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Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: A New AMS Thread  (Read 12695 times)  

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #175 on: November 06, 2017, 08:27:44 AM »
I have a series and have several books in it I'd like to run Product Display ads for, but if I run them simultaneously, shouldn't I target them differently?

See what LilyBLily said above about your entire post.

If you're running PD ads for several related books you could target them differently. Or not. PD ads, at least on the book pages (not talking Kindle screen here) only display one at a time, so you could theoretically target them identically and it's sort of like putting in three possible ad images and having Amazon randomly pick one of the three to display. From what others have said in these threads, there are folks running hundreds of PD ads on their books at a time. So you could run ads for ten books with fifteen different targeting approaches and five different version of ad copy if you wanted since PD ads seem to run separate from one another.

(As LilyBLily mentioned above, with SP ads it seems to be that one ad will run and the others for that same title won't.)


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Offline BillyDeCarlo

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #176 on: November 06, 2017, 08:46:32 AM »
I read the Meeks book and put up a PDP ad and a PDI ad at low bid. They sat without any activity about a month. I changed the bids to .59 and two weeks later one has 221 impressions and the other (product display by interest) has just one. I set them both at $500 and spend budget as quickly as possible. Amazon sure leaves a lot of money on the table it seems, but perhaps there are only so many placement opportunities that all of us are competing for.
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Online Bob Stewart

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #177 on: November 06, 2017, 10:46:26 AM »
...so you could theoretically target them identically and it's sort of like putting in three possible ad images and having Amazon randomly pick one of the three to display. From what others have said in these threads, there are folks running hundreds of PD ads on their books at a time.

But unless Amazon pre-selects among my ads before putting them into the bidding, I will be bidding against myself.

If I put in three ads targeting the same products, it may only increment the bid a little from what it would have been with just one. But if everyone does multiple ads like that, we'd be raising the CPC substantially.

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #178 on: November 06, 2017, 11:50:56 AM »
But unless Amazon pre-selects among my ads before putting them into the bidding, I will be bidding against myself.

If I put in three ads targeting the same products, it may only increment the bid a little from what it would have been with just one. But if everyone does multiple ads like that, we'd be raising the CPC substantially.

It's a good question. Hundreds of PD ads is not a strategy I use, so I haven't dug into it. Hopefully one of the folks who does use it can chime in here. All I know is that folks have said they run hundreds of them at a time with very low bids and see success. Perhaps the low bids limit what you're talking about since those folks would be out of the running at 10-15 cents or even competing against themselves would only ever have a max CPC of 15 cents.


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Offline loraininflorida

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #179 on: November 06, 2017, 05:02:05 PM »
Sponsored ads are back up on Chrome.

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Offline Mike McIntyre

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #180 on: November 06, 2017, 06:03:48 PM »
Any way to change the bids on keywords at once?

I copied an ad campaign and tried to run a find/replace (e.g., raise bids from $0.10 to $0.12), but that function wasnt allowed. Manually changing bids one at a time for 1000 keywords chews up some daylight.

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Offline Philip Gibson

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #181 on: November 06, 2017, 06:17:46 PM »
Sponsored ads are back up on Chrome.

Yes, they are.  For us anyway. I didn't notice a drop off in clicks during the supposed downtime though.

Philip

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Offline Megan Crewe

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #182 on: November 06, 2017, 08:27:30 PM »
I threw a couple low-bid PD ads up about a week ago and just checked them and they all have less than 100 impressions right now. I haven't read the book that says this, but from other comments in the thread, it can take 4-6 weeks for a low PD ad to start running. If you want them to run faster, I've had success bumping up the bids. I don't know where you've set yours, but Amazon did just send out a guide to AMS this last week recommending that people bump their bids for the holiday season, so what might've been a high bid two weeks ago may no longer be high enough.

I just put them up to $1 for one and $0.80 for the others this morning. No new impressions since then. If I'd have to pay more than that per click then it's definite not worth it, as I'd only be making $2 per sale and even 1 out of 2 clicks resulting in a purchase would be an incredible result. :P It's too bad, because I was really hoping to at least A/B test some different ad text.

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Offline Marty South

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #183 on: November 07, 2017, 08:32:39 AM »
Yes, they are.  For us anyway. I didn't notice a drop off in clicks during the supposed downtime though.

Mine are back, too. I exchanged a few emails with Amazon and sent a screenshot per their request. It was looking pretty hopeless, and then they just magically reappeared. Off to place some new ads now.

Offline Philip Gibson

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #184 on: November 07, 2017, 04:23:06 PM »
Many have observed that using identical keywords in different ads results in one ad gaining impressions and the others gaining no or very few impressions/clicks.

I also have found that to be the case.  Except when it isn't. As is the case with my most successful ads.

Two months ago, I set up 3 Sponsored Products ads on a single book.  I used 48 identical keywords which had performed well in previous ads.  Bids per click were identical - $0.16.  The only difference between the three ads was different ad copy for each.  Results so far are:

Ad 1:  585,245 impressions.  1,444 clicks.  38 sales.  $0.10 per click.

Ad. 2: 307,645 impressions.  709 clicks.     27 sales.  $0.10 per click.

Ad 3:  183,551 impressions.   474 clicks.    19 sales.  $0.15 per click.

Ad 3 would have had many more impressions/clicks had I not paused it for 10 days (due to its high cost per click compared to the other ads) when it was the best performing of the three ads.

So, like much of AMS, certain things apply.

Except when they don't.

Philip
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 05:31:43 PM by Philip Gibson »

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Offline Marian

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #185 on: November 08, 2017, 03:04:25 PM »
I haven't done much tweaking with my Sponsored Manual Ads. Several days ago, I raised bids on keywords that had been producing sales when I saw they weren't on the first pages of the carousels. My sales have been down. When I checked the carousels this morning, I raised keyword bids again. Late this afternoon,  my books were still not on the carousels for those keywords (book titles). What is so puzzling is that one of the carousels had 11 pages, and the last page had room for another book.  My latest bid is 0.41 cents, yet it wasn't on the carousel, even on the last page. In another instance, the carousel had 10 pages, and the last page had only one sponsored ad on it. Has anyone else seen this?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 05:56:00 PM by Marian »

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #186 on: November 08, 2017, 05:36:56 PM »
What I'm seeing is complete disillusion with AMS. I don't want to wreck the thread with negativity.
 

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #187 on: November 08, 2017, 08:23:13 PM »
I haven't done much tweaking with my Sponsored Manual Ads. Several days ago, I raised bids on keywords that had been producing sales when I saw they weren't on the first pages of the carousels. My sales have been down. When I checked the carousels this morning, I raised keyword bids again. Late this afternoon,  my books were still not on the carousels for those keywords (book titles). What is so puzzling is that one of the carousels had 11 pages, and the last page had room for another book.  My latest bid is 0.41 cents, yet it wasn't on the carousel, even on the last page. In another instance, the carousel had 10 pages, and the last page had only one sponsored ad on it. Has anyone else seen this?
No, I haven't. I just checked the Kindle store ad for my book and clicked on the top book in the category, by Nora Roberts. After various titles including no less than five men not wearing a shirt--one just in briefs, WTF?--my ad was on page 3 of the 74-page carousel for Nora Roberts. Which is a miracle because I never bid on her name (what? Am I made of money?). As in never. She's not even a paused keyword in my campaigns.

My ad is exactly where it's supposed to be on Firefox and Chrome if I simply put in the general category in "all" rather than specifying books or the Kindle store.

I'm afraid you're in that mystery territory where nothing makes sense. Try tweaking again and hope it works this time. Maybe pause any underperforming keywords for a start, and find some new ones to add.
 
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 09:06:54 PM by LilyBLily »

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #188 on: November 09, 2017, 12:54:56 AM »
What I'm seeing is complete disillusion with AMS. I don't want to wreck the thread with negativity.

That's how I feel about them for a variety of reasons.

Offline BillyDeCarlo

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #189 on: November 09, 2017, 03:46:00 AM »
What I'm seeing is complete disillusion with AMS. I don't want to wreck the thread with negativity.

I think there's been plenty of well-deserved negativity about AMS ads, especially lately. If they basically hadn't stopped spending my money recently, I'd do away with them altogether. I'm spending my ad money elsewhere. It's a shame they don't overhaul the whole thing. They could make a lot more money if they had something reliable and usable.
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Online Bob Stewart

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #190 on: November 09, 2017, 06:31:13 AM »
I read the Meeks book and put up a PDP ad and a PDI ad at low bid. They sat without any activity about a month. I changed the bids to .59 and two weeks later one has 221 impressions and the other (product display by interest) has just one...

My experience is similar to Billy's.

Can anyone provide current bids which are working on Product Display ads?

When I create an ad, AMS will tell me "Average bid is $0.15 to $0.20", but even if I set the bid to $.75, I see nothing, or next to nothing.

Have people just bid these up to to ridiculously high CPCs?

I never had much success with Facebook ads, but their ad manager was 10,000 more useful than AMS. If it said to bid  $.50, I would see some results there. And if I tweaked the ad, I could see the result within hours.

I don't see how anyone can use this with any efficiency.

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #191 on: November 09, 2017, 06:57:46 AM »
What I'm seeing is complete disillusion with AMS. I don't want to wreck the thread with negativity.

I don't want to crap on AMS either, because it's basically the only promo service that allows you to run ads at full retail - and right on Amazon. Most (if not all) other promo services require your book to be free or discounted.

However, my experience with AMS continues to spiral downward. Too many issues to list.

Maybe this is nothing, but there's currently a planned maintenance outage scheduled for tonight. I know they did this recently and many of us got hopeful that perhaps they'd roll out some positive changes. I like to be hopeful this time around, too, but the Zon has a way of consistently letting me down.  :(         
 

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #192 on: November 09, 2017, 07:28:16 AM »
I'm definitely not as pleased with AMS as I was a year ago at this time. But I also think that using AMS has given me stronger launches on all of my titles this year, especially some that really had no ability to sell organically and where discounted pricing wouldn't work because of who subscribes to the promo lists. (I'm talking non-fiction here.) Last year at this time I want to say that I was able to use AMS on non-KU fiction titles and do well. That doesn't seem to be the case for me this year. Could be the age of the titles. Could be how long I've been running AMS on those titles. Could be increased competition. Could be a little of all of those factors.

As with everything self-publishing, early days of something that works are wonderful and then things tighten up. Those with higher priced books that can sell at those prices and extensive backlists are most likely to be able to make AMS work profitably still. But a new author with one book selling at 99 cents? Maybe for a couple weeks as Amazon gives them the visibility that new books get, but not long-term. (Of course, as with all things AMS, YMMV and I could be wrong and there could be some new author selling at 99 cents and making a killing, but the majority won't.)


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Offline Sam Kates

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #193 on: November 09, 2017, 08:24:30 AM »

Can anyone provide current bids which are working on Product Display ads?

When I create an ad, AMS will tell me "Average bid is $0.15 to $0.20", but even if I set the bid to $.75, I see nothing, or next to nothing.

Have people just bid these up to to ridiculously high CPCs?


I'm running one at the moment with a bid price of $0.40. It's been running for a week, but the impressions only kicked in after a day or two, so around five days of the ad being active. It currently has around 700 impressions and 7 clicks. This is the first time I've run an AMS ad so have no idea how good, bad or indifferent that is.
    
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Online Michael-Allen

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #194 on: November 09, 2017, 01:28:18 PM »

Can anyone provide current bids which are working on Product Display ads?

When I create an ad, AMS will tell me "Average bid is $0.15 to $0.20", but even if I set the bid to $.75, I see nothing, or next to nothing.

Have people just bid these up to to ridiculously high CPCs?


Set bid to .75 cents. Spent over 14 dollars in half a day with 58 cent a click. Lowered bid. Can't justify that cost when I won't know for three days if it led to anything. It probably depends on genre too. The romance genre has a lot of traffic, so more chances for PD ads to run.

Offline loraininflorida

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #195 on: November 09, 2017, 04:17:46 PM »
When I first started doing AMS ads I made money from them. Then it started shifting and it eventually came to where very consistently, whatever I spent on the ads, that's how much money I earned in page reads and sales from the ads. In other words, I sold books but Amazon took all the money. I just now finished another bout of ads and for the first time I actually lost money. It was only two dollars, but sheesh, I'm getting nothing for my page reads and sales AND I'm left in the hole from it?

I'm going to try running some ads once more next month and if the same thing happens I think that will be it for me and AMS ads. All I can think of is that the structure must now be for bigger fish than me.

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #196 on: November 09, 2017, 05:01:28 PM »
When I first started doing AMS ads I made money from them. Then it started shifting and it eventually came to where very consistently, whatever I spent on the ads, that's how much money I earned in page reads and sales from the ads. In other words, I sold books but Amazon took all the money. I just now finished another bout of ads and for the first time I actually lost money. It was only two dollars, but sheesh, I'm getting nothing for my page reads and sales AND I'm left in the hole from it?

I'm going to try running some ads once more next month and if the same thing happens I think that will be it for me and AMS ads. All I can think of is that the structure must now be for bigger fish than me.

I keep a close eye on the daily totals but so far am still in profit, although I suspect my ads are slowly but surely going in that direction. I'm getting the placement, but it costs more and more. My counter to that is to raise the prices on my books, both ebook and print. I'm doing it slowly, and I'll be doing more. Raising prices has not slowed or stopped sales. If readers don't want to pay, they can read most of my books in KU.

Offline Marian

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #197 on: November 09, 2017, 06:33:22 PM »

Set bid to .75 cents. Spent over 14 dollars in half a day with 58 cent a click. Lowered bid. Can't justify that cost when I won't know for three days if it led to anything. It probably depends on genre too. The romance genre has a lot of traffic, so more chances for PD ads to run.
You'll know your daily sales if you check your Amazon report. It's the best way I've found to keep track of sales and spend for each day. Click the "Orders" tab on the Excel sheet, and you'll see how many books were sold.

Offline Megan Crewe

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #198 on: November 10, 2017, 06:42:25 AM »
Update on Product Display bidding--upped my bids to $1 and $0.8 on four ads four days ago. The numbers started showing this morning. The one $1 bid has gotten me 3600 views so far; the three $0.80 bids have only gotten about 40 views each. :P So I guess even $0.80 isn't enough to get much traction.

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #199 on: November 10, 2017, 07:06:36 AM »
Apologies if this has already been asked in this thread or elsewhere, but I haven't seen it addressed.

In an AMS SP ad, I understand that I'm not allowed to quote directly from customer reviews, however, it seems like I'm allowed to quote from these selfsame reviews if I first quote these reviews in the book description. At least that's the impression I get from a few back-and-forths I've had with AMS, although every time they write to me, their responses get so bogged down in jargon that I actually have no idea what is and isn't allowed. And no one I've spoken to on the phone at KDP knows the answer to this question.

Does someone here know? I'm not looking to game the system--I'm just trying to understand what the heck I can and can't do. Really, I saw no obvious harm in quoting from customer reviews. It seemed an obvious advertising strategy. Yet AMS doesn't allow it.

Thanks in advance for any info.

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