‹ Back to blog

How to Use Amazon Ads to Promote Your Book

FEATURED IMAGE New York Book Editors 8 2 2021 How to Use Amazon Ads to Pro

Amazon isn’t just the world’s largest bookstore. It also provides a platform for you to market your books to the public. You may have heard of Google Ads and Facebook Marketing, but when it comes to book promotion, Amazon blows both of those platforms out of the water.

Amazon has amassed a mind-boggling amount of data (which, if stored on hard drives and stacked on top of each other, could equal the height of Mount Everest eight times). As an author/marketer, you can tap into Amazon’s incredible wealth of data to target the right audience at the right time and sell more books.

So, let’s talk about how to create and run effective Amazon ads for your book.

What Is Amazon Advertising?

Amazon Advertising is an online advertising solution for marketing your book. Like Google and Facebook, Amazon uses the Pay Per Click advertising model, or PPC for short.

In the PPC model, you, as the advertiser, pay each time someone clicks on your ad. It doesn’t matter if the person purchases or passes. You pay for that initial engagement.

However, you don’t pay for impressions. In other words, people can see your ads without you paying for them. For example, 100 people may see your ad, but only 15 people click on it. You will only pay for the 15 who engaged and not the 85 who saw it but then continued to scroll.

As an author/ marketer, you can tap into Amazon’s incredible wealth of data to target the right audience at the right time and sell more books.

A Brief Look at How Amazon Advertising Works

Without getting too far into the weeds, let’s discuss how Amazon Advertising works.

You don’t pay for permanent ad placement on Amazon. Instead, you bid for an ad spot.

When bidding, you can target keywords, genres, or similar titles.

You then choose how much you’re willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad. Amazon will suggest a bid for you, but you can enter your own.

Your bid will then go into an auction, competing with other bids, for ad placement.

The highest bid usually gets the top spot, but not always. During the auction, Amazon will decide which ads to show based on several factors, including relevancy, reviews, and your historical conversion rate. Amazon won’t show an ad simply because it’s the highest bidder.

Sell More Books With Amazon Ads

Ultimately, Amazon wants its customers to make a purchase. And if the ad is irrelevant to the customer’s search or links to a book with dismal reviews, the customer may not purchase the book. And even worse, the customer will have an unfavorable view of Amazon. To avoid this, Amazon uses an algorithm to decide on placement. And the algorithm may not show any ads if none were deemed suitable.

Additionally, you may not spend your entire bid amount. That’s simply the maximum amount you’ll pay if someone clicks on your ad. Amazon uses a “second price auction” which means that if you are the highest bidder, you’ll only pay $0.01 more than the second higher bidder. For example, if you bid $1.00 but the next highest bid was $0.75, you’ll only pay $0.76 when someone clicks on your ad.

By the way, if you’d like to use Amazon to sell your book, the first step is to be a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) author. (You can still use Amazon to promote paperback copies of your book.)

Why Should You Advertise on Amazon?

Now that we’ve discussed how Amazon Advertising works, let’s discuss why it’s a good idea for you to use this platform to market your book.

#1: Amazon Is Crowded

The Amazon marketplace is crowded, with hundreds (possibly thousands) of books published every single day. That number will continue to grow as more people use Amazon to self-publish. You need to do something to set yourself apart from the crowd, and an ad can do just that.

#2: Amazon Ads Aren’t Disruptive

Facebook ads can be effective, but they’re disruptive. With a Facebook ad, you’re interrupting someone while they’re scrolling through a social feed. Buying a book may not even be on their radar. But with an Amazon ad, you’re reaching shoppers who have an intent to buy. They’re actively on Amazon looking for something to purchase. This audience is more engaged. Another benefit to Amazon ads is that you’re not pulling a person from one site to another, which can be met with some resistance.

#3: Amazon Ads Are Effective

Amazon ads tend to have a higher return on investment (ROI) because these shoppers are actively looking to buy a book. When your book shows up, they’re more likely to buy it. However, they’re less likely to purchase a book when they’re not in “buying” mode.

#4: Amazon Ads Are Affordable

Do you have a meager budget? That’s okay. You can set Amazon ads to run for as little as $1 per day (or $100 per campaign). Remember that you’re not paying for views but rather for clicks. So a small budget can go a long way.

#5: Amazon Ads Give You an Advantage

As mentioned above, the Amazon marketplace is filled to the brim with book titles. But running an ad gives you an advantage. Your book will show above all other results which means that your target audience won’t miss you.

#6: Amazon Ads Are Easy to Set Up

You can set up your first Amazon ad within the span of five minutes. It’s simple and unintimidating, even if you’ve never done online marketing before.

What Are the Different Types of Amazon Ads?

There are three main types of Amazon ads:

Sponsored products - These ads show up in the search results and the book listing pages of competing titles.

Sponsored brands - These are banner ads that are displayed at the top of the search results pages. These banner ads can show up to three books and are used to build awareness.

Lock screen ads - These ads show up on Kindle E-readers and Fire tablets when the user unlocks their screen.

Which Amazon Ad Type Is Best for Your Book?

For new authors, it’s recommended to choose “sponsored products.” This allows your ad to show up for relevant keywords or similar products.

How Do You Set Up Your First Amazon Ad for the Sale of Your Book?

Sell More Books With Amazon Ads

To set up your ads, you'll navigate to your KDP bookshelf and select the title you'd like to promote. Choose the “Promote and advertise” option.

The next step is to choose a marketplace where you'd like to market your book. Currently, you can choose from 8 marketplaces around the world, including the US, the UK, and Australia.

Click “Create an ad campaign.”

For new authors, consider choosing the “sponsored products” ad type. From there, Amazon will walk you through the steps to successfully set up your campaign.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Set an end date for your campaign, especially if this is your first time around. You don't want to forget about your campaign and end up with a surprise on your next bank statement.

  • You can choose between manual and automatic targeting, but it's recommended that new authors allow Amazon to do the targeting for you automatically.

  • You can choose between three different campaign bidding strategies, but Amazon recommends the dynamic bids option. This gives Amazon the power to raise or lower your bid amount based on the likelihood that the click will convert to a sale.

  • For ad format, opt for the standard ad if you're uncomfortable with writing custom ad copy. It's a good option for first-time advertisers.

  • If you want to improve the relevancy of your ads, consider adding negative keywords. This prevents your ad from showing up in searches that are unrelated to your book.

How Much Should You Pay for an Amazon Ad?

As we mentioned above, you can set up an Amazon ad campaign for as little as $1 a day. This may be the best option for those new to online advertising. Starting off small gives you a chance to get familiar with the process.

Amazon recommends that you run an ad campaign for a minimum of 60 days. Keep in mind that you’re not likely to see a ton of responses right away from your ad. It takes a while before the ads pay off.

Final Thoughts

Amazon is the perfect place to advertise your book. Use the above tips to successfully create and launch a book ad campaign.

Subs panel temp
Make sure your book isn’t a "long shot"

Enter your email for your FREE 7-Day Bootcamp and learn:

  • 5 Unconventional Techniques to help you finish your Draft
  • The Key to Getting Readers to Care About Your Characters
  • How to Master Dialogue, even if you’re a First-Time Writer
  • What You Need to Know to Hold Your Reader’s Interest
Thank you!

We've sent you an e-mail, thanks for subscribing!

You might also like...
Looking for ways to supercharge your writing productivity? Here’s some unusual ideas you may not have thought of before:...
Read More
Not sure what to do when you get stuck in your novel? Check out these novel-writing tips to get out of your way and make...
Read More
How can a first-time, self-published author gain the attention of CNN, the BBC and the Times? And after signing up with ...
Read More