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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this functionality isn't available with the older formats, but it would be nice if the main TOC had collapsible headings--ie, something that allows me to scroll through the books and authors and only expand the chapter headings when I want them.

And a description right after the cover page for each book--that would be nice. When you're dealing with large sets, you tend not remember what was in them.

Thank you! I like boxed sets--I *have* encountered new-to-me authors that way.
 

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To reply frankly, this is very advanced stuff that you're requesting - features that not even the big publishers generally provide.

I love to make my work as accessible as possible, but you are asking a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
NoahMullette-Gillman said:
To reply frankly, this is very advanced stuff that you're requesting - features that not even the big publishers generally provide.

I love to make my work as accessible as possible, but you are asking a lot.
Collapsible headers might be too much for now, but how about a toc that just contains the novel titles and authors, and not the chapters?
 

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I wouldn't know how to make a collapsable table of contents, but I think the idea is good.

A way around it, authors could make one main table of contents that only lists the books within, then each book starts with it's own table of contents. That would just require using different styles in word and seems doable (although, I've never tried it yet). An issue I could see would be that it wouldn't show up on the table of contents within the kindle-- only the main story title table of contents would show up there, but if that was linked to the story table of contents page then it would just be an extra click to get there....
 

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Using thumbnails of the book covers instead of words for your main ToC would be easy to do.  Collapsible headers or links that modify how the book looks on the screen is probably out of the question for 99.9% of us.  Each device and app is going to display it differently and that is not something that many of us can spend the time or resources to implement and troubleshoot across platforms.
 

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That would be very nice! It'll probably be supported some day, at least, and some brave soul will tell us all the code to accomplish it.

What we do need to be wary of, though, is file size, too. Large books with too much fancy coding can cut into the royalties of the author. Also, a lot of formatters don't do interior TOC.xhtmls anyway-Kindles especially come with their own .ncx file, which is the one that shows up when you hit 'Go to...'.

That said, I think the idea to just list book titles vs. book and chapter titles. is a good one. That will highlight the important part of a bundle anyway--the individual novels. :)
 

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callan said:
Collapsible headers might be too much for now, but how about a toc that just contains the novel titles and authors, and not the chapters?
I do this in my own box set, not because i thought it was a good idea (I do actually) but simply to reduce the amount of wasted space in the search inside. I use a toc like

Book1
Part1
Part2
Part 3

Book2
Part1
Part2
Part 3

Book3...

In the back, a do a full index of ALL chapters. The kindle though uses the NCX file. So the kindle toc button will always show all chapters. The TOC mentioned here is just the page we generate in html in the epub.
 

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When I formatted a short story collection with six authors I only put the individual story titles in the table of contents.  Most of the stories had multiple chapters since each one ranged 12-20k words, but it seemed easier to only list the titles.  I can see why many readers would prefer it that way so they can easily skip to the authors they want to read the most.  No idea how to do collapsible chapter listings, though I'm sure it's possible if you're more savvy in formatting than me.
 

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I think it could be done. With your first TOC, just list the book titles and authors, and have them hyperlinked to their individual books. Then, when you get to the individual book, have another TOC (if it's relevant) for that book, and hyperlink that one to the specific chapters within the book.

Also, at the end of each book, have a hyperlink that takes you back to the original TOC.

If they're all fiction, many of them may not even need individualized TOC's.

Totally doable. And a great idea. If I do a boxed set, I'll be sure to include this feature. Thanks for bringing it up!
 

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Are you talking about the HTML Table of Contents inside the ebook or the NCX Table of Contents (for Kindle) on the slide out part? According to Paul Salvette's formatting ebook (The Ebook Design and Development Guide), the NCX TOC can go down to four levels. Ebooks have those collapsible "Front Matter" on the NCX TOCs for instance and could be the functionality you were wanting. 

With the proper NCX code, I think a TOC can look like this:

Title of Book 1 by author
      Front Matter
              Front Matter stuff
      Chapters of book

Title of Book 2 by author
      Front Matter
              Front matter stuff
      Chapters of book

etc. 

Check out Paul Salvette's ebook. I saw some code in that ebook that I think will work, but I haven't tried it myself. 

 

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Sophrosyne said:
I think it could be done. With your first TOC, just list the book titles and authors, and have them hyperlinked to their individual books. Then, when you get to the individual book, have another TOC (if it's relevant) for that book, and hyperlink that one to the specific chapters within the book.

Also, at the end of each book, have a hyperlink that takes you back to the original TOC.

If they're all fiction, many of them may not even need individualized TOC's.

Totally doable. And a great idea. If I do a boxed set, I'll be sure to include this feature. Thanks for bringing it up!
For an HTML TOC, I think you're right. You just have to set up proper internal hyperlinks. For a collapsible html toc, it may be possible with the use of divs, but I'm not sure if the Kindle would read the code. I'd guess KF8 allows it, but I'm not sure about the old mobis.
 

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**********
 

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Ward_S said:
…the NCX TOC can go down to four levels…
Actually, the NCX can go down to as many levels as you want. I've done at least seven or eight in some of my test books, just to try it. Whether or not a particular device will display them as separate indented levels is another question.

The HTML TOC, on the other hand, is nothing more than another chapter file filled with hyperlinks, and the number of it's levels is limited by whoever, or whatever, creates it. Calibre will create up to three levels. If you write you own code, you can do as many as you like.
 

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In Word, put your book titles in Header 1 and the chapter titles in Header 2. Then run it through Calibre to produce the epub and mobi. There are options under the conversion settings to designate multilayer TOCs. It will automatically pick up your Title and Chapter heads and create a multilevel NCX.
 
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