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I would look into building relationships with the mommy-bloggers and their networks. Co-creating content with established names or writing contributing posts for blogs/sites that already earn a high volume of traffic is a great way to spread the word organically which boosts your rankings from an SEO perspective.
Good luck with the series!
I ´ve struggled with this issue myself as well. I´ve found that creating an audience BEFORE the actual launch of the product helps you build awareness and credibility. I´ve been using facebook ads to get likes to my page and it is unexpensive.
I´ve read many articles on the internet about this very subject and I´ve discovered that many independnet artists, publishers, etc, do just this. By the time they have an x amount of fans they start introducing their products. You start by giving little bits of free things/content on your facebook page and you can also discover what they like the most. Also contacting media is a great tool. The most awareness you can create for your product the more chances you have to become succesfull
There is an association in US Independent Book Publishers Association, I think it is worth suscribing to. They publish monthly newsletters.
I self published years ago a bilingual mexican cook book and they have lists of journalist that cover these topic, and other valuable resources.
What a great project you are working on. I'd love to hear more details about your upcoming children's book series. I think since ultimately you are trying reach the parents of these young children it would be great to perhaps do a book trailer that could be easily shared on You Tube. Also you could contact some of the highest ranked Mommy Bloggers and get them to review and chat about your series. Of course I would also create a Facebook and Twitter following for your series among other things. I'd love to help you in any way possible. Feel free to contact me to chat more. Have a great day!
Three tactics: Blog Marketing; Public Relations (not just writing a release and putting it up online); Smart Online Advertising with extreme targeting that will remarket to those that visit your website, but have not yet purchased. And, the last item assumes you will build a promotional website at which engaged visitors can make a purchase.
While the readers, will be children, you will have to gain the favor of the parents. I would guess that the Mothers will be a large part of your buying audience. Once they get the first book and they see the benefit, they will help build the audience for the rest of the series. If you are marketing through a web site for the series, make sure the name is short and easy to remember. Cable TV ads will help build interest, and can be done a few markets at a time. And some national magazines can help also. Some for the kids and some for the parents.
With that demographic, I definitely recommend press releases and connecting with organizations that fit the age group your books are made for. Social media will be important but not as important as good reviews from key influence sources.
I have a list of sites for promoting ebooks for my former client. You should also do a social media blast for the parents.
I would Start with the Texas Children's Hospital, by donating some Books!! Then getting it placed on the Debra Duncan Show, Good Morning Houston. I personally know her!!
Jeff, your customer will be the child's parent so building a mobile responsive site is important. All ebooks are moving towards the tablet so hopefully your content is optimized for that as well.
Also partner with folks like @Neil Mccafferty who will help you in the long run.