As someone who has been an active participant and a very interested bystander/purchaser of the product for the past four years, and with the value of hindsight and present sight, I would like to say this:
Yes, but only if you meet a particular set of criteria.
I'm sure there are more than a few of you sitting out there asking the computer screen, "What on earth could there possibly be any criteria for self-publishing a book?"
Believe it or not, from what I've observed in the past two years, to give your novel/novella/short story collection the best chance of success, you really need to have these two necessary components.
1} A solid body of work.
2} A solid reputation in your chosen field of genre.
Without these two important pieces, you're basically swimming against the riptide. No matter how well written your prose is, unless you have something out there to prove to the reader that not only do you have talent but that talent has been looked upon in positive terms, you're just throwing your hard earned dollars away.
But if you do have those two important pieces, then you're giving yourself the best possible chance to succeed. And I know that unless I provide solid evidence to prove my theory, you're gonna ignore this entire post. So for those of you who want proof, here are five writers that I know of who have those two important pieces and links to them.
David Cranmer. Of all the writers that I've gotten to know over the years, David has had the most success self-publishing his work. Not only has he built a solid body of work but he is well respect in his chosen genre not only as a writer, but as an editor as well. Check out his blog and website for further details on what he has out there.
Charles Gramlich. Charles is well known and respected in his chosen genres of horror and fantasy, and has also come out with a few self-pubbed e-books that are excellent starting points to explore those two genres.
Travis Erwin. In addition to his body of short stories and a impressive debut novel, he has also self-published a wonderful trio of non-fiction short stories for the Nook/Kindle.
Joanne DeMaio. She writes both fiction and non-fiction and has coming out in March 2012 a wonderful novel called "Whole Latte Life".
Elanie Ash. She is an accomplished award winning short story writer and freelance editor who has an excellent crime noir/horror short story collection out on the Kindle.
To reiterate, the one common thread that all of these writers have is that they built a solid body of work before deciding to take the plunge into the world of self-publishing. This group of writers have all put out first class pieces of work and thus have proven that self-publishing is something that shouldn't be looked down upon, but to be embraced as an excellent addition to one's arsenal of writing weapons.
If you want to self-publish, please look at both sides of the issue. The pro can be found at the above links while a combination of the pro & con can be found here and at this blog (please check out my short series on self publishing: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th). While I'm only giving you my informed opinion based on my personal experience, in the end, the question of self-publishing being right for you can only be answered by you and no one else.
Make sure that it's an answer that you can comfortably live with.