I've read and listened to a few discussions about whether to format the manuscript yourself or pay someone else. Ultimately we have to make the best decision for us, but it's not difficult. I didn't time the process but it didn't take me more than two hours and some of that involved starting the accounts and filling in the information they required.
I used a designer to create the cover and consider that money well spent as I don't have those skills, and I also had the book copy edited. I believe, as Joe Konrath also says, an important part of publishing a book yourself means it has to be the very best it can be.
I've had feedback from the writing group and from beta readers which has strengthened the story, and I think it will emotionally engage readers. So having the copy edit and the cover designed was part of the process of making it as good as I could.
Now it was time to press the enter key on the Smashwords site. I've read about the length of time it takes for the manuscript to upload. What can I say? After pressing enter on the Smashwords site I was 10th in the queue and it went through so fast I really didn't see the numbers clicking down. That must be one bonus of living in the Southern Hemisphere and therefore uploading files when much of the world is asleep. Within minutes I had an email back from Smashwords saying ' Congratulations! There were no AutoVetter errors! Your book is now in the queue for review by our vetting team." Yay I was on my way. One down and Kindle to go.