How can I make chapter links in my Kindle book?

In putting together the Doctor Who book, I’ve used proper heading styles rather than manually bolding and resizing the headings of the various sections. By using Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3 styles, I’m then able to automatically generate a table of contents (which I’ll append below as a taster).

doctor-who-thirteen-doctors

I assumed that Amazon’s .doc-to-Kindle conversion process would be smart enough to recognise this auto-generated table of contents for what it is, and make the TOC entries links to their chapters. And I assumed that the headings would be recognised as marking the start of sections, so that the Kindle’s Left and Right buttons would skip back and forward in whole chapters, like they do in most Kindle books I’ve read.

But neither of those things is happening in my Kindle edition.

Does anyone know what else I have to do to enable links in the table of contents and chapter-skipping?

Here is the promised table of contents. The page numbers are for the manuscript, which is 12-point Times on A4 pages, so I imagine the printed book (in a small format, allowing half as many words on each page) will be about twice as many pages.  So on the order of 350 pages in all.

  • About this book — 5
  • Introduction: warming up to Matt Smith — 6
      • Christopher Eccleston — 6
      • David Tennant — 7
      • Matt Smith … finally — 8
    • Ages of Doctor Who actors on their debuts — 9
      • What does it all mean? — 11
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 11
  • Series 5 — 12
    • 5.1. The Eleventh Hour — 13
      • The new Doctor — 13
      • The new companion — 13
      • The new showrunner — 14
      • The actual episode — 15
      • A little bit of actual insight to round things off — 16
    • 5.2. The Beast Below — 17
      • 2:16pm — zero minus four hours — 17
      • 3:42pm — zero minus two and a half hours — 17
      • 8:03pm — first impressions — 17
      • The 11th Doctor reminds me of the Doctor — 18
      • The 11th Doctor doesn’t remind me of the 10th Doctor — 18
      • Steven Moffat’s script reminds me of a Steven Moffat script — 18
      • Steven Moffat’s script reminds me of a Russell T. Davies script — 18
      • Not that it was perfect or anything — 19
      • So, actually, it was pretty close to perfect after all? — 19
    • 5.3. Victory of the Daleks — 20
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 21
    • Oh, and by the way … — 23
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 23
    • 5.4. The Time of Angels — 24
      • 12:12pm — zero minus six hours — 24
      • 8:53pm — Intrigued, impressed and a little confused — 25
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 26
    • 5.5. Flesh and Stone — 28
      • Half-term report — 29
    • 5.6. The Vampires of Venice — 30
    • 5.7. Amy’s Choice — 33
    • 5.8. The Hungry Earth — 35
    • 5.9. Cold Blood — 38
    • 5.10. Vincent and the Doctor — 41
      • References — 44
    • 5.11. The Lodger — 45
    • What’s in the box? — 47
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 50
    • 5.12. The Pandorica Opens — 51
      • Update [23 June 2010] — 53
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 53
    • 5.13. The Big Bang — 54
      • Special bonus wonderful moment — 55
    • Series 5 summary and retrospective — 56
  • Christmas 2010: A Christmas Carol — 57
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 58
  • Series 6 — 59
    • 6.1. The Impossible Astronaut — 60
      • Special bonus observation — 61
    • Who killed the Doctor? — 62
      • What does it all mean? — 63
    • 6.2. Day of the Moon — 64
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 65
    • 6.3. The Curse of the Black Spot — 67
    • 6.4. The Doctor’s Wife — 69
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 71
    • 6.5. The Rebel Flesh — 72
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 74
    • 6.6. The Almost People — 75
    • The Almost People, redux: let’s see if we can sort this out — 77
    • 6.7. A Good Man Goes to War — 80
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 81
    • 6.8. Let’s Kill Hitler — 82
      • Time to review what we now know. — 84
    • 6.9. Night Terrors — 86
    • 6.10. The Girl Who Waited — 88
    • 6.11. The God Complex — 90
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 92
    • 6.12. Closing Time — 93
    • What do we know about the Lake Silencio incident? — 94
      • Thoughts in 2013 — 96
    • 6.13. The Wedding of River Song — 97
    • More thoughts on The Wedding of River Song — 100
      • How did the Doctor cheat death? — 100
      • The River/Doctor relationship — 101
      • Ambition — 101
    • Series 6 summary and retrospective — 103
      • The Silence’s plan — 103
      • What actually happened and why — 103
      • So did it work? — 104
  • Christmas 2011: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe — 106
  • Series 7 — 108
    • 7.1. Asylum of the Daleks — 109
    • In praise of Rory (consisting mostly of a digression about how terrible Torchwood is) — 111
    • 7.2. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship — 114
    • 7.3. A Town Called Mercy — 116
    • 7.4. The Power of Three — 118
    • 7.5. The Angels take Manhattan — 121
  • Christmas 2012: The Snowmen 123
    • 7.6. The Bells of Saint John — 125
    • 7.7. The Rings of Akhaten — 129
    • The reason Doctor Who is the best thing on TV — a discussion — 132
    • 7.8. Cold War — 135
    • 7.9. Hide — 137
    • 7.10. Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS — 139
    • 7.11. The Crimson Horror — 142
    • 7.12. Nightmare in Silver — 144
    • 7.13. The Name of the Doctor — 147
    • A quick thought on The Name of the Doctor — 151
    • Series 7 summary and retrospective — 152
  • 50th Anniversary — 154
    • Mini episode: The Night of the Doctor — 155
    • Mini episode: The Last Day — 156
    • The Day of the Doctor — 158
  • Christmas 2013: TBA — 162
  • The Eleventh Doctor’s place in the pantheon — 163
  • Looking forward — 164
    • The new Doctor — 164
    • Clara — 164
    • Story structure — 165
    • Unfinished business — 165
  • Appendix A: best episodes — 167
  • Appendix B: magic moments — 168
  • Acknowledgements — 169
  • Image and font credits — 170
    • Images — 170
    • Fonts — 170
  • About the author — 171
  • Where next? — 173
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7 responses to “How can I make chapter links in my Kindle book?

  1. From a cursory look around stack overflow, I think you’ll need to convert the word .doc file to something else first and then edit some more. Calibre is sort of an all purpose tool that does this. But just like a 50 function pocket knife it might not be ideal for your problem.

    There’s also this link about NCX and mobi files but it could be a red herring.

    Somebody also recommends a program called Aspose Words Express. Looks promising. Good luck!

  2. The TOC is pretty tasty looking .. I’m definately looking forward to it, and hope you make a few bucks!

    Is it possible to do updates to books, akin to version upgrades in app-stores? ie: If so, is it possible to sell the book early, without the Christmas 2013 chapter, and add that later? (not sure if its wise or not .. but theres a lot of DW momentum _right now_ )

    jeff

  3. Thanks for the links, ropata. I have Calibre already, I’ll see if it can help somehow.

    Jeff, I believe it is indeed possible to upgrade Kindle books, and I intend to do that in a small way as and when I make bugfix releases (if any typos make it past my army of proofreaders!) But I don’t think I’d want to take the risk of premature publication. The book won’t be complete without the Christmas chapter.

  4. This is what works for Smashwords’ doc-to-epub conversion, and I *believe* they designed their process to be as close to the Kindle process as possible. As I don’t have a Kindle or anything that can run the Kindle software, I’m not going to guarantee that it actually works, but nobody’s complained about the formatting on my books.

    Create your table of contents as a plain list — no need for page numbering, as reflowing changes that anyway.

    Add a bookmark to each header — “Ch1″, “Ch2″ or whatever.
    Then hyperlink each of the table of contents entries to the bookmarks. Add a bookmark to the table of contents — bookmark it as “ref_toc” (I think it needs to be that specifically, but I’m not 100% sure). Then hyperlink each chapter heading to that bookmark, so you should be able to click from the table of contents to the individual chapters and then back to the table of contents.

  5. Thank you. But how absolutely ridiculous that I have to do that manually for all 125 contents entries when the document already knows what heading each TOC entry refers to. “The computer should be doing the hard work. That’s what it’s paid to do, after all” — Larry Wall.

  6. Any progress update!

    No family time for you .. Write! Revise! Index! Format! Edit! Stress!

  7. Progress report is that the manuscript is complete, and in the hands of my three phase-two proofreaders. I have told them that I intend to publish before the end of the calendar year, so let’s hope they get their job done quickly! :-)

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