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

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