Recently, Amazon began insisting on a Table of Contents for their books. They don't want just any table of contents, they want one that registers with the Kindle devices.
It's taken me two years to figure out how to do this, largely because I figured out a different system that worked well enough.
Note: This tutorial is on how to make a working Table of Contents starting with Microsoft Word. There are other ways of making it if you use other programs. Also, if you are an expert at html, then I'd recommend using Sigil or some other way of editing your html document. You'll probably get a much cleaner file.
However, if you're a self-taught self publisher like me who doesn't wish to break their brain, I'm making this about as simple as possible. :)
This is not how you do it with Smashwords. They primarily take Word documents and they don't want Microsoft Word's pregenerated Table of Contents. If you want to make one for them, I recommend using this tutorial: http://ryallon.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-make-clickable-table-of-contents.html
Table of Contents in Microsoft Word.
Note: I'm using Word 2010.
Okay, so the first thing you need to learn about is heading styles in Microsoft Word. You need these to get the rest of it to work. I'm going to show you how to add heading styles to your Title and Chapters. If you already know how to do this and have it in your file, you can skip to the next section. :)
2. Okay, so I have "Beginning" and "Author Notes" under Heading 2 style. Now lets add the Table of contents. If you go to your "References" tab, there's a section to create a Table of Contents. Click on that and go to "Insert Table of Contents" near the bottom. (Image 2)
3. In this next image, there's a lot going on. At the bottom left, you'll see "Show levels:". I only use 2 levels. If you have a reason to use more do so, otherwise, switch it to 2. We'll come back here in a minute. For now, click on "Modify". (Image 3)
4. This opens up the different styles for your Table of Contents. You can check them each out, or you can click on "Modify" in the style box to modify the style of your selection. In this one, you can center your table of contents, change the font, make it bold or many other things. If you click "Format" at the bottom left corner, you can change the paragraph stylings, such as indentation and spacing before and after lines. (Image 4)
5. Next, you want to click on "Options" (Image 3). This will bring up "Table of Contents Options." Here, I get rid of the "1" in Heading 1. You don't want the Title in your table of Contents . . . unless you do, in which case you can leave it.
6. Okay, once you have everything set to the way you want it, click okay and go back to the Table of Contents (Image 3) and uncheck "Show page numbers". Ebooks don't have page numbers, so you don't want them in there. You do, however, want to make certain that the box on the right "Use hyperlinks instead of page numbers" is checked. Click "OK" and you will have this: (Image 6)
7. You'll find that if you hover over "Beginning" or "Author's Notes", you'll be able to ctrl-click to each section. If you have chapters instead of "Beginning", they'll all be there. On the line above that, I manually type in "Table of Contents".
8. Next, you want to save your document as "Web Page Filtered". (Image 7)
9. Now you want to go to the html version of your document and open it with notepad to edit it. You'll get a page like this: (Image 8)
10. The thing you want to add here is <a name="toc"></a> (You can just copy and paste that) before the line with Table of contents. (Image 9). You can do a ctrl-f to find the words. What this does, is it tells the next program, and Amazon that this is where the Table of Contents is. After you've done that, you want to save the file.
Mobipocket http://www.mobipocket.com/en/downloadsoft/productdetailscreator.asp is the tool I use to convert the html file into an ebook that I can upload to Amazon.
11. Open up Mobipocket and you'll get a screen that looks like this (Image 10) Go to the section that says "Import from Existing file". Choose "HTML document". That will lead you to a page where you add your document. In the section that says "Choose your file" click "Browse" and find the html version of your book. Once you've selected it, click "Import".
12. Next you want to add a cover image. Click on "Cover Image" and add the file (Image 11) Then update.
17. Upload that file to Amazon and hopefully sell lots of books. :)
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, you can leave them in a comment and I'll do my best to answer.
All my best,
John H. Carroll