I’m going to be honest and admit that I don’t have a table of contents in my books, or at least I haven’t manually put one in. But, a fellow author got a notice from Amazon that some of you may have gotten:
Your book doesn’t have a Table of Contents. A table of contents provides readers with both easy navigation and improved visibility into the contents of the book. Please see https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A2BQILI6OJWLTC for help with creating and formatting a Table of Contents.
So, I thought this might be a good time to discuss HOW to make a table of contents using Word. (I assume other word processing programs are similar but I haven’t used them, so I don’t know.)
There are probably multiple ways to go about this, (for how to use headers, check out THIS POST) but here is what I did:
1. Since my chapters don’t have names, I just typed them up after all of the copyright info
2. Then I went through the book and made bookmarks at each chapter. To make a bookmark, place your cursor next to your chapter title/heading:
Then go to Insert> Bookmark
(this is what it looks like in Word 2010)
You’ll get a pop up box. Type in some identifying name that you can remember. Chapter1 or chapterone would be the easiest. Then click the Add button.
The box disappears. Repeat for all the chapters, including any prologues, afterwords, introductions, about the author sections, acknowledgements, etc.
When I was done, I went back to that Table of Contents I had added at the beginning and hyper-linked it.
To do that, highlight “Chapter One” then go to Insert>Hyperlink
OR Right Click and choose Hyperlink from the menu:
This will give you a pop up box. Choose the Bookmark button:
A second box will pop up. Choose the matching bookmark (aka Chapter One – chapter1) and click OK.
The second box will disappear and you’ll notice that in the address bar it now says #- whatever your bookmark is named. Technically, I suppose you could manually type your bookmark titles in there, but I always worry about a typo, so I go ahead and choose it from the list. Hit OK
Your text will now be hyperlinked:
Repeat for the remaining chapters.
But what if you’ve done all of this, uploaded it and got this response form Amazon?
The Table of Contents isn’t accessible from the “Go To” menu in your book.
Huh? What does this mean? It means that on the kindle, when a reader clicks the menu while in your book the Table of Contents is not showing up under the menu that says “Go to…” There is an easy way to fix this in word. Remember those bookmarks we just made? Go to your table of contents and put the cursor next to the heading, or next to the top entry if you don’t have a heading, and then make a bookmark named TOC:
click add and reupload to KDP .
Before you upload, be sure to click through your table of contents to make sure that each link goes where you want it to. It might take a couple of extra minutes, but it could save you a lot of frustration and embarrassment later on.
If this doesn’t work for you, try the other method, using headers.