Did you know that you can choose the place that you want your readers to start? This is the place that the ebook will open, by default, the first time it is opened by a reader.
Who was it that came up with the idea of starting ebooks from the beginning of the first chapter?
I don’t know about you but when I open an ebook, I prefer to see the front matter. I like to see the author’s name before I start reading. I usually have a quick read through any dedications and acknowledgements.
I also quite like to see the cover image. Remember that some e-reading devices list the ebooks on the device in text form rather than showing the book covers. For example on the Kindle 3 (keyboard) – which many readers are still using – the user sees the text of titles only when selecting a book saved to the device.
Occasionally when I don’t read the front matter of an ebook I find myself reading with no visual image of the cover; without any memory of the author’s name; and without reading any information that the author may have thought important to include in the front matter.
With non-fiction it can be even more important. You might miss an important disclaimer; you might have skipped the Table of Contents; and you even might have missed an invitation to download additional helpful material such as videos from the author’s web site.
I have explained here how I feel as a reader. So what does this all mean for self-publishing ebook authors? I believe you should consider carefully where you want your readers to start.
How do you change the starting location? I’ll quote from Kindle Direct Publishing:
“Kindle has the option to “Go To” the cover image, beginning and the Table of Contents of your book, anywhere from the content. These are defined by what is known as “Guide Items.” If you upload a cover image, the first Guide Item will be set automatically. To define the other Guide Items, follow the below steps:
For the Beginning:
Place the cursor where you want the book to start, click on “Insert > Bookmark.” In the “Bookmark name:” field, type “Start” (without the quotes) and click “Add.“
Remember part of your success as an author depends upon how well you build your brand. I think that choosing carefully where your readers start can help them to become more familiar with you as an author.
About the Author
Comments from Twitter:
— Paul Salvette (@PaulSalvette) November 29, 2012
@pyoebooks Good info. Defaulting to open at chapter1 text maybe ‘efficient’ in a way, but diminishes the reading experience, IMO.
— CarolynColletteGray (@CarolynDreamSt) November 29, 2012