It’s almost midnight but I finally did it! Vokhtah now has a proper Table of Contents right at the front – and you don’t have to use the awkward Kindle Go-to function to see it or use it. 😀
To explain why this is making me so happy I have to backtrack a little to a comment Metan made last week about moving the Vokhtan dictionary to the front so people could see it.
Given the extreme ‘otherness’ issues of Vokhtah, and the fact that so much is explained in the dictionary, I finally pulled my finger out and re-arranged the layout to have the dictionary right at the front.
Unfortunately, when I transferred the new file to my Kindle so I could check it out, I discovered to my horror that the dictionary went on for pages and pages – literally about 20 odd. Sci-fi or not, I couldn’t see people patiently paging through so much just to get to the start of the actual story. 😦
That was when I realised the problem was not so much that the dictionary was at the back, but that no one knew it was there.
My next experiment was to type up a manual Table of Contents showing the dictionary, and insert it into the book. I put the new page at the front, where it would be nice and visible. It looked good, but was like a politician’s promise – not worth the pixels it was written in because it had no functionality. To look something up in the dictionary you still had to get to the end of the book, or fiddle with the Kindle Go-to function.
By this point I was literally pulling chunks of hair out. In desperation I emailed the wonderful Mark Fassett [the developer of StoryBox, the writing software I use].
Was there someway of setting up a clickable Table of Contents in the actual ebook, I asked.
[toc] Mark replied. He actually said a few more things as well, but the nub of it was that lovely little command.
Of course my implementation managed to screw things up the first time around, but now I know how to do it – and it works like an absolute dream! Ta dah!
What you see in that pic is an actual page of the book. It’s not the Go-to function. Each chapter heading is a link that will take you straight to the relevant chapter. I wish I’d known how to do this back when I first published Vokhtah. Oh well…
And now, in case there are other StoryBox users out there wanting to do the same thing, this is what I did :
Step 1 Add a new document [not chapter or scene] to your story.
Step 2 Move that document to the exact position where you want the Table of Contents to appear.
Step 3 Type [toc] in the new document.
Step 4 In the Properties pane, be sure to tick the boxes for ‘Include in Manuscript’ and ‘Page Break before’.
Step 5 Select Export, make sure the output format is set to mobi, and be sure to untick the box that says ‘Start at first text’.
And that’s it, except for one more little thing. If, like me, you use Calibre to convert your mobi file to Kindle format, do NOT mess with any of the Calibre settings for Table of Contents. That was my big mistake. I messed. None of those settings are needed because that lovely, wonderful [toc] command has already done all the work.
StoryBox truly is an amazing writing tool. I’ve loved it all along, but today I’m just in awe of how powerful it is. If you write, and you’re an indie, then you need StoryBox. I’m serious.
Good night all!