KDP’s AMS Advertising now offers Subcategories… Finally

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.

ADVERTISING IMPROVEMENT WITH AMS AT KDP

Kindle books enrolled in KDP Select can be advertised on Amazon via AMS through KDP.

There have always been two targeting choices:

  • product targeting. Select specific products to target.
  • interest targeting. Select a category to target.

Until now, the category choices for interest targeting were very broad.

But now, after you select a category, you can select a subcategory.

Some of the subcategories are still themselves quite broad.

  • For example, for a math or science book, I must choose the category called Other.
  • Then the appropriate subcategory is Math and Science. But that includes very many different subjects.
  • It would be better if the subcategories were further divided. For example, I might choose astronomy, if available.

However, it is an improvement. Interest targeting is better now. It’s a nice step in the right direction.

If you want more precise targeting, the obvious solution is to choose product targeting instead.

KINDLE ADVERTISING TIPS

  • I used to recommend product targeting. I still favor that, but I just tested out the refined interest targeting so that I can compare. It has some merit.
  • Set the end date as far in advance as possible. It lets you go about six months ahead.
  • Choose to display your ad as quickly as possible. Generally, it’s not easy to make impressions unless you overbid. This option helps if you bid reasonably.
  • Make a catchy headline that’s likely to help create interest in your book, and which is quite relevant for your content.
  • Bid low to begin with. It’s okay to underbid.
  • Wait 3 days before raising your bid. Sometimes reporting is significantly delayed. See how it’s going before you ‘fix’ it.
  • Try expanding your targeting before raising your bid to see if that helps make more impressions.
  • If you do raise your bid, just raise it a little. And wait 3 more days before raising it again.
  • You’re not obligated to invest the whole $100. You can pause or terminate your ad at any time.

With my strategy, I have several affordable bids. Sometimes, I’m able to generate 100,000 to 400,000 impressions in one month with less than $10 spent. I have multiple ads where I spent about $12 to generate $24 in sales (at 70% royalty).

I observe some nice indirect effects on similar books and on my print books. (I tend to sell more print books to begin with, so that makes sense for my books.)

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

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
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

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

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

How Your KDP Ad on Amazon Might Be Better than You Think

AMS Ad

AMAZON MARKETING SERVICES

I love that Amazon now lets indie authors advertise with Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) through KDP Select.

Think about this: Traditionally published authors can’t find a self-service, low-cost advertising option on Amazon.

But if you’re enrolled in KDP Select, you can.

How cool is that?

Anyway… If you try one of these ads, you might just get 1 click for every 1000 impressions or so, and you might get a few sales for every 100 clicks.

If you also bid high to get more impressions, you might see a small short-term return on investment (ROI).

However, things may be better than they seem—i.e. better than the sales column in your AMS ad report might suggest.

Here are 14 ways that your Amazon ad might be more effective than it seems:

  1. Non-clicked sales. Clicking on your ad isn’t the only way to reach your product page. If a customer sees your name or the title of your book, the customer might search for it later. Or the customer might see the ad on his/her pc or laptop, but get out a Kindle to search for your book (instead of clicking on your ad). Thus, you might get a couple of sales that don’t show up on your ad report.
  2. Kindle Unlimited. Customers who click on your ad might download your book through Kindle Unlimited. These won’t show on the sales column of your ad report.
  3. Audio sales. Customers who click on your ad might see your audio book linked to your Kindle product page. A few customers may prefer the audio format.
  4. Print sales. Customers who click on your ad might see your print book linked to your Kindle product page. Some customers prefer print. (I tend to sell more print books than Kindle books, so this is significant for me.)
  5. Add to cart. The customer was busy buying something else when he/she saw your ad. So after clicking on your ad, if the customer likes your book, the customer might simply add your book to his/her shopping cart and revisit your book several weeks later. If the purchase isn’t made within 14 days, the sale won’t show on your ad report.
  6. Delays. Sales reporting on the ad report can be delayed. First, there can be a payment processing delay of a few days. The ad report itself says that sales reporting may be delayed by 2-3 days. The customer might not buy the book immediately after clicking the ad, too. The ad report will allow a customer 14 days from the click date to make the purchase, and still report the sale on the ad report.
  7. Series. If your ad succeeds in selling the first book of a series, some customers will also purchase the second book, third book, etc. Each sale can potentially be several sales.
  8. Similar books. A customer who clicks on your ad might check out your other books, too. In fact, the customer might buy one of your other books instead of the one you advertised. Or the customer might purchase multiple books.
  9. Multiple books. Authors of multiple similar books have a distinct advantage. One ad might result in multiple sales. But you only see sales of the advertised product in your ad report.
  10. Future sales. A customer who reads your book today might buy more books from you in the future. Including books you haven’t even published yet. When you release your next book, each fan you add today may impact your new release.
  11. Sales rank boost. If your ad succeeds in generating any sales or Kindle Unlimited downloads, this sales rank boost has the potential to generate additional sales.
  12. Branding. Anyone who sees your ad or reads the title has learned that your book exists. The next time they see your book, this improves the chances that they will buy it. Branding has good long-term potential. Even though the thumbnails are small and the ads only show a few words, people are clicking on the ads occasionally, so there is some branding effect in play.
  13. Recommendations. Any customers who buy your book as a result of the ad and who enjoy your book may recommend it to others. This can be a very long-term effect, but if you can get recommendations, they can have a big impact on sales many months down the road.
  14. Feedback. If nothing else, the ad report gives you some data that may be useful. For example, if your sales-to-click ratio is around 1% or less, it’s a good sign that you can improve (A) the marketability of your product page, (B) the targeting of your ad, or (C) your thumbnail or title so that they better attract your target audience through the ad.

Here are a few advertising tips that I’ve learned from my preliminary data from my KDP ad campaigns:

  • Product targeting appears to be much more effective than interest targeting.
  • Try to get into the mind of your target audience. Think of the people most likely to purchase, read, and appreciate your book. Which other books and products are they very likely to be shopping for now?
  • About 50 to 150 highly relevant products can work well, if you select them wisely.
  • It’s not just the popularity of the other product, but also how receptive those readers may be to your book.
  • It may be okay to add a highly relevant movie (on DVD or Prime, for example). This might help you break free of competition for ad placement.
  • It’s presently hard to make impressions with lower bids, say around 10 cents or less. Wise product targeting can help to make impressions.
  • Bid competitiveness is showing a few signs of possibly coming down in some categories. Patience may get your better return on your investment.
  • Here’s a new KDP Select tool that appears to reward higher-priced books. With a $100 budget and pay-per-click, earning a 34-cent royalty on a 99-cent book will have a really tiny short-term ROI. That doesn’t mean this can’t be useful to advertise a lower-priced book, just that doing so carries greater risk and requires much better long-term results to be worth it.

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.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section:

https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/how-your-kdp-ad-on-amazon-might-be-better-than-you-think/#comments

How/Where Does Your Ad Display on Amazon?

Ad Page

Click on this image to view it full-screen.

YOUR AD ON AMAZON

Amazon now allows KDP Select authors to advertise their books on Amazon.com.

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.

Ad2Ad3Ad4

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.

ABOUT THE TARGETING

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

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

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section:

https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/howwhere-does-your-ad-display-on-amazon/#comments