Converting KPF Files to DOCX
I know this sounds oddly technical for a website by a guy who writes fiction. But I know there are a lot of budding authors out there, just like me, who, just like me, made the mistake of editing their manuscript in Kindle Create. One little change became two little changes, and two little changes became a chapter rewrite.
And now you realise backporting those changes to your original doc is, well, pretty damn close to impossible. The magic word being, “close”.
It is actually possible, and I’ll step you through how.
Why is this important? To be honest it wouldn’t be much of a big deal if Kindle Create supported the ability to select large blocks of text. You could just copy and paste it back, right?
Here lies the problem – you can click and drag down the page but you’ll quickly notice the already fiddly scrolling between pages massively slows down the more pages you select. So you might find it’s possible to select a chapter’s worth. Maybe. But then you’ll find after you paste it into your doc, you only get paragraph breaks from the first page. All pages thereafter are one giant long paragraph.
You’ll quickly realise you’re foiled at every turn.
So this took me a lot of trial and error – a quick Google and you’ll find tonnes of helpful people telling you that you should never have edited your work in Kindle Create. Thank you, entire battalion of Captain Obviouses.
Instead, let’s just fix the problem:
Download Calibre – it’s a free, open source gem that helps us convert between ebook formats:
After you’ve downloaded and installed it, open it up and go to the Preferences tab up the top. Select the Plugins icon, and then on the Plugins page, click on the Get New Plugins button down the bottom left.
Search for “KFX” – you’ll see two, input and output. You want Input – basically this allows us to read in the Kindle Create file format.
Install the plugin, and restart Calibre.
This step is a lot less obvious – go back to your Plugins page, and in your existing plugins, search for “KPF Extract”. Select it, and then click on the Disable Plugin button.
Why? Basically a KPF file is a zip file that contains your original docx file in it, from the very first time you added your book to Kindle Create (ah, we were so young and wide-eyed, full of hope and promise). Any changes you make are then tracked in what seems to be a SQL Lite database, for the curious nerds (such as myself) amongst us.
Anyway, long story short, if you don’t disable that plugin, you’ll ALWAYS get your very first addition, and none of those changes you’re so desperate to save.
Close the Plugins screen. You may need to reboot Calibre. I did, but I’m a chronic rebooter.
Now the easy bit – find your latest KPF file – this the file that Kindle Create makes for you when you click on the Publish button.
Drag it into Calibre’s main page, where the ebook list is. It is now in Calibre.
Select your ebook, and click on the Covert tab at the top of the screen. You can do fancy stuff here, but for what we need (ie. saving all our valuable edits), ignore the fancy stuff and in the top right, select the Output Format, and click DOCX.
You’ll now be back on the main ebook listing page. Click on your ebook, and in the right hand grey column, you’ll see a link called “Path: Click to open”.
Click to open it.
Bask in the glory of your DOCX will all of your changes. Shed a tear of joy, maybe even leave a comment below on how you went.
Share this post on Facebook for all of your fellow writing friends – they’ll love you for it.
If you want to see this in action, the best way is to buy a copy of my ebook. Maybe buy a few copies. Like about 49 of them. You can never have too many.
/End of shameless plug