Book Marketing – Amazon Ads

In the spirit of sharing tribal lore, a few further notes on Amazon (AMS) book ads after completing an initial campaign which garnered about 30,000 impressions for my environmental fantasy thriller…

  • Expect modest sales results on this platform especially for indie authors without an established readership; AMS ads compliment (but most certainly don’t replace) other essential efforts to promote a book and build a base (e.g. my book signings have been far more successful than AMS ads to date – though signings have their own challenges Book Marketing – Signings and Readings).
  • Though initially, results will be modest, so are costs. For indie authors with a nano-scale budget, AMS ads are a good ‘laboratory’ to test assumptions about a book’s potential readership and how to reach them.
  • As many others have noted, the best keywords seem to be genres that you think your book fits within, authors that you assume readers may find similar to your work, and titles of books with motifs/plots/characters similar to your own. There are several paid or free tools to generate the boatloads of keywords that are gist for the mill in determining what ultimately works in connecting a given book to a readership that might actually buy it.
  • In experimenting with keywords, we all know that our own work is utterly unique and impossible to categorize (gentle sarcasm intended), but for this exercise, staying humble and looking for genres/titles/authors in spaces similar to our own work is helpful.
  • There are any number of places to get free or paid expertise that may (or may not) better inform you about navigating AMS. However, the platform remains something of a black box with regard to how its algorithms translate an author’s keywords and bids into targeted ads for a given book. Predicting what will work and determining whether it was customer psychology or a nuance of AMS (or a combination of the two) that drove a particular keyword’s success is tricky. Even the definition of ‘impression’ isn’t clear – probably it doesn’t mean actual eyeballs on a particular ad given that many sponsored product ads are buried many, many pages deep. Having said that…
  • There is value in pouring over the metrics generated by your campaign for leads on who might buy your book and how to reach them with follow-up efforts.

It’s a trial and error process, so more will be forthcoming in an upcoming post…

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