In a word, yes.
If you already have a copy of Microsoft Word, then you should absolutely use it to self publish your own novels. I have used it to publish all my own books and novels for lots of other people, including picture books and training manuals.
It does require a good knowledge of Microsoft Word, which can easily be learned from online information. Word converts to a PDF file perfectly adequately, using its own export facility – PDF (Portable Document Format) is the required format for uploading to Amazon KDP.
However, I would not suggest it for books with complex and extensive images because Word does start to crash with larger file sizes.
It also works really well for creating a Kindle ebook. You can upload a Word document directly to KDP for conversion, but it is best to save it as a .doc rather than a .docx (Word 97 – 2003 format), especially if you want to upload to Smashwords Meatgrinder.
Covers for paperbacks and Kindle books are best done in a graphics package such as Photoshop.
Some key points to remember when creating a paperback in MS Word
- Set up your page size to match the trim size you want for your final book. Usually, you will have to choose a Custom size and enter the dimensions yourself -make sure you enter these EXACTLY (you can find these at: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201857950#intspec
- Set your margins to be mirrored and allow yourself extra margin space (called the gutter) for the internal margins (where the pages are joined together).
- Use styles to set the formatting for your headings and for your indentations – do not use the tab button to create indents.