I have not self published before, but would advise against it. These days, almost anyone can self publish from a variety of websites. If you're considering the cost, self publishing can be more expensive in the end. Self publishing means all the work relies on you. The advertising, putting it together/layout, editing, EVERYTHING. Essentially, the whole book and whether it's a hit or miss is on you. You are the editor, the agent, the publisher, the publicist, etc. If publishing is something you want to do seriously, especially novels, I would consider spending that time and effort into at least finding an agent or submitting to a publisher. In the end, I think you will find your work will be better off in the hands of a professional.
Honestly, I would only consider self publishing if it's not a novel. A poetry book might be acceptable if you write poems. Recipe books are also good to self publish, I think. You might even be able to get away with a children's book. But, personally, for novels, I would leave that to professionals. Self publishing, as I said, can be a lot of work and require all your attention. And if anything goes wrong, it's on you.
Hope that helps you some!