I'm going to stop posting for a while. I don't see much point in it. I have a lot to learn and my luck has been nearly nonexistent so I should concentrate on writing, marketing and cobbling together a plan for doing things, since right now, I'm walking around nearly blind.
I will leave you with one piece of advice. In my writing, I have discovered that publishing a free short story can help, yes, but it can only really be helpful if you publish it at the same time as your book since people may like something but not enough to go back and check if it's out yet. Convenience is one of the best things you can provide to get your work seen by more people and have them consider buying it.