There Isn't Just One Table of Contents in an eBook

There are two different types of Tables of Content.  We know this is confusing, but stick with it a moment.

  • The first type is the kind you are used to seeing in print books.  It lists the chapter on the left and a page number on the right.  We call this the “inline" or “HTML” TOC, TOC meaning “Table of Contents.” 
  • The second kind is actually usually invisible to the naked human eye.  It's a navigation aid for the device--it tells the device where each chapter or section or piece of content is, what order it goes it, and where it exists in the hierarchy of the book.  This is called the "NCX."  If you've been researching ebooks for a while, you've probably seen tons of questions about "how do I make an NCX?" from folks who are uploading Word files and trying to make those work.  

We make both kinds of TOCs for Amazon.  Amazon requires it.  Users access the first type of TOC by clicking the Kindle device and clicking or tapping “Go to-->Table of Contents.”  In this type of TOC, we create links from the Table to the respective chapters.  When a reader clicks “Chapter 1,” the reader is taken right to Chapter 1.  This is how that type of Table of Contents works.  


The traditional type of TOC, in a Kindle Book.
The traditional type of TOC, in a Kindle Book.


The normally invisible kind of TOC, that guides the device, on a Kindle book.
The normally invisible kind of TOC, that guides the device, on a Kindle book.


As we said earlier, the second kind is called a “toc.ncx.”  It’s a TOC that is actually not typed on a page.  It is invisible inside the ePUB book. However, when a user opens the ePUB book, they can see the full Table of Contents, always available, on the left-hand side, in a reader like ADE (Adobe Digital Editions, pictured below).  In some readers, like the Nook, they tap an icon and the table pops up, ready to be used to navigate wherever the reader wants to go.  



An ePUB displaying the invisible TOC NCX.
An ePUB displaying the invisible TOC NCX.


At Booknook, we make both kinds and put both in every ebook, so that your readers can use whatever type of TOC they prefer.  This meets Amazon's standards, Nook's and Apple's iBooks, as well as others.  



Phone Call Alert! 

(Please read, thanks.) 

Old Timey Switchboard Operator Cartoon


Due to the COVID-19 onslaught, we currently cannot take incoming phone calls.  

And since nobody reads anything, I've simply removed the phone number from the site.  

A notification about phone calls:  due to the COVID-19 plague, we've significantly increased our incoming inquiries--nearly double our usual volume--and the number of incoming inquiries by phone has been literally overwhelming.  Although most writers will say that their call "will only take 15 minutes," the truth is, that after 10 years of doing this, most author inquiry calls take an hour.  45 minutes at best. I'm currently receiving 7-10 calls/day, and due to that, I've had to stop accepting incoming phone calls, which my voicemail will tell you. You can leave a message--I can't call you back without one--and if a call is needed, I will of course call you.  But we have very complete and extensive email replies, handouts and our website is very informative. Almost all the questions that I receive during a call are actually already answered on our site, or are, in fact, publishing questions, not questions about our services, what we do, what we offer, or the like.  I already handle between 90-130 emails/day, as it is. I can't handle that many emails and take 7-10 hours of calls each day. I can't. So, in order to be able to answer this huge email volume, to help the greatest number of people, with my time, I've had to stop accepting calls.  I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I'm in the process of setting up a call-appointment function, for free 15-minute calls to answer questions from new prospective customers and longer paid sessions for folks who generally want consulting on "publishing," generally (and for prospective kids' book publishers, as a special category of paid consulting).  But that functionality isn't yet set up. I hope to get that working the 3rd week of July, sometime.  

Thank you for your understanding.