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Start Page

An ebook can be marked with a Start Page, the page a reader will see when she first opens the book.

Often, the Start Page is not the first page of the book. In fact, most guidelines recommend using the Start Page to take a reader straight to the Main Text of your book, skipping past front matter like a Copyright page or Table of Contents.

Vellum automatically declares your book’s Start Page by analyzing the elements of your book.

Declaring the Start Page

To declare the Start Page, Vellum examines the type of each Element in your book to determine where the Main Text begins.

Typically, your book’s first chapter will be considered the start of the Main Text, but it can also begin with a Prologue or Introduction.

This process is more easily explained using a couple of simple examples:

In the above book, the Title Page, Copyright, and Contents are not considered part of the Main Text. Chapter 1 will be declared as its Start Page.

In this example, the Prologue will be declared as the Start Page, because that is the first element of the book that is part of the Main Text.

Testing Your Book’s Start Page

The best way to test the start page of your book is to load it directly into an application or onto a device. Desktop apps such as Kindle Previewer work well for this, or you can use any of the methods described in Proofing Your Books.

When you first load your book, you should find that it opens to the Start Page. On Kindle devices you can go to the Beginning bookmark to double-check your Start Page. In Kindle Previewer you can find this command in the Navigation menu.

Issues with the Start Page

When publishing your book, you may find that the Start Page that has been declared isn’t always respected.


If you use the Send to Kindle feature to test your ebook, you may receive a modified version in which the Start Page is altered to be, inexplicably, in the middle of your Table of Contents. This can also happen when downloading the Preview version from the KDP dashboard. In both of these scenarios, the altered Start Page is particular to this modified version, and does not represent the page that has been declared by Vellum.

This behavior should not occur with the published version of your book on Amazon, which will use the Start Page that has been declared. Though, in rare cases, another Amazon bug can sometimes cause books to open to the Title Page instead.


Unfortunately, Kobo devices and reading applications do not respect the start page declared in ebooks.

Apple Books Samples and the Start Page

Apple Books uses the Start Page as the beginning of the automatically-created sample that can be downloaded by customers. Anything before the Start Page will be excluded from the sample.

If there is a piece of front matter you’d rather be included, you can create and use your own sample when you upload to the Apple Books Store.