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:

Step 1:

Download Calibre – it’s a free, open source gem that helps us convert between ebook formats:

Step 2:

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.

Step 3:

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.

Step 4:

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.

Step 5:

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.

Step 6:

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.

Click okay.

Step 7:

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.

Step 8:

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.

Last Bit

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.

Afterlife novella
^ This one

/End of shameless plug

— The photo of the crying lady with the wine bottle who clearly has lost all of her edits in Kindle Create is by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash


34 Responses

  1. OMG, how has no one commented on the pure genius that is this post? Thank you for walking us through it step-by-step – it worked! And I am now shedding tears of joy because I edit WAY TOO MUCH in Kindle Create and thought I had backed myself into an inconvertible corner. WOOHOO!

    • I feel your pain, Todd! I’m sure it’s not just us, so easy to tweak a few things and then suddenly realise you’re WAY too far down the rabbit hole to ever come out again. I’m glad it helped!

  2. Hello, Sam,
    Thank you for the valuable information on how to convert a Kindle file into a Word file. The problem I have is I did the “stupid thing” and used Create to modify my book. No matter what, the only Word file that converts is what I’ve written prior to working in Create. My gut told me not to use Create, but dumbass me didn’t listen. Anyway, is there a way to convert an already downloaded to Amazon ebook to Word? I’ve seen it written that you could contact Amazon via email and ask them, however my brain hurts just trying to find a contact email. Any thoughts? I hate the idea that Amazon has my book held hostage – thanks to my stupidity. Any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    • Hi RP!

      Good question – I haven’t tried this, but your best bet would be Calibre, the software I mentioned in this post. They do allow you to convert between a bunch of formats, one of those being MOBI, which is what I’m guessing your Kindle book format currently is?

      If you’re running Kindle reader on your computer, then you should be able to download the ebook into your Kindle library, and then find the actual mobi file on your harddrive (it’ll be in the Kindle folder), and then drag that into Calibre.

      Then in Calibre, select the file, click the convert button, and then convert it to a DOC format and see what comes out the other side.

      What you get may not be perfectly formatted, but it’ll most likely be the closet you’ll get to it. You can even play around with some of the conversion settings.

      Keep in mind I haven’t actually tried the above, this is just me guessing – what I have done is use Calibre to convert a DOCX to EPUB, and I found it gave me the cleanest conversion out of the options I had tried. So fingers crossed it works this way round too!

      Good luck with it!

      • Hi Sam Stephens. I decided (several months later) to try it again and voila! Worked great! Just need to do some minor tweaks but no big deal. A shoutout to you has already been incorporated into the story I am currently writing. Thank you for helping to bust the shackles of Amazon Kindle Create.

  3. Holy shit. Oh my god! You’re a lifesaver. Till the last moment I was thinking, something will definitely go wrong because it always happens that way. BUT IT DIDN’T!!!!!! Since you found the solution, you most definitely know what I’m feeling right now! Bless you and your struggle of finding this solution for me and others like me!!!!

  4. Wow man, This exactly happened to me. I thought I am ready to publish and while reading it, I did one change followed by other and soon I changed quite a bit only to realize there is no going back to a word document.

    And even with copy-paste, it was a mess to work on. This saved me a hell of a lot of effort and its really a solution that works, rather than saying we should not use kindle create to edit documents.

    Thanks a lot.

    • Devesh, mate that is sooooo familiar. I’ll just tweak this word. And this word. And these ones.

      Totally understand, and I’m glad it’s not just us that have been down this path!

      I’m glad it helped, and best of luck with your book launch!

  5. Sam, I really appreciate the tutorial on how to operate Calibre.

    I am an IT professional at a local computer shop here in NC, and I had a customer come in with a nightmare of a situation. ALL of the backups of his published book had been corrupted. Being an older gentleman, the customer wasn’t very tech-savy(As most seniors in my community are).

    Using your expert advice, and thorough explanation, I have now successfully recovered his book.

    Your instructions were clear, and very engaging.

    I appreciate what you have done here very much.


    • Hi Ian,

      Great to hear this helped you help the poor gentleman!

      It’s heart breaking thinking you may have lost something that you’ve dedicated so much time to. I hope he was stoked and gave you tip! 🙂


  6. Wow! Thank you! Your easy to follow directions saved my ass. I bought one of your books. Was thinking of buying 49, but was afraid that much fame and fortune would go to your head.
    Seriously, thanks again!

    • Great to hear it helped Howard!

      And thanks a million for purchasing a copy of my book!

      Your restraint in only buying one copy was very wise, I really appreciate you helping to keep me grounded. You’re a good man!

  7. Thank you very much. Theft of laptops inter alia left the only copy of my book in kdp on the sales page. Once downloaded there was no way to convert to word, UNTIL i found your work around. Thank you so very much from a relieved south african.

    • Hi Aldred!

      Wow, that’s rough sorry to hear about your laptop!

      Glad you were able to get it back and I was and to help! I feel your pain!


  8. thank you so much for this! I’m stuck at step four. I don’t know where to find my “existing plugins” and I cant find KPF Extract. Help?

    • Oh gosh, I got it! Thank you so much. I’m releasing my book on June, 3rd and I honestly wanted to fall into a hole this morning when I realized that I shouldn’t edit in KC.

      • Hi Jen!

        Fantastic, great to hear you’ve got it all sorted now! I know that exact feeling, so I’m glad I could help!

        Best of luck with your book launch!


  9. I love seeing just how many people here in the comments started accidentally editing their work in Kindle Creates and came across this article looking for a solution to preserve that “definitive” version of the publication. I did the EXACT SAME THING ha ha ha.

    Sam, thanks so much for this handy work-around. You really saved all our bacon. I hope all is well on your end. Take care!

  10. I love seeing just how many people here in the comments started accidentally editing their work in Kindle Creates and came across this article looking for a solution to preserve that “definitive” version of the publication. I did the EXACT SAME THING ha ha ha.

    Sam, thanks so much for this handy work-around. You really saved all our bacon. I hope all is well on your end. Take care!

    • Haha one of us, Millie, one of us!

      I’m actually pleasantly surprised how popular this post is. Firstly, it’s fantastic to see how many people it has helped, but secondly it’s also fantastic to see that it wasn’t just me that fell into the trap! Misery did love company it seems 😉

      Best of luck with your book!


  11. KDP doesn’t even accept the file compiled by Kindle Create. I didn’t do much edit, but could not get picture into it. Nothing worked so I looked for a way to return to .doc or anything editable.
    Thank you very much.

    • Hi Ben!

      I’m glad this helped! You’re right, KDP has some great things going for it, but it’s pretty rough around the edges!

      Best of luck with your book!


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