Well, here I go again: My book was published on kindle in 2013 using an old computer and my own cover design. So far so good. It sold about 2 copies! Now it's 5 years on. I have a brand new iMac and have a couple of questions. 1. Is there any way of retrieving the draft file from kindle as I need to do some editing on the MS and have lost the original digital files owing to getting rid of my old and obsolete computer. 2. What file do they want for upload to kindle and also as a paperback - pdf, rtf? or something else. Thanks in advance for any sympathetic and useful answers.
1. Is there any way of retrieving the draft file from kindle as I need to do some editing on the MS and have lost the original digital files owing to getting rid of my old and obsolete computer.
I've never used it, but there's a Python script called Kindle Unpack that's supposed to do exactly that. If you're not comfortable with Python, however, it may not be the best option. A more convenient method would be to download the MOBI file from your Bookshelf, and then use Calibre (free; works fine on Mac OS) to convert it to a Word doc.
2. What file do they want for upload to kindle and also as a paperback - pdf, rtf? or something else. Thanks in advance for any sympathetic and useful answers.
For an e-book, you can upload a properly formatted Word document; many authors here do so. I prefer to upload validated ePub files, which I create using Sigil (also free and available for Mac OS). Don't upload a PDF for an e-book; that's a recipe for disaster.
For a paperback, a properly formatted PDF is the only way to go, but make sure to use Createspace, rather than the KDP Print Beta service here.
Note that, for both versions, the emphasis is on "properly formatted"; I'd recommend looking up David Gaughran's blog if you need tips on formatting.
Go to your bookshelf, and call up the book. In the section called "Edit EBook Content", there is an option to preview your book -- either online, using the Zon's webpage, or on your own computer, using a Kindle simulator.
You want the "preview on your computer" option. Then you want the "download your converted book file" option.
Then you download your Kindle file in either HTML or MOBI.
Your choice. I've downloaded the HTML, and it is a zip file that I unzip -- and there is the HTML file of my book.
As for uploading a new book for Kindle, there are apparently several different formats that may work.
I upload an HTML (Web page, filtered) file, zipped. Although there are apparently other ways to retrieve your file, this one always works for me.
Whether this works if you originally uploaded a different sort of file, I don't know. I've only uploaded zipped HTML files.