The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 07 December, 2021

Do Amazon Ads Work For Books

Danielle Fletcher
• Thursday, 14 January, 2021
• 14 min read

And like any other platform, success largely depends on data analysis and iteration. In this post, we’ll analyze two case studies (one fiction, one nonfiction) and try to understand what these authors are doing right.

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For Sponsored Product ads, you can start advertising for as low as $2 a day. For Product Display ads, you need to set up a “lifetime cost” per campaign (the minimum is $100).

While Facebook generally charges you per 1000 impressions, on Amazon you only pay when you get a click. This means that if your advert is shown to 20,000 people, and no one clicks on it, you won’t be charged a thing.

For Sponsored Product ads, you can start advertising for as low as $2 a day. For Product Display ads, you need to set up a “lifetime cost” per campaign (the minimum is $100).

Well, those come into play when you start actually creating and managing your own Amazon ad campaign, which is what we're going to look at now. Simply select the book you want to advertise in the drop-down menu, and then name your campaign.

Now, it's important to name your campaigns smartly and consistently, so that you know immediately how to distinguish them in the future. As mentioned earlier, the cost of Amazon ads will depend on the type of ad that you choose.

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For Sponsored Product ads, you only need to set up a daily budget (and, optionally, an end date). For Product Display ads Product Display ads, on the other hand, require you to set up a “cost-per-click bid” right away, an overall budget for the campaign (minimum $100), and a duration.

Automatic targeting : you let Amazon choose where to display your ad. In a nutshell, a “bid” is the maximum amount you’re ready to pay for each click.

Our recommendation is to stay within the upper part of that range, and adapt your bid based on your results. It shows your campaign’s budget, ad spent, impressions, clicks, cost-per-click, sales, and crucially, the Acts.

It’s an acronym you don’t come Across (here) on platforms like Facebook Manager or Google Ads. It stands for “Advertising Cost of Sale,” and it’s a ratio that measures the amount you spent on the campaign relative to the sales you earned directly related to that campaign.

It’s a wonderful little metric that tells you, at a glance, whether your campaign is making or losing you money. Note that sales are calculated by Amazon based on the retail price of your book, not your royalties.

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All in all, Amazon Marketing Services offers a relatively straightforward platform with clear reporting. If you're short on time, consider working with a professional book marketer to help you set up your campaigns.

“There are 4 key elements to successful advertisement: (1) Copy, (2) Image, (3) Target audience, and (4) Data. Number crunching is immensely important, otherwise you’ll have no clue what’s working and what isn’t.

Spend time on analyzing your data, and do it daily when starting a new ad.” “For example, when you look at the data in the screenshot I took of one of my ad's performance, you’ll see that some keywords have been shown more frequently than others.

Joseph Alexander started writing books about guitar five years ago (in 2012), and in that time has gone from being ‘just one guy writing books to becoming a small company that turns over around $500,000 a year. “Back then, I didn’t have the advantage that Amazon ad gives new authors.

$5 a day (which I’m unable to reach) is an extremely cheap way to find out if your advert is working. OK, let’s look in a little more detail at Joseph’s actual adverts and setup.


It’s creepy, but Amazon knows what you’re shopping for, what you’ve been looking at, what your interests are and how best to deliver the right advert at the right time.” On top of that, Joseph's a freelance book marketer on Reeds.

Amazon Advertising ad types run on the PPC model. Sponsored Products is an ad type that can increase search visibility, utilizing keywords to target customers.

The ads serve both on desktop and mobile browsers as well as on the Amazon Smartphone App. Clicks on the ads drive customers to the advertised product’s detail page.

It takes three days after your first click for this data to begin showing in your report. Acts : The Average Cost of Sales (Acts) is the amount you’ve spent on a campaign divided by the total sales attributed to your ad.

While the budget allows you to control the spend on a campaign, Amazon Advertising sets minimum budget requirements for running your ad campaigns to help ensure you’re getting the most out of your ad run. When creating a campaign, an advertiser enters a bid for the keywords, genres or products that they want to target.


Custom ad images you upload will also be reviewed for alignment with the policies. Some common reasons that campaigns are rejected for advertising include poor quality images or covers, unreadable text, typos in text, content not appropriate for a general audience, and content that is not localized for use in the United States.

If you’re a seasoned indie author, there’s a chance that you’ve already used Amazon to create ads to help sell more e-books. As the largest platform in the world for purchasing and publishing e-books, Amazon holds a huge amount of power.

We think one of the best ways to start bringing in book sales is through advertisements, and Amazon offers some powerful ad tools. Of course, Amazon ’s advertising and marketing services need a fair bit of explanation and understanding before they should be used.

Becoming adept in Amazon Advertising can be greatly beneficial to the future of your book sales. As explained on Jane Friedman’s website (with a helpful guest post written by Dave Chess on), these recent changes resulted in new ad types and updates to the advertising dashboard.

Mark offers a course that’s specifically focused on how to set up and optimize Amazon ads for authors, which you can access here. Not only will this blog post explain what Amazon Advertising is, but it will also give you tips on successful strategies for this ad platform and provide you with a detailed walkthrough of the website.

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You’ll either need to log in using an existing Kindle Direct Publishing account or register for one in order to access Amazon Advertising. For existing accounts linked through the Kindle Direct Publishing platform, you’ll need to select “Advertising Console (formerly Amazon Marketing Services)”.

Once you log into your account on the Amazon Advertising website, you’ll be greeted with this view: The Amazon Advertising dashboard will provide you with an easy-to-read overview of your campaigns, showing relevant date information, your budget, spend, related sales and orders from your ad, and Acts.

Amazon is able to export a report for any and all of your book ads for any date range. This is a great way to easily compare your ad campaigns against each other and see your income in dollars.

It represents the highest amount of money that you will spend per click on your ad. While there are limitless guides and strategies for what the right CPC is, creating multiple ads with low costs per click is a good way to find out what works for you.

The trial and error method is going to be the best way for you to find out what works for your personal campaign needs. From the Amazon Advertising home page, you can also access financial records and information through billing and payment methods.


(Arrows showing the current billing period and payment due for our campaign, as well as what has already been paid for). Overall, the Amazon Advertising site is easy to use and simple to follow. Perhaps the hardest part of this process will simply be understanding how to run better ads.

It’s always best to create copy that is short and simple, giving the readers just what they need without getting too wordy. Thanks to keywords included during the ad-building process, these sponsored products reach that overlap and better access their intended audiences.

While ad placement for sponsored products varies, these types of ads can appear anywhere from at the top (by the search bar) of your page, to the middle of your screen, or even at the bottom of product pages. After pressing this, you’re given the option of selecting whether you want to create a Sponsored Products or Lock screen ad.

Keep reading for a walkthrough of what the Sponsored Products ad creation process looks like: If you have questions while you’re creating an ad, click on the small gray and white “i” button next to the various parts of the campaign creation process, and Amazon gives you an explanation for each step of what you’re doing.

You want to pique buyers’ interests without being overly wordy or giving away a major storyline from your book. When you put ads out through Amazon you’re going to run into something called “dynamic bids”.

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Update your payment method so that Amazon can properly charge you for your ads With a daily budget, though, your money continues to be spent every single day that an ad runs.

It’s very important to set weekly, if not daily, reminders to monitor your ad costs so there are no surprises for your bank account. Even if one million people see your ad on Amazon, but no one clicks on it, you won’t be charged.

Try to remember that when you set a budget for your ads, it doesn’t mean that Amazon will be spending all of it every single day. As I’m typing this, Written Word’s Amazon Advertising account has one ad running with a $10.00 daily budget.

Yep, forty-three cents based solely off of how many people have clicked the ad today. If you decide to set a certain end date, your ad will stop running on the day of your choosing.

However, if you do not set an end date, the ad will continue to run until you manually stop it. High daily budget, along with no end date, can create costly ad campaigns.

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A key example of this is Leslie Wolfe’s sponsored product ad that appeared directly underneath the search bar: The proximity of Leslie Wolfe’s ad to the search bar means high impression numbers.

You’ll need to adjust your bid so that a higher percentage is being spent to get you in that spot. For example, if you were selling a cookbook, you might want to spend practically all of your bids on product pages relating to food or cooking.

If you want to run ads on Amazon, you need to make sure you know what types of keywords exist and which ones can benefit or harm your potential sales. When you create an ad campaign on Amazon Advertising, you get the option of which type of targeting you want.

You’ll make your selection and move on to the next part of the campaign creation process. Amazon ’s algorithm will make its own decisions about what type of user needs to see your product.

Manual targeting, on the other hand, allows you to handpick keywords that will be tied to your ad. If you do want to target keywords manually, you’ll be able to include up to 1,000 of these within your ad campaign.

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Right off the bat, you know that your keywords will need to cater to anyone interested in cozy mysteries, especially ones about baking or food. We want our keywords to cast a wide net, grabbing hold of any searches that can send readers our way.

Since we know that cozy mysteries typically have female protagonists who are sleuths attempting to solve a crime (normally murder), we can generate long lists of related themes. And with our book title specifically mentioning a baked good, we can generate ideas off of that.

We recommend combing through similar authors, titles, or series names in order to jack up your keyword possibilities. This might not be something you’d think of off the bat, but common misspellings are frequently used when searching on Amazon (we all know how easy it is to throw in a typo or two while furiously typing away).

Unrelated authors, book titles, series names, or words don’t need to be included. While the amount of keywords you can add is huge (1,000 to be exact) and overwhelming, we recommend using early ads as tests.

While we’re on the topic of testing, we want to go back to David Vaughan and reference some of his advice on Amazon ads for authors. The writer and self-publishing expert has recommended creating Discovery and Performance ads to test out what keywords will work for your product.

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Vaughan recommends putting more money into Performance ads since these are tested and true, most likely to achieve positive results. Amazon only continues to grow, which means it’s adding in more and more consumers who might buy your book.

What this means for advertisers is that you can get an inaccurate representation of how many clicks you’re actually getting when it comes to Lock screen ads. Be aware of this as a potential problem and work that estimation of accidental clicks into your overall number.

Unfortunately, it will probably take months of careful observation to find out which of your ads are succeeding and why.

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