Tracking Views at Amazon—Finally..?

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.


Don’t you wish that you could see how many people are viewing your book’s product page at Amazon?

Then you’d be able to see how good your blurb and Look Inside are at closing the deal, or how well a promotion is working.

Well, now you can get tracking data at Amazon.

Amazon marketing services is now available for books enrolled in KDP Select.

For as little as a $100 budget and bids of 2 cents, you can advertise your book on Amazon.

Visit your Bookshelf and click the link under the KDP Select column called Promote and Advertise.

When I did created an advertisement this morning, I received an approval email that said:

  • “Please allow 1 day for clicks/impressions to appear…”
  • “…and 2-3 days for detail page views to appear.”


This will show how many impressions are made all together. That’s the number of times that your ad is shown to potential customers.

You don’t pay for impressions that don’t result in clicks. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

But every impression helps with branding and discovery.


Divide your budget by your bid. That’s the minimum number of clicks that you’ll get if your entire budget is used up. (If it’s not used up and you’d like it to be next time, either increase the duration or try a higher bid.)

For example, a $100 budget and 2-cent bid will give you 5000 clicks if the entire budget is used up. (First convert 2 cents to $0.02. Then divide.)

But you’ll get even more impressions. You might get tens of thousands of impressions or more for your $100.


Compare your clicks to impressions to compute your click-through rate. That is, what percentage of the time do people who see your ad click on it to view your product page?

click-through rate = ( clicks / impressions ) x 100%

The smaller your click-through rate, the less effective your cover is at attracting the audience who is seeing your ad. The problem is either that the cover doesn’t appeal to your audience, or you’re not targeting your ad to your specific audience effectively.


Amazon will evidently also show how many people are viewing your detail page. This is valuable info that many authors have requested in the past, but never had access to. Now there is a way to get this data.

Compare your sales to views to compute your closing rate. This shows how good your blurb and Look Inside are at sealing the deal once traffic arrives at your product page.

closing rate = ( sales / views ) x 100%

The smaller your closing rate, the less effective your blurb and Look Inside are at selling your book.


Amazon Marketing Services offers two ways to target traffic:

  • target by product
  • target by interest

When you choose interest, select the category that’s the best fit for your book. The choices are fairly broad, so unfortunately you’ll also catch some people in the category who aren’t in your subcategory, but the targeting does help to deliver your ad to a narrower audience.

When you choose product, you can find similar books (or relevant products) and target your ad to customers who view those products (or perhaps who have used those products in the past). You can choose multiple products.


KDP Select authors can place an advertisement and, in addition to any benefits of the ad itself, receive valuable sales information regarding their books.

It may be helpful for planning your next book.

It might help establish whether something you’ve changed recently is helping or hurting.

It might help you see how well a promotion is doing.

It’s valuable data that we didn’t have before.

Once you run more than one ad at different times, you have some basis for comparison.

However, this tool may be more effective in the beginning, while it’s still new to customers and other authors.


Advertising isn’t a band-aid for a book that doesn’t sell on its own.

Advertising isn’t a substitute for learning how to market a book effectively.

Advertising is more helpful for authors who have multiple books out and already have some positive marketing experience.

Advertising is better when you supplement it with free marketing strategies.

Advertising is more effective when it’s targeted well.

Advertising is more effective when your cover is visually attractive to your specific target audience, and when it reveals the genre or subject very clearly.

Advertising may riskier when you have few reviews.

Advertising directly on is potentially much more effective than marketing on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. Instead of asking people to stop whatever they’re doing with their social media and hop on over to Amazon, now you’re showing your ad to people who are already shopping at Amazon.

Advertising can help you brand a name.

Advertising does carry a risk. Weigh the benefits and risks carefully. The worst-case scenario is that you’re out $100 with little to show for it. Can you afford that risk? What are you doing to supplement the advertising to help minimize this risk?

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.


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30 comments on “Tracking Views at Amazon—Finally..?

  1. That would be really useful info to have! $100 is not so much of a risk. Fb advertising works in a similar way, but I never found it very usefull. They didnt seem to show it to many people, so I had a small chance of getting any clicks. You have to pay for impressions OR clicks. Obviously they make more money out of you paying for impressions than clicks so thats what they are trying to get you to do. Amazons way sounds much fairer.

      • Wonderful article and I am going to use it for reference because ad campaigns can get very complicated, too fast! Plus, I think it’s great that amazon is trying new things for the authors, because they’ve got a bad rep lately with the KU and KLL, but honestly, without them, I would not be published (even though the book is getting perfected), it has taken me going one step at a time on the KDP program to get this far, so I’m kind of a fan still!

      • Thank you. If you run an ad, you can expect to see about 1 click per 1000 impressions. But remember, that doesn’t really matter, since we only pay per clicks.

        Focus on sales divided by clicks times 100%. If that’s 1% or better, that’s pretty good. If not, there is probably room for improvement somewhere. If this is 1%, you bid 2 cents, and your royalty is $2 (or more), your ad is doing great.

        Good luck. 🙂

      • See, you make it sound so simple but I guess until I have the page in front of me and a calculator, it will seem a bit much. You can break things down in a way that is understandable and I think that is a gift!

  2. I send people straight to my web site, to get the view information. That is how I have coped, but this will be great.

    • The page views are those sent from the ad, but that’s still much more than we had in the past. I’m finally able to calculate my closing rate, which gives me some idea of regular traffic to my product page.

  3. Chris, this is wonderful information! I accidently tried something different the last campaign and got 62,000 impressions with 174 clicks and approximately 12 sales. I did overbid though so cost myself a bit more money, but the subcategory trick definitely targeted the audience! Each campaign I run I am learning something and then remembered your blogs and am re-reading them to clarify my strategy. Thanks so much!

    • Thank you, Patrick, for sharing your experience with the ads. The trick is to get the bid just right to get ad performance without overspending — not easy, but hopefully your experience will help you find your sweet spot. The subcategories are a nice improvement (and interest targeting can get special ads on Kindle devices). Good luck with your book. 🙂

  4. Thanks Chris! Yes…this was a learning experience that used my $100.00 budget but compared to my first tries, this was an eye opener! This time I tried two categories with subcategories to see how it works with a couple of cents less 🙂 You are right…it is a nice improvement because I always thought I needed to get inside the Amazon advertising realm in order to make pay per click work. It does! I am going to try the product targeting too and will let you know what I find. Thanks so much for all of your useful information!! I even re-blogged your post but it didn’t make sense until I actually did it!!

  5. This works great if you use the paid advertising for wherever the ad is displayed. But during free promo periods where I’ve submitted my book to say 100 sites that will list my book during those free promo days, your method won’t work for tracking that free incoming traffic. Suggestions?

    • That’s trickier. For the big sites like BookBub, E-reader News Today, Book Gorilla, and many others, I’ve seen authors stagger their five free days so that only one site is advertising their free promo at a time, which helps them track where the freebies are coming from. (Some sites can track how many customers click their ads to go visit your Amazon page, though there is also the “trust” issue if you can persuade them to share their stats.) Good luck with your book.

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