August 4th, 2012

NCX trouble

Last night I downloaded Building Your Book for Kindle from Amazon, and followed the instructions to the letter. The trouble is, following those instructions to the letter produces a book with no NCX file — which means no real table of contents. The HTML ToC that I included within the text is there, of course, but if you use the normal and obvious method of bringing up the table of contents in a Kindle reader or app, it calls up the (nonexistent) NCX version.

Now, I have found a resource that explains (in tiresome technical detail) the exact specifications of the NCX file format, including a sample NCX file that I can bash to fit in a good text editor without too much difficulty. What I cannot find is any explanation of what I do with that NCX file once I have built it. How do I attach it to the .mobi file? Where does it go? What software do I use? (Amazon’s own online conversion software is what produced the NCX-less version in the first place.) The only tool I can seem to find is Kindlegen, and it is a command-line program which appears to require me to install other libraries not included with the download. Have I ever mentioned how passionately I hate software that does not in itself include all the code it needs to run?

Colour me vexed. And while you’re colouring, if anyone can point me in the direction of a good solution for the NCX problem (other than hiring someone to solve it), I shall be most obliged.

Lord Talon’s Revenge: Free with coupon till August 10

From now until midnight Friday, August 10, I’m making Lord Talon’s Revenge free with a coupon at Smashwords. Add the book to your cart in the normal way, and when you proceed to the checkout, enter this coupon code:


The book does still have that slight formatting problem in Chapter 21, where parts of the text may display in Times Roman instead of your chosen font. Consider this my apology — the best I can do, short of unpublishing the book. I am still working to resolve the issue with Smashwords, but they are growing so fast that their tech support staff are snowed under. If you download the free version now, you’ll be able to get the corrected version for free later.

If you like it, tell your friends. Blog it, tweet it, or best of all, leave reviews.

For those who have already paid your $3.99, alas, I can’t refund that. But email me, tomsimon {at} bondwine {dot} com, and I’ll see that you get a free copy of one of my next two books — forthcoming as soon as the capable Sarah Huntrods (sarah_dimento) gets the cover art ready.

Thank you all for your encouragement and support.