Ebook authors shouldn’t use Microsoft Office Home/Student or the Military versions as they are for non-commercial use only, and most authors want to earn some money from their work.
Many ebook authors probably use MS Office Home/Student version for writing ebooks or for creating PDF’s and may not notice the warning of “Microsoft Word non-commercial use” beside the title of their document.
Or if they have seen it they’ve ignored it. But what if your work becomes a success and then made into a movie? If you wrote your now famous work on MS Office Home/Student or Military you leave yourself open to a lawsuit, including damages which could leave you broke for a very long time.
It is unlikely the majority of self-publishing authors will ever earn enough money from their ebooks to attract the attention of MS lawyers, but just to be safe from possible lawsuits there are other office suites authors may use.
Authors may upgrade to the Professional version of MS Office, or download the free Office Suite replacement which I use – LibreOffice.
LibreOffice can produce Word doc files for exchange with others or uploading to ebook publishers. It can also produce PDF’s. I use Adobe Acrobat for producing PDF’s because I already have it.
Is LibreOffice or OpenOffice right for every author? No. If you want to have a printed book it is best to use MS Office Professional to produce a PDF or purchase Adobe Acrobat as at this time neither LO or OO embed fonts.
I’ve had no problems using LibreOffice for publishing my ebooks, mainly because my works don’t have any fancy formatting or unusual fonts. However, like MS Office, LibreOffice isn’t perfect so check it out, play around with it, and read what other users say about it before you make a decision to write your next million dollar masterpiece with it.
Don’t know what your license rights are for a particular Microsoft product? Microsoft provides an easy solution for viewing in PDF format the End User License for their products at this link.