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Kindle Publishing Guidelines
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Guidelines for Specific Types of eBooks
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HTML Table of Contents Guidelines
HTML ToC best practices:
- The entries in the ToC must be HTML links so that users can click to go to a specific location. A table of contents that is not made of links is not useful on Kindle.
- Do not create a ToC using HTML
<table>tags. Tables are for tabular data only, not for layout.
- Do not use page numbers in the ToC. Kindle books do not always map directly to page numbers in physical editions of the book.
- If you are importing the document from Word, use the "Heading" styles and the "Table of Contents" feature of Microsoft Word. The ToC created by Word will be imported correctly and will convert to a ToC that follows these guidelines.
- For bundled editions containing more than one individual book, include an overarching ToC at the beginning of the file.
- If your ToC includes a List of Maps or Illustrations, provide an HTML link to each map or illustration.
Using a Nested HTML ToC
To create useful and navigable nested ToC entries, Amazon recommends using the following syntax in the HTML ToC. The examples below show two ways of writing the same sample code: style attributes and CSS classes.
Using style attributes:
Using CSS classes:
Logical ToCs are generated using toc nav elements or a navigational control file for XML application (NCX). Creating a logical ToC exposes the hierarchical structure of a Kindle book and allows the user to navigate through it using the Kindle menu. The inclusion of a logical ToC is especially important for books that are longer than 20 pages.
In logical ToC-enabled books, users can see where they are in the book because the part, chapter, or section is exposed. This progress indicator also shows relative progress through the book.
Creating a Logical ToC Using a toc nav Element
Creating a toc nav element provides both a logical ToC and an HTML ToC. The toc nav element should be a separate HTML document from the HTML ToC.
The example above defines the following ToC hierarchy:
THE HOUSES, 1969
ROCK AND ROLL, 1962
THE EMPRESS, 1928–1947
This excerpt from the OPF (publication header file) shows how to declare the
toc nav element in the
Using it in the
<spine> is optional if it will be used as the HTML ToC.
Creating a Logical ToC Using NCX
The NCX example above defines the following ToC hierarchy:
THE HOUSES, 1969
ROCK AND ROLL, 1962
THE EMPRESS, 1928–1947
Amazon requires that the NCX elements follow the same order as the book. (For example, the link for Chapter 2 should not precede the link for Chapter 1.) This excerpt from the OPF (publication header file) shows how to add an NCX table of contents to a book.
Declare the NCX in the <manifest>:
And reference it in the
Guide items are an optional feature in the EPUB format but are highly recommended. Kindle provides support for the cover, ToC, and start reading location ("Go to Beginning") guide items. You can define guide items for the cover and ToC as described in the following section, Defining Cover and ToC. The start reading location is defined by Amazon. If you choose not to include guide items for the cover and ToC, these list items will still appear in the Kindle menus, but will be grayed out and not selectable.
Defining Cover and ToC
Kindle supports both
landmarks nav elements and guide items for defining the cover and table of contents (ToC). These elements serve to supplement the ToC and should not be used in place of one.
The landmarks nav elements are part of the IDPF 3.0 specification and are described at: http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-contentdocs-20111011.html#sec-xhtml-nav-def-model and http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-contentdocs-20111011.html#sec-xhtml-nav-def-types-landmarks.
Here is an example of a guide item for a ToC (underlined elements are mandatory):
Here is an example of a
landmarks nav element for a ToC (underlined elements are mandatory):