Force Kindle to display frontmatter first

When you first load a kindle file it may start on any number of pages as set by the book designer. I am not sure if an ebook should start on the cover as this is visible in the library.

Anyway, a problem I had today was that my book kept starting on the first chapter and bypassing the frontmatter, foreword and introduction.

After various wimperings on the #eprdctn hashtag I stumbled across the solution and am documenting it before I forget.

To control/force the kindle to start on your page of choice you need to do the following it seems:

  1. open content.opf
  2. scroll to the GUIDE section
  3. You only need three items in here – i originally had all chapters but reading around seems to say this is pointless: cover, toc, and your chosen first page as references.
  4. Change/add a reference for your chosen page to <reference type=”text” href=”frontmatter.html”/></reference>
  5. Done

Setting the reference to type fixed the problem. I had read that you need to use “start” but that seemed to be where I failed.

It is interesting to think about what page should be first, would a reader care about frontmatter or just the author and publisher?…. a post for the future me thinks.

Thanks to Tom for leading me to the correct path.

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