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Help with serialized sci-fi novel hubs, format, TOC questions

  1. Kylyssa profile image95
    Kylyssaposted 18 months ago

    I've been serializing a science fiction novel here on HubPages. I have thirteen chapters up so far but I'm still struggling with a few bits of formatting.

    Here is the first chapter and introduction hub: http://kylyssa.hubpages.com/hub/gift-of-the-gruldak

    My first question is:
    Can I link to each and every hub chapter in a table of contents on each chapter hub? My reading of the FAQ made leaves me thinking that I could not use a text capsule and use HTML to link to each chapter without breaking the rule about no more than two links to a single domain per hub. I'm hoping I'm wrong. As you can see on the hub, I have a temporary offsite table of contents but it's clearly not ideal. I've been told that people discovering the novel via one of the chapters can't easily find the beginning of the book.

    Should I have some sort of introduction on every chapter hub, maybe with a link to the first chapter hub?

    Should I have a very brief summary of the previous chapter on each hub to remind serial readers of what is going on, much like "last week on" bit that many television shows with season arcs or series arcs have?
    If so, how can I put it behind some sort of spoiler alert for people who land on the page without having read earlier chapters?

    That's already probably too many questions but they kind of feed into each other. Thank you for listening.

    1. Christy Kirwan profile image
      Christy Kirwanposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      Hi Kylyssa,

      Links to the HubPages domain are exempt from the link limit, so you could certainly create a Hub that acted as a table of contents, but due to the nature of the content on such a Hub, it would be unlikely to be Featured (meaning you'd have to link to it from your Hub chapters in order for your readers to see it; they wouldn't be able to find it via search).

      1. Kylyssa profile image95
        Kylyssaposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        Thanks for your answer. Knowing I can create that sort of table of contents on HubPages is a game changer.

        1. Christy Kirwan profile image
          Christy Kirwanposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          Glad it helps! I'm a big sci-fi fan myself, so I will have to stop by and give your novel a browse. smile

  2. profamy profile image83
    profamyposted 18 months ago

    Hi! I'm new here, so I'm not sure how helpful I will actually be, but I'm going to give it a shot.

    #1 - I have no idea! But, I think that if linking to all of the chapters is forbidden, you should link to the previous chapter and the next chapter (once it up). For example, in the second chapter, you would link to the first and third chapters. This will work to create a chain so that readers readers who stumble onto chapter 17 can follow the previous chapter links back to the first one. It's not ideal, but I've seen it done on blogs and, as a reader, it never really annoyed me.

    #2 - The introduction sounds like a great idea! You can put it as the first text capsule to help orient new readers.

    #3a - A brief summary might be helpful. I think it might depend on how frequently you publish and how frequently your readers visit. If you go a few weeks between chapters, I might add a summary. Or, if you know that readers don't necessarily read every chapter as they come out.
    #3b - I have no idea about the spoiler option, but I'd think that just titling the capsule something like "Summary -- Spoiler Alert" or perhaps starting the summary with a warning about spoilers would do the trick.

    Have you thought about asking your readers what they think? Maybe include a poll in the next chapter or write an article directly asking for their opinions -- it seems like you have quite a few followers, and I'm sure at least some would be willing to let you know how you can better meet their needs.

    1. Kylyssa profile image95
      Kylyssaposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      Thank you for your detailed suggestions. Creating an article with a poll in it is an excellent idea and I'll get to work on that.