Author Topic: AMS Ads Learning  (Read 28139 times)  

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2017, 11:41:51 AM »
An ACoS of 70% on a book for sale within Amazon's 70% royalty program is breaking even. If you have a nice little graph of what your KU sales looked like before you started AMS ads, you can compare it to what they're like after the ads have been going for a while. Then you can get a very approximate (unless you're a math nerd) idea of whether the increased KU reads are giving you a net profit.

We also have to take into account impressions. If, as the marketing people claim, a reader has to see the cover of a book seven times before buying, the impressions without clicks are valuable free advertising. So are some of the clicks without purchases, but not all; it's hard to imagine someone deciding not to buy and then circling back and buying after all, although it is possible. Obviously, if you have other ads running on some of the days you examine, your results could be skewed.

Offline Beth_Hammond

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Re: My AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2017, 12:00:13 PM »
Yeah, it took me day or so to see the sorting (clicking the tops of the columns). Now I can't stop doing it!


Glad you're learning. That was my goal in posting this.

This is exactly where I was too. Thank you. Your post is much appreciated.

I'm still figuring this out.
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Offline LFGabel

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2017, 12:10:13 PM »
An ACoS of 70% on a book for sale within Amazon's 70% royalty program is breaking even. If you have a nice little graph of what your KU sales looked like before you started AMS ads, you can compare it to what they're like after the ads have been going for a while. Then you can get a very approximate (unless you're a math nerd) idea of whether the increased KU reads are giving you a net profit.

But if you're not in KU, there's no point in going over the 70% or 35% mark. Is that correct thinking?
All the best,
Lee


Offline Harald

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2017, 12:44:21 PM »
So if I understand this correctly, the 84% ACoS represents an ad spend of $13.33 and an estimated total sales of $15.87. And this doesn't represent the royalty, which is 35% of $15.87, or $5.55 (your actual income from the book sales).
Are you banking on KU reads to make up for the balance of $7.78 ($13.33 - $5.55?) Otherwise wouldn't you be losing money (spending more than you make)?
Thanks for this very illuminating post.

Good question, LFGabel. And the answer (today) is: Yes, I am *easily* making up the balance of Campaign-Spend-to-Sales loss in KU Reads. Looking at my tracking notes (and my KDP dashboard) shows me the jump in Reads after starting the ads, and it is significant. So that in itself makes the campaign (for Book 1 - $0.99) running in the black. Then the other benefits I mention above (e.g., the organic sales from the bumps in Sales Rank) are on top of that. So yeah, it's worth the ad cost for this book. At least for now. [Note that I'm using a Per-Page Read Payout of $0.005 (US store) in my internal calculations. Last month's December figure was actually a bit higher at .00523954.]

Quote
But if you're not in KU, there's no point in going over the 70% or 35% mark. Is that correct thinking?

Not necessarily; there can be other tactical benefits. For me and for a Book 1 of a series, I would be willing to skate close to the edge of breakeven or even lose money if it helps follow-on sales to the other books. Remember... THE FUNNEL!  :D

« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 01:02:01 PM by Harald »
   
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Offline Harald

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2017, 12:53:28 PM »
An ACoS of 70% on a book for sale within Amazon's 70% royalty program is breaking even. If you have a nice little graph of what your KU sales looked like before you started AMS ads, you can compare it to what they're like after the ads have been going for a while. Then you can get a very approximate (unless you're a math nerd) idea of whether the increased KU reads are giving you a net profit. ...

Yep. And see more in my response to LFGabel above. (sorry, I missed this before I answered him)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 12:57:28 PM by Harald »
   
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Offline LFGabel

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2017, 07:55:07 PM »
...there can be other tactical benefits. For me and for a Book 1 of a series, I would be willing to skate close to the edge of breakeven or even lose money if it helps follow-on sales to the other books. Remember... THE FUNNEL!  :D

Thank you for for this generous share of information and your time. It is appreciated.  :)
All the best,
Lee


Offline TromboneAl

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2017, 04:23:16 PM »
I should mention that before I started with AMS, I'm pretty sure I never even glanced at a sponsored ad.

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Offline Harald

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2017, 04:28:02 PM »
I should mention that before I started with AMS, I'm pretty sure I never even glanced at a sponsored ad.

Glad you're not my target audience!  :D

Seriously, I did, but rarely past "page 1" or whatever was showing. Now, I'll go a little further in but not to page 99 or wherever the end is. Unless I'm looking for my own book, that is!
   
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Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2017, 05:34:46 AM »
I need to change the end date of a campaign. The instructions say that there is a pencil icon next to the campaign name which allows me to edit the duration. But, I don't see any pencil icon.

I can go into campaign settings and change the end date, but I want the ad to run indefinitely.

Can everyone see that icon except for me? Or does anyone know another way to change the duration?


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Offline Harald

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2017, 07:03:36 AM »
I need to change the end date of a campaign. The instructions say that there is a pencil icon next to the campaign name which allows me to edit the duration. But, I don't see any pencil icon.
I can go into campaign settings and change the end date, but I want the ad to run indefinitely.
Can everyone see that icon except for me? Or does anyone know another way to change the duration?

I don't see a pencil icon, but you can change the duration (Advertising campaigns > Campaign > Campaign Settings > Duration). Since mine are already set to "No end date" not sure if there is an option to change *to* that. As a workaround, why not set your end date for way off in the future. Just remember to make a note to redo it before then!
   
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Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2017, 10:09:42 AM »
I don't see a pencil icon, but you can change the duration (Advertising campaigns > Campaign > Campaign Settings > Duration). Since mine are already set to "No end date" not sure if there is an option to change *to* that. As a workaround, why not set your end date for way off in the future. Just remember to make a note to redo it before then!

Thanks. That's what I've done. I guess there is no other option.


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Offline AisFor

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2017, 07:52:43 PM »
If someone clicks on your ad and borrows the book through KU, does it show up as a click, or does it not register at all?

Offline Harald

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2017, 09:01:42 PM »
If someone clicks on your ad and borrows the book through KU, does it show up as a click, or does it not register at all?

You get the Click, and if they then read, you get KENP Read pages. *And* you get a Sales Rank bump. Cool, huh?
   
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Offline Graeme Hague

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2017, 11:51:51 PM »
Great post. But it's a daunting amount of information. I'm keen to try AMS. Is it so hard to start using them? What would you say is the most difficult aspect of creating an AMS ad? Is it coming up with 100-200 keywords that are relevant to your book?

Can you begin to build an AMS campaign, take your time to understand each step, and "Save" your progress until you're confident with what you're doing? Or do you have to complete the whole process in one login session.

And a really newbie question. What is an "impression"? I've dabbled with FB ads and still not quite understood what an impression is.

Again, thanks for taking the time to do this. It's going to be a great help to a lot of people.
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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2017, 07:15:25 AM »
Go to a book on Amazon and scroll down to the banner of sponsored ads. Those ads are "impressions." Also, look to the right of the screen and you will see one large ad for a book. That is also an impression.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 07:17:27 AM by loraininflorida »

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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2017, 08:04:07 AM »
The one thing you should do before releasing your ad from draft stage is to write a really good teaser blurb, because you can't edit it later; you'd have to start a new campaign to use a new blurb. Check out some on other sponsored ads to see how many words get shown and which teasers are hooky.

Offline Decon

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2017, 08:26:59 AM »
Thanks for the post. A lot of useful info there.

I've been doing these ads for some time now, and to be honest, after the first month I slowed down on maintaining them by updating stuff and I've just let them run, because it was eating too much into writing time.

December was really fantastic for me with the ads, but I also interspered them with free ads on promo sites and paused them on the day of the promo, so it was difficult to get a handle on how it affected page reads.

Since December my average ACOS has risen from 11% to around 28% across the five books with a sale price of $2.99, in part due to increasing bids when everyone dived in and my ads ended up at the back of the pages. I've not run free promos on sites since to see how it made a change to results to try and discover what the ongoing organic page reads are from the ads. Bear in mind, before sponsored ads came along I was struggling to get any page reads at all and royalties were under $100 per month... way under.

It's looking as though I'll hit 30,000 page reads across the 5 books in February the same as January without any other type of promo. That's 50% down on December, but then you'd expect that because sales increase anyway in December and as I said, I ran free promos.

So basically I am earning $5 per day from page reads or around $150 per month using sponsored ads. I have to say though that this last week I've struggled to get more than 600 page reads per day and sales have noticably dropped off.

If I leave everything as is, then I'm making a profit, but it is small change, though not to be sniffed at.

I'm not sure what to do next with the ads as a strategy, other than in March, I think I'll try a series of free promos to see how that boosts things.

Basically, I doubt I'm ever going to be a mega seller of any of my books, but as it stands they will make around $250 in royalties after SA costs per month if I just let things ride with only sponsored ads for marketing.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 08:40:13 AM by Decon »


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Offline Harald

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2017, 08:31:42 AM »
Great post. But it's a daunting amount of information. I'm keen to try AMS. Is it so hard to start using them? What would you say is the most difficult aspect of creating an AMS ad? Is it coming up with 100-200 keywords that are relevant to your book?

It's not that hard but it does take thought and effort. Your list of Keywords is vital but so is your "Custom Text" (the blurb @ 150 characters max). Actually, I agree with LilyBLily: the blurb is the #1 thing to get right; you cannot change that once the ad starts. Keywords you can add to, pause, adjust with bids, etc.

Quote
Can you begin to build an AMS campaign, take your time to understand each step, and "Save" your progress until you're confident with what you're doing? Or do you have to complete the whole process in one login session.

Can't remember if you can save-as-you-go, but the smartest way is to create a document that includes the main elements in advance, then copy and paste. And you then have a record. Here are the main pieces:
- Book: _____
- Campaign Type: _____
- Campaign Name: _____
- AvgDailyBudget: _____
- Duration: _____
- Targeting Type: _____
- Custom Text ("blurb"): (150 characters max): _____
- Keywords: _____
(go to the AMS Help pages to see more about each of these)

Quote
And a really newbie question. What is an "impression"? I've dabbled with FB ads and still not quite understood what an impression is.

Amazon says: "Impression: The number of times your ad was displayed." There are many places where this happens. Don't worry too much about Impressions; you'll get them unless something's very wrong.

Let us know how it goes!
   
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Offline Harald

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2017, 10:15:33 AM »
[...] Since December my average ACOS has risen from 11% to around 28% across the five books with a sale price of $2.99, in part due to increasing bids when everyone dived in and my ads ended up at the back of the pages. I've not run free promos on sites since to see how it made a change to results to try and discover what the ongoing organic page reads are from the ads. Bear in mind, before sponsored ads came along I was struggling to get any page reads at all and royalties were under $100 per month... way under. [...]

Hi Decon! Interesting how your ACoS is rising and mine (on my primary book) is dropping. I started off at the top of this thread at 114%, and I'm now down to 59%. Mostly by massaging and fine-tuning my keywords. I also noticed that "dive bomb" a while ago, but things seem to have stabilized (at least for me). And like you, my KENP Page Reads really took off after I started the AMS ads. There was a drop-off with those Reads for a bit, but now they're back up again. Hard to explain except there are also other factors. For me, I think genre ("historical fiction") and also the fact that I'm in a series has something to do with it. And other factors as well.

I've currently paused my other series' AMS campaigns but am still running my original Book 1 campaign, but constantly tweaking it (now only x1 per day at night). Keep meaning to do an update here but this post will have to serve for now. :)
   
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Offline JB Rowley

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2017, 11:35:37 AM »
Thanks for this post, Harald. Very informative. Been trying to get my head around AMS ads for ages.

Offline Harald

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2017, 11:55:47 AM »
Thanks for this post, Harald. Very informative. Been trying to get my head around AMS ads for ages.

Thanks! Definitely a learning experience. Once you get in there and start mucking about, it gets clearer.
   
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Offline Graeme Hague

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2017, 03:28:13 PM »
It's not that hard but it does take thought and effort. Your list of Keywords is vital but so is your "Custom Text" (the blurb @ 150 characters max). Actually, I agree with LilyBLily: the blurb is the #1 thing to get right; you cannot change that once the ad starts. Keywords you can add to, pause, adjust with bids, etc.

Can't remember if you can save-as-you-go, but the smartest way is to create a document that includes the main elements in advance, then copy and paste. And you then have a record. Here are the main pieces:
- Book: _____
- Campaign Type: _____
- Campaign Name: _____
- AvgDailyBudget: _____
- Duration: _____
- Targeting Type: _____
- Custom Text ("blurb"): (150 characters max): _____
- Keywords: _____
(go to the AMS Help pages to see more about each of these)

Amazon says: "Impression: The number of times your ad was displayed." There are many places where this happens. Don't worry too much about Impressions; you'll get them unless something's very wrong.

Let us know how it goes!

Thanks for the reply (and from others, too). So today is my day to study AMS thoroughly and have a go. "AMS Help Pages"? Doh! Didn't occur to me they might exist! But in my defense, I've been on holiday. Today might need the BIG coffeepot and multi-pronged head-scratcher.
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Offline Graeme Hague

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #47 on: February 21, 2017, 11:12:43 PM »
I have to say - I did spend an hour or so reading the AMS Help Pages, which was very... well, helpful (really)... then came back to read Harald's OP and lots of light bulbs went off. I "get" it now.

It occurs to me that the big, generic keywords might be almost useless and not worth including, since perhaps thousands of authors will be using them and possibly matching your bid. Does that render those keywords into something like a lottery? On the other hand, perhaps the system uses these common keywords to establish your base genre/demographic/target readership, before drilling down to your more clever keywords to place impressions? In other words, without basic keywords like "cozy mystery" or "teenage romance", will the wheels fall off the targeting? Are they required to point the AMS algo in the right direction and, if so, does it make sense to bid very low on these? (like they're not going to rate important, top-page impressions anyway?).

Harald's right, I can see myself getting hooked on tweaking my AMS ads.

The blurb is a very important, but kind of finite factor. Whereas thinking up really good keywords threatens to keep me awake at night. I can't imagine how you cooked up 225!

Thanks!
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Offline geraldmkilby

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2017, 03:52:20 AM »
Thanks for the post, very informative.
I've been running ads for a few months and once I got an ad/keyword combo that resulted in a profit, I let it run and seldom look at it now. I think that's one of the great advantages of it, in that you can set it and pretty much forget it.


Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: AMS Ads Learning
« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2017, 07:53:03 AM »
I have to say - I did spend an hour or so reading the AMS Help Pages, which was very... well, helpful (really)... then came back to read Harald's OP and lots of light bulbs went off. I "get" it now.

It occurs to me that the big, generic keywords might be almost useless and not worth including, since perhaps thousands of authors will be using them and possibly matching your bid. Does that render those keywords into something like a lottery? On the other hand, perhaps the system uses these common keywords to establish your base genre/demographic/target readership, before drilling down to your more clever keywords to place impressions? In other words, without basic keywords like "cozy mystery" or "teenage romance", will the wheels fall off the targeting? Are they required to point the AMS algo in the right direction and, if so, does it make sense to bid very low on these? (like they're not going to rate important, top-page impressions anyway?).

Harald's right, I can see myself getting hooked on tweaking my AMS ads.

The blurb is a very important, but kind of finite factor. Whereas thinking up really good keywords threatens to keep me awake at night. I can't imagine how you cooked up 225!

Thanks!

Don't be afraid of those broad keywords. I had my best sales on one ad from "women" which was one of the Amazon suggested keywords.



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