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Friday, November 25, 2011

How to Add a Table of Contents to Your E-Books

One of the most important pieces of advice an internet marketer can get is to write an e-Book. The next important piece of advice is to make it a real e-Book not a report pretending to be an e-Book. There are a number of distinguishing differences. Not the least of which is their relative ability to convince the reader that you are an expert in your field.

One of the big differences between reports and proper e-Book is a simple little list. I'm referring, of course, to the table of contents. Reports seldom have tables of contents while e-Book inevitably are long enough to justify their use.

Unfortunately, many writers are frightened by the difficulty of creating a table of contents. Frankly, there is no reason to be frightened any longer. Virtually all word processing software including Word 2010 makes it easy to add a table of contents easily and quickly.

The basic process consists of five steps:

1. Place cursor

2. Insert Bookmark

3. Insert Table of Content

4. Add your Headings

5. Rebuild the Table of Contents

I know it sounds silly. But it really does begin by choosing where you will put your table of contents. When writing for the Kindle (or most e-Book), you'll want to start the Table of Contents on a new page. For a typical book, you're going to want to place the Table of Contents as the last pages of the pre-book. The pre-book are those pages that are found before the start of the book itself. Typically, this includes the title page, the copyright statement and the acknowledgements pages. However, this is only the normal way of doing things. There is no rule stating you have to do it this way. So start by locating your cursor at the point at which you want the Table of Contents to start.

The Kindle and most other eReaders are able to jump to different pages. One of those standard pages is the Table of Contents. So start by placing a bookmark just prior to where you want your table. To do this go to the "Insert" tab and select the "Bookmark" icon. You'll be presented with a window. Type "TOC" into the entry line and then select the "ADD" button. The window will close and you will have created a bookmark.

Now it's time to create the actual Table of Contents. Go to the "References" tab. Select the "Table of Contents" icon. You will be presented with a menu. The menu consists of a series of table format choices, a "more tables" choice and an "insert table" choice. It's time to decide how you will format your table.

If one of the existing tables is perfect for you, the process is very easy. Simply click on the choice and you'll insert the appropriate "Table of Contents".

If you would like to select another type of table, you can choose the choices entry. Place your cursor over the entry. Your choices will appear or a "No Online Content Available" message will appear.

Your final choice is to create the table manually. This is done by selecting the "Insert Table of Contents" choice. This will display a window displaying a preview of the table and a series of choices. The main choices to be aware of is the "Formats" and the "Options" and "Modify" buttons. The "Formats" drop down allows you to select a pre-formatted Table of Contents. The "Options" button displays another window. This allows you to identify which header styles to include in the table. The "Modify" button displays yet another window. This allows you to modify the format of each line in the table.

At this point, you actually have the table created. All you need to do is populate it. To do that you begin by inserting a page break. Type your headings and details. Whenever you use the "Heading 1", "Heading 2" or "Heading 3" styles, you will automatically add that line to your Table of Contents. Unless you've used the "Options" button to change the styles, of course.

When you've finished writing your eBook you will have a complete Table of Contents at the appropriate point in your eBook. All that remains is to be sure that it is up to date. You do this by right clicking on the first line of the table. You'll be presented with a menu of choices. Select the "Update Fields" choice. You will be presented with a window giving you a choice of updating the page numbers or the whole table.

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