Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Linked Table of Contents

Every single time somebody brings up hyperlinking their table of contents in their ebook, my eyes glaze over and I move on to something more interesting.  I have no clue about html, no clue about much really!  I'm a total coward when I see people rattle on about something that makes no sense to me but I decided to finally bite the bullet and at least try to do it.  I followed two completely different sets of intructions, one intended for Kindle, one for Smashwords.  Both were pretty simple once I stopped staring blankly at the screen and attempted to follow the tips.  I've reuploaded books to both Kindle and Smashwords.  Smashwords have approved them for the Premium Catalog so I assume I've done something right but I've no idea how to check it for sure.  I don't have a Kindle but I'm hoping the pc version of the sample will let me know whether or not the linked table of contents works as it is supposed to.  I figure someone will complain if I messed it up completely.  If anyone knows how to test it out accurately then please let me know.

The reason why a working linked table of contents is important is mainly down to the reader's convenience.  On a book of short stories, they can simply click on the name of the story in the index and hey presto, it appears.  It's pretty useful in non-fiction, particularly when looking for specific information but it's handy for fiction too.  Anything that improves an ebook is fine with me.  A lot of people (like me) are too intimidated to try it because it sounds complicated but it really isn't if you follow some clear direct instructions.  I'm going to find links to the sources I followed and try and simplify it further.  Hopefully it will help give somebody the courage to try it. 

Warning:  the instructions I followed for hyperlinking the index for Kindle (slightly outdated) involves html in a very slight way, it is not complicated but that method does not work for Smashwords.  Smashwords will reject it.  I'll write up the Smashwords one in a separate post so it doesn't get too confusing.

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