on the next page.

I checked your Darwin freebie real quick in Cloud Reader and, as you mentioned, it doesn't have a manually created one, nor did it auto-create a hidden one in the NCX as I thought it would. The TOC option is just grayed out in Reader. It seems just like what was allowed back in the pre-2013 time period when the TOC requirement (supposedly) began.

So maybe they aren't actually enforcing the "must have TOC" rule at this time or their really isn't any such rule despite the various online discussions about it.

Laer Carroll
03-23-2015, 01:57 AM
As WriterBN says, Sigil makes creating the TOC very easy. It also lets you decide whether to put it at the first of the book or at the last.

Sigil also makes other jobs such as the conversion from HTML to .epub easy. Then you can use Calibre to create the Kindle version.

For my first ebook I used the Amz utilities to create the book. But I found their tools limited & hard to use. That's when I discovered Sigil.

http://download.cnet.com/Sigil/3000-2351_4-75332057.html