Chapter 4: Creating the Contents Page

Creating a Contents page is important for making files accessible to Kindle readers. Since there are no page numbers in an ebook file, making chapters and sections accessible to readers via the Contents page will keep your content organized.

Now we’ll be using Microsoft Word’s Bookmark and Hyperlink features to create tags for the chapter and section titles. Then we will use those bookmarks to link the chapters themselves to the Contents page.

First, you should create a Contents page, if you haven’t done so already (remember to use the Page Break feature to create a separate page for the Contents page). List every section or chapter in your book in sequential order. Make sure that you have assigned a style for this listing of chapters or sections, which will govern how it shows up on a Kindle reader.

You need to go through every section and tag the chapter headings. To do this, go to the first chapter heading in your book and highlight the entire thing.

Under the Insert tab at the top of your window, select Bookmark under the Links section. When the new dialogue box opens, name your chapter. Make it simple; in the example shown, I label it “Chapter_One.” I will use this later to achor this portion of the book to the Contents page. It means that the link to chapter one will link to its contents. Repeat this process for each section of your book.

IMPORTANT: Do not use spaces in the name designation for your bookmarks. Instead, use a hypen (-) or an underscore (_) to make separations. Oftentimes, Microsoft Word does not recognize names with spaces when it comes to chapter order. It can also create problems on the coding side (when HTML writes the code for your web-based ebook), creating bad links.


Once you’ve completed this, you will have a long list of all the various sections in your book. Now, we’re going to go to our Contents page, with the chapter and section headings already listed. We’re going to link the chapter/section names that appear there with the bookmarks we just created. That way your readers will be able to jump to specific sections with ease.

Highlight the name of the first chapter that appears in your Contents list. Right click on the selection, and then select “Hyperlink.” In the dialogue box that opens, select “Bookmark.” Then locate the bookmark tag you created for that specific chapter.

In the example I have created here, I select the tag “Chapter_One” for the first chapter in the Contents list. Then click Ok. Continue this process for all the items in your contents list.

The last thing we need to do is link the chapters themselves to the Contents page. That way, if the reader clicks a chapter title, it will return them to the Contents page. To do this, we are going to test our links to each chapter to make sure they link up properly. In the process, we will link the chapter titles to the Contents page.

The first thing we need to do is create a bookmark for the Contents page. Highlight the word “Contents” on your page and then create a bookmark, just as you did with the chapter/section titles. Now we can go through the process of checking the links to chapter or section files.

Click on the first link in our list (you may have to press Control and then click the link for it to work, depending on your version of Microsoft Word). It should take you to the first section of your book. If it does not, you will need to edit your link on the Contents page. Now highlight the chapter or section name. Right click on the selection, and then select Hyperlink. Then go to Bookmarks and choose the tag you created for the Contents page.

Chapter 5: Publishing Your Title to Kindle

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