When I first started publishing my e-books, I was new to the wonderful world of e-books my brand spanking new Kindle was about to open up to me. Three years later, having read countless e-books, I’m now a seasoned e-book reader. With this in mind, I was thinking back to when I was first going through KDP’s (Kindle Direct Publishing) instructions on how to properly format and construct an e-book for publication. They were very insistent that my novel have a table of contents with imbedded links to each chapter head.
Three years later I can tell you this table of contents is completely unnecessary. I have never used a table of contents in any fiction e-book. No, not even once. When I think about all the trouble I went through setting my first one up, I could scream!
Why do they insist on them?
I have no idea. Maybe to keep an e-book looking as close to a paper novel as possible. If that’s the case, they need to wake up and smell the coffee. A paper book is not an e-book.
I see other authors putting Table of Contents in their books as well. As a writer who knows what it takes to pull a professional looking e-book together, whenever I open a new book, I back scroll from page one – chapter one, to the front cover. If you read on a Kindle as well, you know when you open a book for the first time, it skips the sacred Table of Contents and places you on page one. Being as I like the experience, I like to start from the front cover and work my way to page one, so I see all those useless TOC (okay, I’m abbreviating it now)
So I ask … if the TOC is so sacred, why does my Kindle not open a book on it instead of page one?
I’ve come to the conclusion that going forward I’m no longer going to include a TOC in my e-book editions. What’s the point?
So, I’m curious … does anyone else have an opinion on the inclusion of a TOC in a fiction e-book?
Jennifer Geoghan, author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.
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