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Old 06-24-2008, 06:48 PM   #1
ivoron
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TOC - Internal or external?

I created a Kindle book which (finally!!) looks good and is listed on Amazon. I now am working on doing a Mobipocket version of the same book.
The book consists of many books and has a complicated TOC. I had to hand code the TOC for the Kindle. The TOC for the Kindle is internal.

The first thing I did for the Mobipocket version is I removed the internal TOC so I could generate a TOC with Creator. I briefly glanced through Harry T's Tutorial (will look at it closely later) and noticed that he said that an INTERNAL TOC is the way to go for ebooks. Any thoughts about this? Should I simply use the same file that I used for the Kindle book for the Mobipocket book?

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Old 06-24-2008, 06:51 PM   #2
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.... but I frequently put my own books together for the Kindle using the MobiGenerator. The ToC I create usually works just great in any Mobi setup (and the Kindle).
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:06 PM   #3
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TOC - Internal or external?

I should have been more specific.

Because I started with the Kindle book (Kindle does not generate a TOC for you) I had to hand-code the TOC and included it within the book file.

Then when I worked on the Mobipocket version of the book I removed the internal TOC coding and used Mobipocket to generate an separate, external TOC file.

I read in Harry T's tutorial that it is better to have an internal TOC. I may have misunderstood the comment, but read it as saying that it is better to have TOC and book in the same file.

I'll go back and reread the tutorial ...
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:50 AM   #4
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I suggest trying the Kindle book in Windows MobiPocket Reader (I assume you have a DRM-free version, just change its extension from .azw to .mobi). Most likely it will be fine "as is". If the Kindle showed the TOC in its menus then so should the MOBI version. If the TOC isn't listed under the "Contents" icon, then perhaps you should produce a MOBI-specific version but there are hundreds of MOBI files with only an in-lined TOC (no TOC under contents) and these are perfectly acceptable for most ebooks and may be better in some cases. If an internal TOC was best for the Kindle then it may be best for MOBI too in this case.

If you want DRM, then unfortunately a .mobi file can't be imported into MobiPocket Creator and so you will have to build a new ebook from the HTML (use the .opf if you have one). If the TOC is in-lined then this should be easy.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:59 AM   #5
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Usually with Mobipocket files, the best things to do is to create an inline TOC in a separate HTML file and to reference it in your OPF file as such.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:22 AM   #6
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I honestly don't think it matters either way. Personally I always include the TOC in the main book file (because the tool I use to create books, Book Designer, makes that very easy to do) but using a separate TOC file works equally well. It's really a matter of nothing more than personal preference.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:04 AM   #7
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I never use internal TOC for my Sony Reader.
Only external.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:13 AM   #8
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No, that's a different thing altogether, Astra .
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
No, that's a different thing altogether, Astra .
I am probably missing a point

When I said what I said above, I meant that in Sony Reader you can have 2 TOCs.
Internal TOC - the one you create yourself with hyperlinks.
External TOC - the one LRF generates (when you go to book menu, then table of content).

Do the terms have different meanings with mobipocket books?
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:38 AM   #10
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Yes. What we were talking about is whether, at the time that you create the Mobi book, you have the TOC as a part of the main book file (as I do), or whether you prefer to have it as a separate file. Whichever way you do it, it ends up "within" the MobiPocket book - with Mobi there's no concept of an "external" TOC as there is on the Sony.

Different terminology for different devices .
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:24 AM   #11
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Ok. I see
Thanks for clarification.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Yes. What we were talking about is whether, at the time that you create the Mobi book, you have the TOC as a part of the main book file (as I do), or whether you prefer to have it as a separate file. Whichever way you do it, it ends up "within" the MobiPocket book - with Mobi there's no concept of an "external" TOC as there is on the Sony.
So what do you call it when you have a TOC that is only accessible through the guide entry? I would call that an external TOC. And I thought this thread was about if you should inline a TOC or have it as an external TOC available through the guide entry.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:49 AM   #13
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I guess that could indeed count as an "external TOC", but I've never personally come across a MobiPocket book that didn't have a hyperlink to the TOC within the book itself - have you? I agree that one could create such a book, but why would you? Does every device which supports Mobi support Guide items? If not, and you did your TOC that way, you'd have no way to get to it.

The original question was about whether it's a good idea to have a TOC that's in a separate file. I don't think that it really matters whether or not it is, but I can think of absolutely no good reason whatsoever not to have it available within the book, regardless of whether it's a separate file during the build process.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:13 AM   #14
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I do generate an internal ToC as well as the external ToC for most LRF eBooks. That means that when I convert to PRC and then IMP, I have a ToC for those formats as well.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:16 AM   #15
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I do the same, Jon - it's by far the best approach, IMHO.
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