Using Amazon Ads to Optimize your Book Sales
You completed and released your book, family and friends have read your book and given great reviews about the book. You are more than confident of your book now, but there is a problem – You cannot find new readers and move forward in your writer’s journey. If the situation sounds familiar, you are not alone in the boat. A lot of new writers face this problem.
Any published author or an author in making knows the power that Amazon, being the largest platform for publishing and purchasing, holds in helping you increase your book sales. But is increasing your sales in your hand? There are several ways to promote your book on Amazon and to increase sales. In this article, we are going to talk about something which is perhaps most significant of all – Amazon advertising. The article will help navigate through the process of how to use Amazon ads to sell more books.
Why should you try Amazon ads?
Amazon is a place where the maximum number of books is sold, and Amazon’s customer base is increasing every day. Another benefit with Amazon is that when customers come to Amazon, they have a buying mindset, which is different from Facebook ads. When a customer sees your book in an ad, they’re more likely to purchase it than someone on Facebook just to pass the time. Lastly, there is no design that you need to create for your ad. Amazon ads will use the book cover as an ad image.
Types of Amazon ads
Amazon Advertising platform offers two types of Amazon ads to authors:
- Sponsored Ads
- Lockscreen Ads.
This type of ad can be used for both eBook and paperback. If you choose this type, your book will pop up and the readers will be able to view it as and when they use search-words. Your book will be shown to the reader based on the targeted keywords you have finalized for your ads.
For instance, if the title of the book is ‘Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire’ and you chose the keywords as ‘Harry Potter’, ‘The Goblet’, ‘Fire’, or even by the author’s name ‘J.K. Rowling’ then if some reader types in these words in the search bar or types a book name with similar keywords, your book will come on the top. Creating this type of ad is very simple, and you can run ads on different Amazon websites like Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Amazon.es, Amazon.fr, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.it, and Amazon.com.au.
These are only for ebooks. They work on the pay-per-click model, meaning you will only be charged when a reader clicks your book’s ads. The Amazon ads are shown on Kindle E-reader and Fire tablet lock screens and Kindle E-reader home screens. The advantage of these ads is that these ads reach the device used by readers to read and order a book. Genre interests target these ads. These are available for campaigns on Amazon.com only.
Steps to Create Ads
By now, you must have decided which type of ads you are going to create. Once selected, you can start making the ad campaign. Below are the steps you need to follow to create an ad for your book:
1. Create the Account –
If you have self-published the Kindle version of your book, you will have the advertising account by default on Amazon KDP. On your dashboard, you can go to the Marketing tab and create an ad. If you don’t have an existing account, you can create one using the below link. You can Sign Up on the platform using your Amazon credentials also – https://advertising.amazon.com/
2. Choose the ad type –
Once the account is created, the platform will ask you to choose the type of ad for which you want to make the marketing campaign. You have to select one of the two, mentioned above.
3. Create campaign –
After you choose the type, you will be on the ‘Create campaign’ page. You need to provide the campaign name. It is always better to keep the campaign name as the combination of book and the month in which you are running the ad.
Next, you will have to choose the start and end dates. This is the duration in which your ad will run. If you don’t provide the end date, your ad will run till the time money in your count is exhausted. If you are giving credit card details, Amazon will deduct your daily budget daily every day. Next, you have to give your daily budget. This is the maximum amount you want to spend on the ad per day.
4. Choose the targeting –
There are two options – Automatic targeting and manual targeting. In the case of automatic targeting, Amazon will show your book when someone is looking for a similar book. While in case of manual targeting, you have given the words/phrases for which you want Amazon to show your book.
5. Choose campaign bidding strategy –
There are three options to choose from:
- Dynamic bids, down only – In this type, Amazon will lower your bid when your ad is less likely to convert to a sale.
- Dynamic bids, up and down – In this type, Amazon will lower your bid when your ad is less likely to convert to a sale or may increase it if the ad is more likely to convert into a sale.
- Fixed bids – The bid, in this case, is set.
6. Ad format, Product, and Targeting –
Under Ad format, you can create a ‘Customer text ad’ which will let you add custom text to your ad to give readers a glimpse of your book. The other type is ‘Standard ad’ in which you don’t have to put a custom text to create the ad. In the next section, you will have to choose the book for which you have to create an ad (in case you have several books). Use can use one of the two targeting methods:
- Keyword targeting – In this, you choose the keywords for which you want Amazon to show your book. This will be enabled only when you select the Manual Targeting option in step 4.
- Product targeting – In this, you choose specific products, brands, categories, or other product features to target your ads.
7. Review and submit –
The final step is to give custom text (in case of custom text ad), preview your ad, and submit.
Once you submit the ads, your ad will go live within 72 hours if it meets all Amazon requirements. Below are some of the reasons under which Amazon may reject your ad:
- if your ad contains text with grammatical errors.
- Unsubstantiated claims like the mention of #1 Bestseller).
- contains images which are not appropriate.
Amazon KDP Select Program
Amazon’s KDP Select Program is available for Kindle ebook publishers. The program allows the e-book authors to participate in advertising campaigns and thus market their books.
By enrolling in KDP Select Program, you as an author give Amazon exclusive distribution rights of your ebook. This means that you cannot distribute your ebook through any other channel or cannot even sell the e-book through your own website.
The KDP Select Program offers several promotional offers such as:
Price Promotions: One of the most popular promotional features of this program, the price promotional activity allows the authors to make their book free for a few days or even sell it at as low as Rs. 9/-
This can be a great strategy for new authors as well as those fiction authors who write series.
Kindle Unlimited/Kindle Lending Library: If you opt to put up your book in Kindle Unlimited/ Kindle Lending Library, readers who have subscribed to those programs can read your Kindle book for free. You as an author will be paid on the basis of the percentage of the book read and a global fund which is created by Amazon each month in order to compensate its authors.
Of course, the earnings from this are less than what you will earn if your book was sold outright. However, this is a good strategy to reach out to more readers.
Tips To Keep In Mind While Using Amazon Ads For The First Time
If you are creating ads for the first time, don’t expect a great response as the combination you have chosen may not be a perfect combination. Try some combinations, stick to Amazon ads for a longer time, and see what works best. Once you know what is working, it is smooth sailing from there – you will be on autopilot mode. To start with, keep a decent budget, only when you understand what is working, increase the budget.