There was some discussion of it on here in 2010, but it talked about problems with bugs in the earlier Kindle software which, presumably, have changed since then.
How do I pick which page my book opens on? The earlier discussions talked about inserting a line of HTML code someplace, but I'm not sure if that's still current or accurate.
There is no way to force it unfortunately. You can attempt a "start" code but in recent years it does not seem to do much of anything to set the start reading location. Amazon sets the location automatically as part of their end publishing workflow.
You can't set a start page for when someone first opens your ebook. That is set by the on-board Kindle software of the Kindle device.
But you can set a Begin Read page link if someone has already opened your ebook. Here I'm referring to the Go To Menu in Kindles where you can just click on the Go To Menu > Beginning link to go to the start read position that you have already set in your ebook. The way to set this particular begin read point is to put a bookmark in your preferred section or chapter heading as your start read point. The bookmark should be named "text" for it to be properly recognized and processed as the begin read point on Kindles.
Why not try my free Sigil plugins now available on MobileRead?
OpenDocHTMLImport - converts ODT HTML(Writer) docs directly to epub.
GoogleZipImport - converts Google Doc HTML directly to epub format.
CustomCleanerPlus - an epub-specific custom cleaner for both html docs and epubs
Amazon sets the location automatically as part of their end publishing workflow.
And Amazon sometimes sets it at the wrong place, ignoring foreword, prologue, all that perhaps essential stuff.
It scarcely matters. The reader will find the start, especially if like me he always pages back to the true beginning of the book, which is the cover image. Only an idiot would open a book at page one, chapter one, which is where Amazon wants the start.
I find that the best route is never to set the SRL. If I do that (or don't do that), then 75 percent of the time the Look Inside the Book sample on the Amazon store will start with the cover, then the title page, then the TOC, and only then page one chapter one. Each of those three introductory glimpse are a golden opportunity to sell the book to the shopper. Wow, great cover! Yeah, dignified title page. YES! exciting chapter titles -- I'm ready to buy!
(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)
I find that the best route is never to set the SRL. If I do that (or don't do that), then 75 percent of the time the Look Inside the Book sample on the Amazon store will start with the cover...
That seems to confirm my experience; more like 90%, in fact. It's the random 10% that mystifies me, especially when I haven't made any changes in my ePub workflow.