Formatting Your Novel – Adding a Table of Contents

Formatting Your Novel – Adding in a Table of Contents

Formatting Your Novel - adding in a table of contents


When you are formatting your novel and getting it ready to convert to an ebook, there are a number of steps that have to be done first. One of those, is adding in a table of contents. It is something that you have to do, it’s a requirement if you are publishing to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc. You can read more here: Amazon

Below, I walk you through the steps of how to add an active Table of Contents into your novel, so its ready to be converted to an ebook. It’s really simple but takes a little bit of time. Watch the video too, it might explain it better.

  1. Open your document in word
  2. go to each chapter heading, highlight the chapter name (i.e. chapter one) and then click on bookmark (on top ribbon in word, under the tab called insert). A new box will appear, write in whatever you want to call that chapter – chapterone or thebeginning (if you’ve named your chapters go ahead and use that) – ensure that whatever you call it, there are no spaces in the title.
  3. go through the entire manuscript and do this for each chapter and do it for the about the author, the other books by the author and any other information you have posted at the end of your novel
  4. now go back to the beginning of your book and determine where you are putting your table of contents (usually the third or fourth page) type in Table of Contents as the header and then put each chapter underneath.

Table of Contents

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three

5. Then add in each chapter in a row down the center of the page – it works best for converting to an ebook. Only put Chapter                   One (or whatever name you’ve given each chapter). Do not include the page number.
6. Once you have all the chapters listed – highlight chapter one, click on hyperlink, then find the bookmark that you made for that                chapter, click on it and add it.
7. Go through and do this for each chapter and the information that you book marked at the end
8. Once you are done all of the items listed in your table of contents should be blue
9. Now it’s time to check to make sure that each of them works

If you don’t do this and upload, smashwords will catch it and you’ll have to go and fix it.


Watch the video as I walk you through each step and I probably show it better than I write it. 🙂

Have any questions? Type them below.

Formatting The Novel To Be Converted to An Ebook

formatting your novel to convert to an ebookFormatting The Novel To Be Converted To An Ebook

I have to tell you its a bit of a tedious job but a necessary one. I was in the process of formatting my latest novel, Deadly Ties which is being released in a little over a month. Since I was going through and remembered when I first did this with my first novel Captured Lies and the hours I spent figuring it out and then doing it, aaahhhhhh. So I thought I would share this simple trick I learned.

The biggest thing you want for your ebook is for it to look professional and to keep it looking like someone is reading a paperback. In other words you don’t want to have big gaps in your ebook. And it doesn’t take much to produce them. In the video I walk you through the simple steps to remove the spacing that will cause those unsightly gaps in your ebook. A simple extra space in word can cause a gap in the middle of a paragraph or if at the end, it will put that big space between paragraphs.


For example:

Here is a sentence    that has some extra spaces.

In word it doesn’t look too bad but you really don’t want it.

In an ebook, this is what it would look like:

Here is a sentence


that has some extra spaces.


That is why it is so important to go through your manuscript and make sure that you remove those tiny little spaces. The video shows you how to do that.



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