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#1 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 11:45 PM

Just discovered (via our own jwmstudio) that Amazon now has ad campaigns for self-publishers.... but only for KDP Select titles. I don't understand the whole bidding thing described in their help section, but most of this advertising stuff baffles me anyway. The ads are cost per click, and you have to set a minimum campaign budget of $100.

 

With advertising for KDP Select, you can use Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to purchase advertising to promote your KDP-Select-enrolled books on Amazon.com. To get started, you can create an Amazon Marketing Services account directly on the KDP website. You set the budget you want to spend and the maximum amount you are willing to pay when a customer clicks your ad. Customers who click your ad will go to your book's product detail page. You'll only be charged when your ad is clicked if your ad is displayed, but if it is not clicked, you are not charged.

How It Works
First, choose the book you want to promote, and specify how you want your ad to be targeted. Then decide how much you're willing to spend promoting it. You'll also need to set a start and end date for when you want the ad to be delivered. 

 

Targeting
You can choose to have your ad delivered to customers who previously browsed the Kindle Store for a particular genre, or to customers interested in specific products on Amazon. 

 

Bidding and Budget
Your book's ads automatically compete in an online auction. You'll choose your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid when you schedule your ad. Your CPC bid is the maximum amount you will be charged when a customer clicks your ad. To advertise, you must place a minimum CPC bid of $0.02 and set a minimum campaign budget of $100.00.

Your actual cost-per-click is determined in an auction that takes place with other eligible ads. You will be charged $0.01 more than the second-highest bid in the auction for a click, up to your maximum CPC bid. 

 

Paying for Ads
You pay only when customers click your ad. If they see it but don't click, you are not charged. You'll enter or select a major debit or credit card in your Amazon.com or Amazon Marketing Services account (not your KDP account), and you'll be charged periodically in small increments as your campaign goes on.



#2 jwmstudio

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 12:00 AM

Crew!! This is so cool. Please bring your CPC wisdom to the table. :happy:


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#3 Darke

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 09:51 AM

We're talking about this in a Facebook group I'm in, and so far, the two people who have signed up are not impressed. It reminds me too much of Facebook's 'promotions' which are more of a click farm than promotions. Both of them are seeing limited 'impression' (whatever that means) with no click-throughs or sales. A big complaint is that the 'click' button looks more like the 'buy' button. Could be a reason people aren't clicking through.  


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#4 RSMellette

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 11:05 AM

There is no need to click through from Amazon. A click through on Facebook means they click to the link. From there they have to click again to buy. It would be great to have a buy button on an ad I think... one less click.

From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#5 Darke

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 11:12 AM

There is no need to click through from Amazon. A click through on Facebook means they click to the link. From there they have to click again to buy. It would be great to have a buy button on an ad I think... one less click.

 

AGreed, but I'm still not hearing that people are impressed with the program.


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#6 AQCrew

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 11:26 AM

They're display ads, right?

 

The world of display ads -- even through Amazon -- is incredibly tricky.  Display ads work through Google because Google stalks your internet searches and caches and then displays highly relevant content back to you.  Just plain display ads tend to be ignored on the whole, especially on crowded pages like a book page where there's so much going on.

 

We don't agree that it's the same world as the type of ads that Facebook is offering.  The CTA button, yes, possibly.  But FB's ads that are placed within users' timelines can be highly targeted and offer a much lower cost-per-engagement.

 

But regarding Amazon, also there is the issue of their creative content restrictions.  Good luck even getting your ad approved if you have any content that's not PG13:

 

http://www.amazon.co...viglink20273-20



#7 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:34 PM

Yeah, I actually have no idea what type of ads they are. But I have heard similar things that people who beta tested the program weren't terribly impressed either. But I haven't looked into it too much.



#8 Darke

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 09:16 AM

My writer friend Diane allowed me to share her statistics from the Amazon promo. 

 

She opted in for three days, locking in at the $100 max. She chose 5 categories/genres for her book; a dark YA with good reviews on Amazon. Over the course of three days, she had 355 'impressions' (appearance of ad on pages) and zero clicks, zero sales. She cancelled. 

 

She also brought up a few good questions about the whole process. I'm reposing with permission.

 

  how do we know how long an ad stays in a particular location? Is it constantly being shuffled up or down depending on the bid structure and # of authors entering that particular category? There's a randomness to this that mitigates against predicting success or failure rate. And Amazon's intent is to force you into upping your bid toward supposedly more favorable outcomes. For me 355 impressions indicates it jumped from one title to another in the (as an example) YA category x-number of times, but did it stay and for how long? Was MY ad appearing on a high-value title page in YA (e.g. a current bestseller) or was it dumped on a page with a "book" 10 pages long for 99c? And even if it appeared on a high value target, was anyone actually looking at that page, at that time, and did they understand what the button meant (it looks like click here to buy this button and nobody will do that if they have half a brain).
 

~I am neither an author nor a writer; I am a storyteller with good grammar.~

darkes_cover_4_sparkletn.jpg Book2TN.jpg darkescovenwtTN.jpg demonthumbnail.jpg 4311642f-9dfa-4c08-ac6d-a6979476c6ce.jpg

 

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#9 RSMellette

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 11:14 AM

I think the best ads on Amazon are free.  "People who bought this book, also bought..." and "People who viewed this, also viewed..."  That's huge!


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#10 AQCrew

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 12:07 PM

Thanks for the additional info. Darke.  Definitely salient questions that your friend poses...

 

There is no question there's an oversupply of authors willing to pay premiums for advertising that works, and a complete dearth of effectual places to advertise your book.



#11 Darke

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 12:33 PM

There's another person I was talking to about it as well. His numbers aren't much better, but he wants to stick it out to see how long it takes to get a sale or even a 'click'. 

 

Andy yes, RS, that's the best kind of ads. 


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#12 K.M. Hanson

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:34 AM

Thankfully my editor has edited a LOT of books on Amazon, so I am hoping that people looking at the other books she edited will also see mine pop up when it talks about the "also by" ad section, or "similar to" ad section. 


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#13 mwsinclair

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 11:19 AM

For what it's worth, I decided to run one of these ads for the EBP book Battery Brothers (by fellow AQCer Steven Carmen). I intend to run it through the Major League Baseball playoffs (it's a YA book about brothers who play baseball). I signed up for the minimum $100 budget. I too have not seen any click throughs in the first day of it being approved, but I have seen a boost in the KOLL/KENP figures. It may be just a coincidence. I'll try to share more details as they emerge. Plus, if no one clicks through, then it doesn't cost me anything and I still receive data on impressions, etc.

 

I could see this being a handy prod to remind people who bought the book to read it, since Amazon altered how it pays on the KDP books. Again, more to learn.



#14 mwsinclair

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 03:52 PM

About midway through, I've had nearly 6000 impressions, two clicks, which appear to have cost me 37 cents. I've sold a few copies of the book, but not immediately as a direct result of the ads.



#15 Jean Oram

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 10:45 AM

I haven't heard anyone say (yet) that the Amazon ads pay off.


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#16 mwsinclair

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 12:53 PM

It's hard to quantify. I've started another campaign for Billy Bobble. So far, since launching this latest one on 11/11, there have been 17 clicks, which will cost me less than $5. There hasn't been a sale attributed to those clicks yet. (Nor were there for the Battery Brothers campaign, which rendered 3 clicks and cost me a total of 39 cents). However, both books have seen a recent upswing in sales. Not much, mind you, but it's there. I don't have the data to attribute it to the Amazon campaign, but I think the impressions are worth the paltry price-per that they cost so far.



#17 mwsinclair

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 09:51 AM

As an update, the Billy Bobble campaign has been more productive than the Battery Brothers effort. It also was a bit better targeted, so that may be part of the reason. To offer data: more than 12,000 impressions has led to more than 70 clicks and some sales (at least one book, I think more). The clicks will cost me at least $21 and change for the campaign, which ends this weekend. It's not as cost-effective, perhaps, as a targeted ad through BookSends, say, but I'm not disappointed totally either. I'll probably do more of this.



#18 mwsinclair

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 01:39 PM

To bump this back into currency and reflect the changes on Amazon over the past two years, I wanted to call attention to something I did in April. I'd restarted some ad campaigns on Amazon recently, but I'm planning to do a lot more of this now. I set up a budget of $5 a day and never came close to that, so this is a low-cost way of promoting your book.

 

I launched a new ad keyword campaign for the EBP book Winter's Regret, which was released in 2014, so this was not a new book. Also, it's an anthology, which is already a hard market to sell at any time. So I had a difficult road ahead of me. Plus, that anthology has not sold well for more than a year.

 

I chose about a dozen keywords/keyword phrases.

 

The quick and dirty: I sold four e-copies in April. Not a lot of copies, but it was clearly the best month for that book for more than a year. (It's a wonderful collection, by the way, though I know I have a bias). I am going to be working on keywords to launch new campaigns for more EBP books. I'm convinced that by selecting the right keywords (and it's not always the obvious), I'll be able to boost sales even for already published books. Love to hear anybody else's experiences -- agreeing, disagreeing, or experimenting. And since you only pay for clicks, not impressions, I spent $5.46 for a month of advertising on the biggest online bookseller in the world directly from these clicks, which more than covered my costs; I also sold two paperbacks, which aren't clearly reflected in the Amazon data.

 

My goal for May is to massively increase how I use this.



#19 RSMellette

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 03:54 PM

Good to hear. :)


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#20 KitCampbell

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 05:20 PM

Ooo, thanks for sharing, mwsinclair. Can you share how you chose your keywords and/or how you're going to choose them moving forward?






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