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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.

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Author Topic: A New AMS Thread  (Read 12682 times)  

Offline Jeff DeGordick

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2017, 03:21:02 PM »
Question for those more savvy than I am, which includes anybody reading this! 

I'm currently running my first AMS ad for my debut novel.  I started the campaign on the 10th of this month and so far I have a little over 10,000 impressions but only two clicks.  My understanding is a good ad should get at least one click for every 1000 impressions.  Should I let the ad ride for a time given it's only four days in or should I consider it a failure and start over?

Thanks!

I'm not savvy, but I just put up AMS ads for my first novel (in a new genre; basically a fresh start) on the 10th as well, so I'll mention my stats in case you find that useful.

I'm running both a sponsored products and a product display ad. I don't know if it's partly Amazon's reporting being slow for product display ads or not, but for my sponsored products ad, I have about 4,900 impressions, and for my product display ad I only have about 50. The latter is set to showcase on 36 books that I believe are very relevant to my book, and I have a $2.00 bid, which I think is high, but maybe it's not.

All together, though, I have just shy of 5,000 impressions and 26 clicks, which I feel is pretty good. Amazon tells me I don't have any sales yet, but my ranking has jumped up from where it started, so that's either from organic sales or maybe someone borrowed the book after seeing the ad, which Amazon doesn't report.

2 clicks for 10,000 impressions seems pretty low. That suggests to me that either the ad isn't good enough (cover and tiny blurb), or maybe you're not targeting relevant keywords. If you're getting a fair amount of clicks but no sales, it's probably a case of the blurb or start of the book not being compelling enough.

Anyway, I'm new to this too, but there's my two cents.

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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2017, 04:10:16 PM »
Yeah, that's a click ratio of 1 to 5,000 which is not good and not likely to improve. I would look at which keywords are generating impressions and shut down the one that's doing that to your ad because my personal theory is this:

Any new ad gets a certain amount of time to run without a lot of judgement from Amazon. It's probably 5-7 days or so. Maybe less, maybe more. During that time you're establishing a track record for that ad. When that free period is up, Amazon's secondary algos kick in. If the ad isn't performing well, the ad gets shut down hard. Or it becomes much more expensive to keep it going. Establish a long enough track record of poorly targeted keywords (which I suspect is what's causing this, a popular keyword that doesn't work with your book) and it's an uphill battle to gets ads going on that book. You have to pay a lot to get movement and then it takes time to show that it isn't your book that was the problem but some badly-targeted words.

That's just based upon observation and gut feel, it could be wrong. But it does fit with the fairly widely-reported fact that SP ads run well initially but die off for a lot of people after a week or so.

Also, Jeff, yes $2 is a very high bid. Surprised you're not getting impressions with that high a bid. (I can usually get a book running pretty well on PD display ads in the 60 cent range.) Do you by chance have the ad set to only target those specific books and not do a broad match? When I've tried that, those ads have not moved for me no matter how high I upped the bid. (But I also haven't let an ad sit for weeks like some do with PD ads, so factor that into what I just said.)


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Offline Modi Gliani

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2017, 04:42:31 PM »
Amazon is supposed to track sales related to clicks, but how good is the tracking? I'm getting sales that don't show up in AMS even after 4 or 5 days have passed, and I am fairly certain the sales came from the advertising. So how accurate is the tracking of sales related to cliicks? Much thanks for your help.


Offline Jeff DeGordick

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #53 on: October 14, 2017, 06:49:35 PM »
Also, Jeff, yes $2 is a very high bid. Surprised you're not getting impressions with that high a bid. (I can usually get a book running pretty well on PD display ads in the 60 cent range.) Do you by chance have the ad set to only target those specific books and not do a broad match? When I've tried that, those ads have not moved for me no matter how high I upped the bid. (But I also haven't let an ad sit for weeks like some do with PD ads, so factor that into what I just said.)

I see under my ad that "Targeted Expansion" is set to "on", if that's what you mean. I'm also surprised I'm not getting more impressions. The books I chose to advertise on are ranked in the #1,000-20,000 range, so I figured maybe I was being outbid. My two clicks show that the average CPC is $1.11, which is still quite high in my opinion, but still much lower than $2.00. It's weird, because I ran a PD ad on an old book of mine for a month about a year ago, and I only selected 12 books with an $0.80 bid, and I got 210,000 impressions.

Jeff DeGordick

Offline JDMatheny

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #54 on: October 14, 2017, 07:01:34 PM »
Yeah, that's a click ratio of 1 to 5,000 which is not good and not likely to improve. I would look at which keywords are generating impressions and shut down the one that's doing that to your ad because my personal theory is this:

Any new ad gets a certain amount of time to run without a lot of judgement from Amazon. It's probably 5-7 days or so. Maybe less, maybe more. During that time you're establishing a track record for that ad. When that free period is up, Amazon's secondary algos kick in. If the ad isn't performing well, the ad gets shut down hard. Or it becomes much more expensive to keep it going. Establish a long enough track record of poorly targeted keywords (which I suspect is what's causing this, a popular keyword that doesn't work with your book) and it's an uphill battle to gets ads going on that book. You have to pay a lot to get movement and then it takes time to show that it isn't your book that was the problem but some badly-targeted words.

That's just based upon observation and gut feel, it could be wrong. But it does fit with the fairly widely-reported fact that SP ads run well initially but die off for a lot of people after a week or so.

Also, Jeff, yes $2 is a very high bid. Surprised you're not getting impressions with that high a bid. (I can usually get a book running pretty well on PD display ads in the 60 cent range.) Do you by chance have the ad set to only target those specific books and not do a broad match? When I've tried that, those ads have not moved for me no matter how high I upped the bid. (But I also haven't let an ad sit for weeks like some do with PD ads, so factor that into what I just said.)

Thanks for the detailed response!  It's interesting, the first ad I did for the book I left into the fourth day and ended up with about 4300 impressions and 2 clicks.  At that time I had been getting burnt out and settled for a description.  After those numbers I re-did the ad to current and created what I consider to be a stronger description, but apparently that hasn't helped.  Might have to re-work it again.

Another interesting thing, I took the advice to use all author names in the best-sellers and hot and trending in my genres.  I also included automatic keywords, one of which was "book book".  Eh, whatever.  That keyword has gotten over 2500 impressions, a quarter of my total.  It also got one click.


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Offline Jeff DeGordick

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2017, 01:05:56 PM »
I don't think "book book" is going to help you much. Even if you got one of your clicks from it. You're going to have tons of impressions from people who aren't looking for anything close to your book.

I wrote a haunted house book, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to use the keyword "house". Well, I got tons of impressions, but no clicks. Not surprising; I don't think people looking for home decor books want a haunted house novel.

Also, if you're having trouble getting clicks, maybe you should post the ad blurb and your cover here for people to critique. Also your keywords as well would be helpful.

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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #56 on: October 15, 2017, 02:13:40 PM »
I took the advice to use all author names in the best-sellers and hot and trending in my genres.  I also included automatic keywords, one of which was "book book".  Eh, whatever.  That keyword has gotten over 2500 impressions, a quarter of my total.  It also got one click.

Yeah, I'd turn that "book book" one off. I had a sale off of "edition" once, but its click to impression ratio was horrible so I had to kill it.

I think it's fine to start with hot and trending or best-selling authors, but then you need to see how your book performs with those keywords. As an example, I have a YA fantasy series and so I used "Harry Potter" at one point as a keyword thinking it might get me in front of fantasy readers who might be willing to branch out from J.K. Rowling's books. It generated a tremendous number of impressions for me, but very very few clicks and no sales. That keyword was a complete waste for me because it wasn't doing what you want these ads to do which is find people who will buy your books. Same with Bella Forrest. She's on the top of all the lists, but Amazon (rightly so) won't show my books on her pages because our books are nothing alike. So using those two keywords is just a waste of time for me and my books.

If you haven't also done so, think about other authors whose books yours is like or other authors in that genre who you love (because chances are you've emulated them in your writing or approached telling stories the way they do). Those are where I find my best keywords outside of the more generic ones like "fantasy" or "romance". (With those types of generic keywords, though, the cover needs to sell it for you. Don't target them if your cover doesn't clearly indicate what genre it is.)


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Offline JDMatheny

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #57 on: October 15, 2017, 06:47:14 PM »
I don't think "book book" is going to help you much. Even if you got one of your clicks from it. You're going to have tons of impressions from people who aren't looking for anything close to your book.

I wrote a haunted house book, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to use the keyword "house". Well, I got tons of impressions, but no clicks. Not surprising; I don't think people looking for home decor books want a haunted house novel.

Also, if you're having trouble getting clicks, maybe you should post the ad blurb and your cover here for people to critique. Also your keywords as well would be helpful.

Yeah, it seemed weird.  I managed to get automatic keywords in with my manual ones.  I noticed it but then figured, why not.  Guess that's the wrong attitude.  The cover is the one from my signature.  The description was hard because it's so limited on characters, here it is-

"A deadly confrontation on a remote island will lead Jacob Daniels on the run from dark spirits - but are they real or imagined?  Enter the Torchbearer."

I have about 140 keywords, without the auto ones included, and they're all authors that I got from the bestseller/hnt lists from my categories.  I've really struggled to find an author/book that are like mine.  I think I'm too picky with that and need to think more generally, but it's been a pain.


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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2017, 07:02:26 PM »
I make no claim to being great at ad copy, but I'd tweak that to something like: "After a deadly confrontation on a remote island, Jacob Daniels is on the run from dark spirits. But are they real?"

Depending on how many books you've sold you can also try yasiv.com to see what books connect to yours or use your also-boughts. (Although some of my strongest also-boughts are ones that the ads won't run on. I put them in as keywords and get no impressions.) Or look for books with covers like yours.


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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #59 on: October 16, 2017, 06:40:18 AM »
Yeah, I'd turn that "book book" one off. I had a sale off of "edition" once, but its click to impression ratio was horrible so I had to kill it.

I also tend to kill keywords that have horrible click to impression ratios (worse than 1 click per 2,000 impressions).

But then, many people point out that if a keyword is getting thousands of clicks with no or tiny numbers of clicks, where's the harm since we only pay for clicks and all those impressions are free eyeballs on our book ad even if they're not optimum eyeballs?

What is your view on that?

Philip

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #60 on: October 16, 2017, 06:54:19 AM »
I also tend to kill keywords that have horrible click to impression ratios (worse than 1 click per 2,000 impressions).

But then, many people point out that if a keyword is getting thousands of clicks with no or tiny numbers of clicks, where's the harm since we only pay for clicks and all those impressions are free eyeballs on our book ad even if they're not optimum eyeballs?

What is your view on that?

I know you asked Cassie, but I'll chime in to reiterate what I posted in January.

Purging low-performing keywords improves your ad's historical CTR and account's historical CTR. I suspect both are signals to AMS regarding your ads' relevance to site visitors, and will affect how frequently and prominently your ads are displayed over the long run.



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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2017, 07:39:39 AM »
Purging low-performing keywords improves your ad's historical CTR and account's historical CTR. I suspect both are signals to AMS regarding your ads' relevance to site visitors, and will affect how frequently and prominently your ads are displayed over the long run.

For that to be true, it would mean the algorithm evaluates not only performance of individual keywords within a campaign, but the campaign itself as a whole.  And then makes decisions/takes action based on the campaign's performance, not just the performance of individual keywords.

I don't know that we have evidence that that is the case, but meanwhile I will continue culling under-performing keywords in hopes of improving the overall performance of each campaign - something very much against the advice of Brian Meeks and many others.

Love to hear Cassie's view on how she thinks it works.

Philip
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 07:42:44 AM by Philip Gibson »

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Offline JDMatheny

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #62 on: October 16, 2017, 08:11:39 AM »
I make no claim to being great at ad copy, but I'd tweak that to something like: "After a deadly confrontation on a remote island, Jacob Daniels is on the run from dark spirits. But are they real?"

Depending on how many books you've sold you can also try yasiv.com to see what books connect to yours or use your also-boughts. (Although some of my strongest also-boughts are ones that the ads won't run on. I put them in as keywords and get no impressions.) Or look for books with covers like yours.

Thanks, I appreciate the advice!


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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #63 on: October 16, 2017, 08:47:57 AM »
For that to be true, it would mean the algorithm evaluates not only performance of individual keywords within a campaign, but the campaign itself as a whole.  And then makes decisions/takes action based on the campaign's performance, not just the performance of individual keywords.

I also think it factors in your book, how 'saleable' it is at the moment, i.e. trending/ranking. I see Amazon ads spending more money when my book is on promo and climbing in rank than when it's more stagnant. I think they are very complicated algorithms that Amazon is using.
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Offline R.E.Conary

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #64 on: October 16, 2017, 10:13:49 AM »
Update from my Oct. 7 post:

My Rachel Cord Mysteries collection became available at 12:00 a.m. Oct. 15.

My AMS pre-order Sponsored Products ad campaign ran for 36 days from Sept. 10 through Oct. 15. I used 962 keywords made up of author names and genre appropriate words. Here are my results.

Total impressions: 1,233,735  :o

Highest single keyword number of impressions was 138,987 for keyword series

Number of keywords with ZERO impressions: 94 (9 paused)  :(

Total clicks: 668 (from 246 keywords)

Total clicks per total Impressions ratio: 1 to 1847

Highest number of single keyword clicks: 67 (keyword series; click ratio: 1 to 2210)

Average CPC: $0.99

Highest ACPC: $1.97 (keyword: women sleuths)

Lowest ACPC: $0.06 (keyword: leslie karst)

Pre-order sales: 14 (13 were from clicks; 1 from another source [Thanks, whomever you are]; last pre-order was Oct. 14; ad sales were 1 each from author name keywords and the genre keyword noir).

First day sales (not including pre-sales): 1

KENP reads as of this post: 850

My keyword bids started out at $0.25 with a $20-a-day budget. This escalated quickly and I settled on a $100-a-day budget with most bids at $1.50 and some at $2 and $3. Even with the higher budget, the campaign was paused twice by Amazon for Daily Budget Spent.

I plan to run more AMS campaigns but want to analyze how this one worked first and make adjustments. As I said earlier, this is my first major ad campaign and the first involving a KU book. Hope it works out.  ???

I am currently running a 2-week ad campaign at BookoftheDay.org that started Oct. 7 and ends Oct. 20. The campaign cost is $11.95 total for the 14 days and my book appears in several locations on the site daily. Dont know how many people click the Amazon link, but I think it still cool to see my book next to authors like Sue Grafton, Harlan Coben, Lisa Scottoline and Linda Fairstein. BookoftheDay also offers FREE book ads on its Unfiltered page. Here are some links to check out if anyone is interested:

FREE AD:  http://bookoftheday.org/unfiltered/ (Click on Add Book at bottom of any page)

2-WEEK AD ($11.95 No, I dont work for them ::)):  http://bookoftheday.org/premium-services/

SEE MINE:  http://bookoftheday.org/category/mystery/
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 10:33:58 AM by R.E.Conary »
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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #65 on: October 16, 2017, 10:51:56 AM »
For that to be true, it would mean the algorithm evaluates not only performance of individual keywords within a campaign, but the campaign itself as a whole.  And then makes decisions/takes action based on the campaign's performance, not just the performance of individual keywords.

...Love to hear Cassie's view on how she thinks it works.

Philip

I agree with Anarchist and I think that Amazon does judge an ad on overall performance. There was a response from Amazon that someone shared in the other AMS thread (something about bid amounts and why one ad was performing better than another) and it pretty clearly indicated to me that Amazon evaluates an ad on its overall performance and will slow or shut down ads that aren't performing well enough. And to Billy's point I do think they favor "hot" books. I think that's why that one romance ad I had did so well, because I let it run during a free promo that put the book in the top 50 on the free charts and resulted in a lot of borrows. Not only was it about people clicking on the ad while the book was free, it was also about the book ranking high. (I think. All guesswork here...)

And I personally don't think there's value in getting impressions if they aren't also leading to clicks and sales. Weird example: I'm not a smoker. A cigarette company showing me their ads isn't going to make me one. So if a cigarette company were showing ads with millions of impressions but they were all to people like me, what good would that do them? None. I'm never going to be a smoker and even if it isn't costing them a penny to put those ads in front of me, it's not doing them any good. Far better to show their ads to the subset of people who will buy their product. So when I have keywords with lots of impressions but no clicks, that's me showing my book to people who don't want it and does me no good. 

And does Amazon no good, which is likely why ads get shut down that have high impressions without corresponding clicks. No clicks=no ad revenue and no sales.


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Online Philip Gibson

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #66 on: October 16, 2017, 11:03:49 AM »
Just so I can be clear...

If a keyword has, say, 1,587 impressions, that means it has won 1,587 auctions for that particular keyword.

Is that correct?

Philip
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 11:08:19 AM by Philip Gibson »

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #67 on: October 16, 2017, 11:22:41 AM »
Just so I can be clear...

If a keyword has, say, 1,587 impressions, that means it has won 1,587 auctions for that particular keyword.

Is that correct?

Philip

It's not an auction. The algorithms have placed it that many times, along with other ads of course. And who knows "where" on the carousel it was placed. Could be page 99.
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Offline EmparentingMom

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #68 on: October 16, 2017, 11:23:07 AM »
Just curious: what's the most people have been able to spend per day on a single sponsored product ad?

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #69 on: October 16, 2017, 11:28:52 AM »
Just so I can be clear...

If a keyword has, say, 1,587 impressions, that means it has won 1,587 auctions for that particular keyword.

Is that correct?

Philip

It's not an auction. The algorithms have placed it that many times, along with other ads of course. And who knows "where" on the carousel it was placed. Could be page 99.

(I could be wrong here, this is very much unproven) I think that an impression is counted when the book is displayed on a page that someone sees. So if it's on page 99 but no one ever goes to page 99 I don't think that's counted. I think when a book wins an ad slot over other books competing for an ad slot (which is a sort of auction but one that takes into account more than just your bid) that you'll see a 0 for impressions instead of a - for that keyword, assuming it doesn't have any other impressions. If someone then goes to the page on the carousel or in the search results where your book is displayed, that will count as 1 impression.


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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #70 on: October 16, 2017, 11:30:27 AM »
Just curious: what's the most people have been able to spend per day on a single sponsored product ad?

I think I may have spent as much as $50 at one point, but have definitely been able to spend in the $30-$40 range consistently. (With lower bids than the example above.)


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Offline SunbirdBooks

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #71 on: October 16, 2017, 12:04:56 PM »
Thank you for this thread and all the information within. I started using AMS ads around August playing low-ball with $2 and $3 per day ads. I think that's a great way for those just starting to learn to get their feet wet. I've been maintaining the list of keywords, adding to it every day or two, pausing the keys that rack up major impressions but don't preform in terms of clicks, and upping the bid on those that do preform and lead to sales. My highest bid is $0.26, but I've made some sales and maintained an ACoS below 50% with one click per 688 impressions on average, so you don't have to break the bank to figure it out. I actually believe it's best to play low-ball at first and really learn how the system operates before throwing down $10 or $20 a day with $2 bids. Now that I have a better grasp on things, I'm going to experiment with higher bids and daily budgets when my next book rolls out later this year.
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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #72 on: October 16, 2017, 03:42:52 PM »
On some of my keywords, under Impressions and Clicks there is an "" for some words, and "0" for others. What is the quantitative difference between the two nothings?   ???   This has been a puzzler for me.

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #73 on: October 16, 2017, 04:00:06 PM »
On some of my keywords, under Impressions and Clicks there is an "" for some words, and "0" for others. What is the quantitative difference between the two nothings?   ???   This has been a puzzler for me.

I think Cassie just answered that two answers ago.
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Offline Lilly_Frost

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #74 on: October 16, 2017, 04:19:32 PM »
Aha, thank you. Curses upon middle-aged eyes.

I think Cassie just answered that two answers ago.

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