Converting Kindle file to other formats

I was asked in one of my many writer groups to detail step by step how I was able to convert and extract other formats out of Kindle Create so I decided to write this post up for reference.

I rather like Kindle Create for the simplicity of preparing my manuscript for publishing on Amazon Kindle. However, I am always wary of being tied so closely to only one ecosystem so I started exploring how to get the same book in various formats. Besides, you’ll need a MOBI version if you want to send ARC copies to reviewers. So here are the steps I used to do so:

What you’ll need:

For the purpose of this article, I’ll presume that your manuscript is prepared and ready to go in Word.

  1. Open Kindle Create and start a new project.

  2. Import your manuscript from Word.

    Kindle Create takes you through this step by step so I won’t go into details here.
  3. Format your ebook the way you want. I won’t go into the details of how to do so on Kindle Create. It’s fairly intuitive and there are a ton of tutorials online.
  4. When you’re ready hit the Publish button.

  5. It will give an option of where you want to save the kindle file. Pick a place you’ll remember. Once it’s done converting, it’ll give you a pop up like the screenshot below

    Click on Open containing folder. Take a note of the file ending in .kpf. You’ll need to know where you’ve stored this file.
  6. Now go open Calibre. Click on the Add book button.

    Navigate to where you’ve stored the kpf file and click on it. This will add the book to your Calibre library.
  7. Once import is complete, right-click your book and select Edit Metadata then Edit individual metadata from the menu.

  8. Make sure the title, author and tags are filled in. If your book is part of a series, make sure that’s filled in too. This is also where you can find where the image of your cover is stored (should be a jpg file) and drag and drop it into the box here.

  9. Right-click on the file again and select Convert books then Convert individually

  10. Check that the cover is there and all metadata is filled in correctly. Select the desired output format on the upper right (highlighted in screenshot). If you want to send the book straight to Kindle, you’ll need the MOBI format.

  11. Click Ok on the bottom right and it will convert.
  12. Once the conversion is completed (it’ll say in the lower right corner), right-click on the file again and select Open containing folder.

    You’ll find the converted file (in this case the MOBI file) there.
  13. I suggest at this point copy and paste the file to somewhere where you remember where to access, such as your Desktop or where you store your original manuscript.

Clean up and checking (optional)

  1. Once you have moved the files you need, go back to Calibre, right-click on your book and select Remove books then Remove selected books.
  2. You can then double click on the file to check that all the formatting converted properly. Depending on your computer’s set up, it may use Calibre as the default viewer (and why you wanted to remove the old version you imported.)
  3. If you have made changes after in Kindle Created start from step 4 again. Just make sure that you have removed the previous version from Calibre already.

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