How/Where Does Your Ad Display on Amazon?

Ad Page

Click on this image to view it full-screen.


Amazon now allows KDP Select authors to advertise their books on

The picture above is a screenshot of my desktop. You can see an ad for a Kindle in the bottom right corner.

This ad shows near the top right of the product page, where the buying options are. So when you proceed to buy a book, you see the ad for another there.

The ads come in three sizes:

  • 270 x 150
  • 300 x 250
  • 217 x 128

The display size evidently depends on where your ad appears. Near the buy button is just one of the possibilities.

You can preview your ad in all three sizes before committing to a campaign. This means you can play with the tool without actually using it.


Worth noting: The last image, i.e. the smallest one, is the one that appears near the purchase button on the product page. This ad also just shows the first few words of the title.

You see a small image of your thumbnail in the ad.

If the thumbnail were larger, it would help with branding better. But that presently is an option.

So if you wish to use this ad to get better branding with impressions, you ideally want a cover thumbnail with:

  • two huge keywords in the title so that they stand out even in this tiny thumbnail
  • a simple, yet striking design, effective at grabbing your target audience
  • details will get lost; busy designs will be too much to convey anything in the thumbnail
  • one main clear image is what you might be able to brand through impressions
  • a good color scheme for your genre and content
  • a very clear instant signal for what kind of book this is (otherwise, you’ll get wasted clicks)

This is more challenging than the usual cover design because the size is reduced compared to normal.

One of the ads only shows the first few words of the title, so a short title that clearly signifies the genre is an advantage. The subtitle doesn’t show.

The ad also shows list price and review info.


The display might not be what you expect when you choose your targeting.

For example, if you look at the screenshot that I included with this post, you can see an ad for a totally unrelated book. That is, unrelated to the book featured on that product page.

The ad doesn’t just display on the product pages of the interests or products that you target. That’s not how it works.

You don’t tell the ad, “Hey, just show up on the product pages of sci-fi books.”

You can tell the ad, “Find customers who have shopped for sci-fi and fantasy books in the Kindle Store in the past.” This is called interest targeting.

This does NOT restrict the ad to only show on the product pages of sci-fi and fantasy books.

Then what does it do? It shows the ad to customers who have shopped for sci-fi and fantasy books in the Kindle Store in the past. They might be checking out a nonfiction book now, or a romance book, or whatever. As long as they’ve shopped for sci-fi and fantasy in the past, it doesn’t matter what kind of product they are looking at now.

The other kind of targeting is product targeting.

You don’t tell the ad, “Hey, just show up on this book’s product page.”

You tell the ad, “Find people who have viewed these books’ product pages in the past.”

So your ad won’t just show on those books’ product pages. It will show to customers who have viewed those product pages in the past, but it doesn’t matter what kind of product the customer is looking at right now.

It’s fine. It’s showing your book to customers with related interests. It just might not work the way you expect.

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

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20 comments on “How/Where Does Your Ad Display on Amazon?

  1. Thanks for doing the research and posting on this advertising scheme. I’ve been reading your posts with interest and am nearly ready to give it a try.

    • One thing to keep in mind is that a large number of authors are likely to try this out in the beginning, and the reporting may be slow, stalled, delayed, etc. If authors don’t see their numbers change quickly on their reports, they will naturally raise their bids, hoping to see some activity. I think one key to this new tool will be patience.

      Good luck. 🙂

  2. Since my books won’t do very well with just the first few words of the title, I’d probably go with the larger ads, but you say those don’t appear near the Buy button. Do you know where they appear?

    • Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose the ad size nor where they appear (although the higher bid at the time probably gets the better placement).

      One of the other options is down with the reviews, atop the reviews on the right, though I often see major advertising there (like for trucks) and sometimes no ads there at all (perhaps there is some unspecified minimum bid for better location).

      The next time I’m designing a cover or choosing a title, these potential ads are one more thing I’ll consider (though maybe they will change by then).

      (The other side is that this option is presently only open to books enrolled in Select.)

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