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View Poll Results: TOC location
start of the book 29 69.05%
end of the book 2 4.76%
what is a toc? 2 4.76%
I use the navigation menu to access the toc 9 21.43%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-09-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
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TOC at the beginning or end?

Okay random question, I got a comment that someone did not like that the toc of my Amazon ebook was at the end of the book. Now I find the toc at the start to be annoying, its just something I bypass and just the navigation menu if I want to access the toc.

So opinions?

Amy

ps: now if I could figure out how to add a poll!

pps: Ah hah! Figured it out and added

Last edited by sassanik; 08-09-2012 at 11:49 PM. Reason: poll added
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:46 AM   #2
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Beginning or navigation menu.

Having it at the end feels like a feature you only realize you had when you don't need it anymore.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:12 AM   #3
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At the beginning

1. shows people a ToC is available. A lot won't know they can reach it as ToCs are badly managed on their device (say three taps away in an obscure menu, which is just some terrible and annoying UI/UX). In some cases (non-fiction), when we know the ToC is a "navigational pivot" since it is a guide and people will use it in a non-linear manner, we even add an extra layer of navigational network (breadcrumbs at the beginning of each part) so that the ToC is available anywhere anytime… and people send mails to thank us because their device's User Interface is just plain bad.

2. some descriptions are so vague that you download a sample to judge the value of the book. If you put the ToC at the beginning of the book, it (sort of) helps undecided people purchase the book as they can get extra information, especially with non-fiction.

Last edited by BangBangO; 08-10-2012 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:33 AM   #4
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TOC always goes at the beginning and there should be proper formatting so the navigation menu also work.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:23 AM   #5
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At the beginning, of course. If it was at the end it would be an Index.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
TOC always goes at the beginning and there should be proper formatting so the navigation menu also work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
At the beginning, of course. If it was at the end it would be an Index.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:18 AM   #7
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I use the navigation buttons to access the TOC, but in any case, at the beginning.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:41 AM   #8
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I use navigation menu, but they should still be in the beginning.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:25 AM   #9
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At the beginning ... for various reasons. Most of those reasons have already been mentioned, but one that hasn't been mentioned, is that the ToC being located at the very end of an ebook renders any "Sync to Furthest Read Page" feature essentially useless as soon as you decide to visit the ToC using the navigation menu.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:37 PM   #10
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When ever I want to go to the TOC, I use the menu to get there. If the TOC is in the front, then I think it is a good idea to adjust the length of the sample. I've downloaded samples of books, only to find that the sample ends before the book actually starts.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
At the beginning ... for various reasons. Most of those reasons have already been mentioned, but one that hasn't been mentioned, is that the ToC being located at the very end of an ebook renders any "Sync to Furthest Read Page" feature essentially useless as soon as you decide to visit the ToC using the navigation menu.
I almost never use the TOC so it shouldn't matter to me, but the one, big reason I still absolutely want it to be at the front is this.
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassanik View Post
Okay random question, I got a comment that someone did not like that the toc of my Amazon ebook was at the end of the book. Now I find the toc at the start to be annoying, its just something I bypass and just the navigation menu if I want to access the toc.

So opinions?

Amy

ps: now if I could figure out how to add a poll!

pps: Ah hah! Figured it out and added
If it's ePub, there's no need for a ToC at the beginning or end as all you need is the ToC in the NCX.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:10 PM   #13
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Usually if something has been done a certain way for a long time, there's a good reason for it. Don't break from a tradition unless you know what that reason is, and have a better reason for doing so.

In the case of the Table of Contents, it's useful to have it right up front so the readers can easily access it. In cases where chapters have names, it can help someone to find where they left off reading if they lost their place. Or if there's a long Foreword to the book that the reader just plain doesn't want to read, they can use the TOC to easily skip it (like previews at the beginning of DVD's. Don't get me started).

Of course, with ebooks these points aren't quite as important, especially with the navigator TOC, but they're still valid.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope
TOC always goes at the beginning and there should be proper formatting so the navigation menu also work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw
At the beginning, of course. If it was at the end it would be an Index.


Agreed.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
TOC always goes at the beginning and there should be proper formatting so the navigation menu also work.
But in an ePub, there is no ToC at the beginning such that the ToC navigation option works. It's actually to the side (toc.ncx).
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