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Old 12-12-2010, 08:20 PM   #1
cyberbaffled
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ebook start reading location

This opf file guide item does not initiate reading at the filename.html#_toc1 location: <reference type="start" title="Welcome" href="filename.html#_toc1">; when viewed using KindlePreviewer.exe. For some reason using that previewer, the filename.html ebook always opens at the "acknowledgements" page, even though there's nothing in the opf file to direct that result. Anyone know how to code the start reading location?
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:48 PM   #2
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It isn't in the .opf file, rather, in the body of the book text, you need to have an anchor tag named "start" wherever you want the start to be:

<a name="start"/>
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:05 PM   #3
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Where is this explained? I did every sensible search in the Kindle publisher's guide, and nothing came up.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:15 PM   #4
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I think the problem might be related to the fact that you're using an id reference that starts with an underscore character. In HTML, id references should start with a letter, but can then contain underscore characters within the id. So perhaps, instead of "_toc1", if you used "toc1", it might work. I can't see anything otherwise wrong with the OPF guide item - I've certainly never had any problem getting a MOBI ebook to open at a specified page using that method.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsem View Post
It isn't in the .opf file, rather, in the body of the book text, you need to have an anchor tag named "start" wherever you want the start to be:

<a name="start"/>
The use of <a name="start"/> will only work, to the best of my knowledge, if you are uploading the HTML file on the Amazon DTP website. The processor they use on files that are uploaded will take the "start" bookmark and essentially create the appropriate OPF guide item, I think. If you're using some other method to create the MOBI file (e.g. Mobipocket Creator or Kindlegen), you need to include a guide item in the OPF file.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:34 PM   #6
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Ack! I just realised you probably also want to change type="start" to type="text". That was nagging at me, but I needed to double check before I could be sure.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cyberbaffled View Post
Where is this explained? I did every sensible search in the Kindle publisher's guide, and nothing came up.
Joshua Talent's "Kindle Formatting". Thought I saw it somewhere else as well (in Amazon DTP web documentation, or Mobipocket's format documentation..).

Also, I have authored a book for the Kindle Store, and it works, and that's what I did...

Last edited by tomsem; 12-13-2010 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:38 PM   #8
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The Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines recommend putting in a "start reading" location on page 15 of version 1.6.

Unfortunately, they don't actually tell you how to accomplish this, and it's left as an exercise for the e-book creator to look it up in the old Mobipocket Developer Centre's info on "Guide items".

Also, I agree that your problem may be with the underscored id. In XML it doesn't matter any more, but Mobi is basically a modified HTML 3.2, which is supposed to be pretty strict about id tokens only starting with certain characters (can't even use numbers), so perhaps you might like to try changing that.

I think that if it doesn't find anything valid, it may default to the first non-cover "page". Although this hypothesis is shot if it's skipping past a bunch of copyright info to hit the acknowledgments you mention.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:29 AM   #9
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In the guide section of your opf... create an item of type 'other.ms-firstpage' that contains a link to your desired anchor point (any name) in the body of the document.

Anchor tag in xhtml file -- <a name="page1"/>

Reference tag in opf guide -- <reference type="other.ms-firstpage" title="" href="filename.html#page1">


** If you want to get all technical... in the finished mobi, record type 116 (startreading) of the exth header should contain the position (4-byte offset) in file at which to open when first opened.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 12-13-2010 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:47 PM   #10
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Hopefully this forum enables a participant to generate a list of all their discussions because otherwise you may never return to this one six days past. My attention got diverted. Thanks for your suggestion. It turns out that the underscore character is allowable. No suggestions made in this thread solved the problem. It may be a deficiency in kindlegen/kindlepreview applications. The command line instruction (Argh! DOS terminology after all these years!) generates these lines: "Info(prcgen): Resolving hyperlinks
Info(prcgen): Resolving start reading location
Info(prcgen): Added metadata Start reading "1768" ". This is the internal mobi process I'm failing to influence. It's cryptic. There's no "start" variety of "metadata" in the .opf file. And 1768 is not a Kindle "location". What is it and how can it be influenced? Thanks again for your attention to these difficulties. I've begun a new thread approaching this problem from the direction of the Kindle "Go To" menu "Beginning" selection.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:49 PM   #11
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DiapDeal, thanks for your attention to this issue. Your suggestion didn't solve the problem. Please see my response to DMSmillie for a complete explanation.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:50 PM   #12
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ATDrake, thanks for your attention to this issue. Your suggestion didn't solve the problem. Please see my response to DMSmillie for a complete explanation.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:53 PM   #13
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Tomsen, thanks once again for your information. I'll check out Tallent's information. Please see my response to DMSmillie for my complete explanation.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:25 PM   #14
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The following two line of code are from the BOOKNAME.html and the "guide" section of the BOOKNAME.opf files respectively.

<a id="start" name="Beginning" />

<reference type="text" title="Beginning" href="NavigatingManifoldM5.html#start"></reference>

In my opinion there's nothing in them that elucidates Kindle Preview's failure to open at the location of the anchor tag. Instead, it opens at the "acknowledgements" header, which is determined by the following two lines of code, taken again and respectively, from the BOOKNAME.html and the "guide" section of the BOOKNAME.opf files.

<h2 id="_RWTOC-4">ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS</h2>

<reference type="text" title="Acknowledgements" href="NavigatingManifoldM5.html#_RWTOC-4"></reference>

Does the preceding spark any new thinking?
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:52 PM   #15
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Well, you're using type="text" with varying titles, while the official Mobi Dev Guidelines linked above calls for type="Start" with title="Start Here".

For what it's worth, I use type="Start"/title="Start Here" for all my Mobi repackages, link it directly to a file (no anchor id), and it seems to work for me (I like to do titlepage, copyright, TOC, dedication, beginning of text and start at the dedication and it always opens that way).

Whatever you put in the title text won't show up anyway and since it's a non-standard OPF addition, maybe it needs to be exactly that way for KindleGen to recognize it.

Another thing that might be an issue is that you have your <reference> as a two-part empty tag, rather than a self contained <reference />. I know it seems silly, but KindleGen can be really picky about the dumbest things sometimes.

Hope this helps.
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