Let me just say right out of the gate before I go on, I know this is going to be a hot button for some people. Be courteous if you want to offer your own opinion.
The hot thing in publishing right now seems to lean toward self-publishing. "Get rich quick!" "Self-publishing is the only TRUE way to publish!" "If you're not self-publishing, you're a fool!" etc, etc, ad nauseam. The fact of the matter is, despite what some people say, there is no TRUE way to publish a book. But there is a correct way. Let me stop here for a moment and say I myself do not self-publish. But that doesn't mean I haven't looked into it or haven't considered it. I have. Why have I chosen not to go that route? Time. I simply do not have the motivation or the time that must be invested in what it takes to correctly self-publish.
So, picking back up again, there is no true way to publish a book, but there is a correct way. Just because you've chosen the self-publishing path doesn't mean that you get to skip the steps necessary for getting a quality product out to the masses. Notice the key word: QUALITY When you chose the self-publishing route, it doesn't give you a pass to skip the editing process. (Hint: You're not perfect, really. You're going to have mistakes.) Nor does it give you a pass in the art department. (Hint: Crappy cover art can turn away readers. Seriously.)
To be honest, you're not doing yourself any service by skimping on these things. And I have to ask, why would you want to really? Why would you not want to have something you've toiled over for weeks, months or heck, even years, that's a quality product you can be proud of? Your work deserves to shine at it's very best. Experienced editors and cover artists are going to help you achieve that goal.
There is no one true way to publish a book, there's only the way that works for you. And remember, what works for you, won't necessarily work for anyone else.