Successful fantasy writer Karen Myers has recently written an article on her experience with Amazon AMS ads and has kindly agreed to us to republish excerpts from it. You can read the whole article on her blog, and we really recommend that you do that.
I’d like to focus on my own experience with Amazon AMS ads over the last 9 months.
For context, here are some basics. (If you’re already familiar with AMS ads, you can skip this.)
1. You can only run ads for your own book and, at this time, only for the US. Other regions are anticipated, e.g., the UK.
2. There are “Sponsored Product” ads (which show up at the bottom of product searches and below the “also-boughts”) and “Product Display” ads (which show up near the “Buy” button and on Kindle screensavers) — I’ll only be talking about Sponsored Product ads.
3. Each ad is a “campaign”. You supply up to 1000 keywords or keyword phrases for each campaign, and a maximum price you’re willing to bid for the ad. You compete with other advertisers to show your ad prominently in its display area.
4. I call a cluster of campaigns for a single product (to use more than 1000 keywords) an “ad farm”.
5. You supply a 150-character ad copy, and Amazon supplies the book image from your book listing. There are restrictions on what you can claim in the ad (e.g., “Bestseller”).
6. Amazon will suggest some “automatic” keywords of minor usefulness, but I will be talking about the “manual” keywords I supply.
7. You are charged the bid amount each time someone clicks on your ad, whether or not they buy your book once they look at the book’s page. You are not charged for impressions (the display of your ad).
8. You set a daily budget for each campaign which caps the maximum spend. Raising the budget for a successful campaign does not necessarily make Amazon display the ad more frequently — it is difficult to really maximize the use of successful campaigns, once identified, aka “Amazon won’t spend my money”.