One of many differences between fiction print novels and fiction eBooks seems to be the inclusion of a Contents list with digital versions. I imagine this Contents list helps readers to jump back and forth in the novel. I have seen eBook novels with and without these lists, and I've seen them added near the front or the back of the eBook. As a reader, I prefer going right into the story with as few interruptions as possible. However, I went with the major of authors and inserted a Contents list at the front of my first eBook novel, Revenge.

Do you think these Contents lists are important? If so, where do you think readers would like to have these lists placed--front or back?

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Every so often I feel compelled to show my ignorance publicly, and this is as good an opportunity as I've had lately. I'm really not sure what you mean by this? Are you referring to a table of contents, or, for fiction, what would amount to a chapter list, or scene list? I can't recall seeing such a thing, except in anthologies, so I'm willing to assume I'm thinking of the wrong thing.

 

I'm not trying to be difficult; I'm just confused.

Dana, I'm asking about fiction eBook formats that show Table of Contents, listing each chapter, prologue, and other sections of the book. Sometimes the eBook ToC's are near the front, and sometimes in the back. Print novels never have this ToC. I noticed this when I started buying eBooks. Aa novelist and reader, I found this distracting, but there must be a purpose for so many others to be doing this. Hope this clarifies.
Thanks, Mark. To be honest, I hadn't noticed if any of my Kindle books have this, so I've either been buying books that lack it, or it doesn't bother me much.
Just went through this myself and added a list of chapters.  It will show up on a task bar so that the reader can go back to check on things they may have forgotten.  This is otherwise difficult because there are no page numbers. Note that you supply the contents list (listing the chapters) with page numbers to the formatter. That's only so that he can put in the links.  I needed the chapter listing because I also have a list of characters.  In my case, readers are always referring back to that, so it is part of the contents list.

It looks to me like SmashWords and Kindle add a TOC automatically.  My guess is they look for the formatting for chapter headings and just list and link to them

It's great.   It helps overcome not being able to just open a book and thumb thorugh for a chapter, I guess.

 

Actually, many books DO have TOC's, by the way.   Thing is, if this is just a hand-dandy advantage of ereaders (like bookmarking and searches and font size control)  what would be a downside?

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