Amazon requires that Kindle books contain anchors to allow the user to jump to the start of the file and/or to the Table of Contents.
To understand this requirement, it is necessary to think, for a moment, about the design and features of the Kindle reading device.
Below is an ad for the Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation)
As you can see by the illustration, a small Menu Button is at the lower left edge of the device.
The Menu Button is a tiny rocker switch. Push up (Menu) displays a Menu on the Kindle screen, while push down (Back), takes the user back to his previous activity.
Exactly “what” is displayed on the screen when the user pushes Menu, depends on exactly what he was doing before he pushed the Menu button.
We are interested in what is displayed on the Kindle screen if the user presses Menu while he is reading a book.
Several items are displayed, but right now, we are interested in only these two:
Table of Contents
Go to Beginning
These are navigation points that enable the Kindle to jump to the “Table of Contents" or to the "Beginning" of your book, when those items are selected by the Kindle user.
But, you may ask… how does the Kindle know where to jump?
It doesn’t, until we insert anchors in the text to tell the Kindle where to find the Table of Contents and the Beginning of the file.
We Insert these anchors in Ms Word with Menu|Insert|Bookmark.
But, before we start, let’s talk for a moment about where we want to put our Table of Contents and our Beginning.
That’s easy, you might say… both go at the beginning if the book.
You’d be right most of the time, but the Kindle gives us an ability that we don’t have with print books:
With the Kindle, we have the ability to go past the front matter… title pages, notes, dedications, even Table of Contents, and let the user jump to the first page of actual reading material.
That’s entirely up to you… you can put your Beginning any where you want it.
The same is true of the Table of Contents. Since the user can jump to it, you can put the Table of Contents anywhere you want to put it.
Why would you put the Table of Contents anywhere except at the beginning of the book?
Remember that Amazon allows a prospective buyer to download a Sample of a Kindle book to test read before buying it.
The sample consists of some portion of the first pages of your book, and, if that portion is occupied by the Table of Contents, it might not be very helpful.
You might want to move the Table of Contents so more of the text gets in the sample to give the prospective buyer a better idea of your book.
That was a decision you made back when you built your Table of Contents, but you can change it if you want to… just go back and follow the instructions to put it where you want it.
Now… with your Table of Contents displayed on your computer screen, use care to place your anchor in exactly the right place.
You want it just *before* the Title that defines your Table of Contents.
If you have assigned a Header
If you place your anchor *after* the Title, it will display the first page of the Table of Contents, but leave the Title on the previous page.
Okay, here we go:
Find the title of your Table of Contents, and click your cursor just before the letter "T".
I've placed square brackets there to indicate where you should click your cursor.
Table of Contents
Now, from the Word Menu at the top of your screen, select:
(I should mention here, that this box may already contain information that you find confusing; if so, just ignore it and enter your own Bookmarks as below.)
When the Bookmark box appears, name your anchor... type toc, then click Add.
You may or may not be able to see the anchor, as a faint blinking symbol, depending on your screen settings.
Now, add an anchor to define the Beginning of your book.
Find the place you want to name as the beginning of your book.
Remember, this doesn't have to be the actual beginning of the book... it is the place that you have decided is the best place for the user to start reading the book.
Click your cursor just *before* the first paragraph or title of the page.
If you want your reader to be able to jump to Chapter One, click your cursor where I have placed square brackets below:
Then, from the Word Menu at the top of your screen, select:
When the Bookmark box appears, name your anchor... type "start" for the beginning of your file, then click Add.
In each case, "start" and "toc", be sure to type those exact words.
Notice that there is a "Go to" selection in the Bookmark box. Use it to test to be sure you have put your bookmarks (anchors) in the right spots.
Although as you will see later, some devices use other "jump to" features, these are the only ones that the Kindle will use, and Amazon recommends that we not place anchors, as it will likely confuse the reader.
When we go to MobiPocket Creator to build our book to be published, we will use the "Guide" feature to tell it about these bookmarks.
You will find how to do it, here:
Add Guide Items to Link Table of Contents and Go to Beginning