Author Topic: A New AMS Thread  (Read 57350 times)  

Offline Cherise

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #500 on: February 05, 2018, 11:41:04 PM »
My one and only AMS ad has been running since the 3rd January, and has the following stats -

Impressions: 59,124
Clicks: 168
ACPC: $0.11
Spend: $17.88
Total Sales: $51.49
ACoS: 34.73%

My bids are between $0.13 and $0.17 (the book is contemporary romance, second book in signature).

Are these good stats? Bad? I'm going to follow Cassie's example and start pausing the underperforming keywords.




Really good!  :)

Offline The 13th Doctor

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #501 on: February 06, 2018, 04:07:41 AM »
Really good!  :)

Oh good. Phew! Thanks.  :)

Offline Lilly_Frost

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #502 on: February 06, 2018, 03:50:18 PM »
There's no way to edit ad copy once the ad has gone live is there? I feel like I'm probably overlooking it, but making it impossible to adjust an ad does seem sort of typically Amazonish, so ...
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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #503 on: February 06, 2018, 05:05:20 PM »
There's no way to edit ad copy once the ad has gone live is there? I feel like I'm probably overlooking it, but making it impossible to adjust an ad does seem sort of typically Amazonish, so ...

Do you mean changing the ad text? Then no, it's the only thing you can't change.
 

Offline Vanchi

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #504 on: February 06, 2018, 06:53:12 PM »
Thank you.

Offline Bohemienne

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #505 on: February 07, 2018, 07:32:57 AM »
Getting lots of clicks, but a pretty horrendous ACoS rate on my current ad, even accounting for Amazons sluggish reporting. The book is preorder-only right now. Should I just assume people are reluctant/uninterested to preorder, whereas if it were available now they might have purchased? Or should I start investigating issues with my ad copy/blurb/etc?

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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #506 on: February 07, 2018, 01:54:37 PM »
I would probably question the ad's performance if you're not seeing pre-orders from it. Or pause it until the book goes live if you think that's the issue since those people are unlikely to come back to the book when it's live.

Also, sometimes new ads run hot but don't work. (I just had one yesterday that I suspect did that so I paused it to see if there was some weird delay in Author Central rank reporting, but I suspect it was just getting lots of clicks and not enough buys/borrows to justify keeping it going.)


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Offline Rising Sun

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #507 on: February 07, 2018, 07:00:47 PM »
 (Disclosure, I am Rivera's life partner, Dariel, I handle her AMS accounts. She is the smart one...)

With the help of Cassie Leigh's books on Excel (not to mention her book on AMS ads) I have been getting more adept at analyzing AMS data. HOORAYYY! Unfortunately AMS estimated sales data is running pretty far behind. I just realized today that the only estimated sales in the last 14 days were strictly from ads started in the first quarter of 2017 or earlier. Better than nothing, but confusing and misleading if I hadn't noticed it.
 
After a year in the program, over 300 sponsored keyword ads working and over 50 other kinds of ads, with well over 100 million impressions, I still don't know if an impression is counted if actually viewed or simply when added into the browser...ie loaded into the carousel. The KDP literature used to say "loaded into browser", it didn't say displayed or viewed....has this changed?  Any ideas anyone?

It's a fundamental bit of data that could drive bidding strategies. I do know that I seem to have two tiers of keyword bids. The under 10 cent bids are slow producers bur consistently the highest return ads. The highest bid ads are faster to gain impressions but are the worst earners and may even cross into negative returns.

Another question...has anyone figured out how to see the ad carousel from a neutral browser. Knowing that the ads displayed are different for everyones individual browser, based on your own browser history, means that the ads you see were actually designed for you...which in my case means Rivera's ads are generally prominent. At least until recently, we are getting ready to do both a YA release and a few months later a niche market epic poem (audio) which means I am now continually pitched poetry and kids dragon books by Amazon. In order to get some idea of who sponsors ads on books similar to Rivera's, (so I could cross advertise twith them) it would be good to see the ads carousel before it is personalized for my browser. I have tried going in with a wiped clean browser but my sense is that Amazon quickly ID's my machine either from the ISP or unique software mix on my laptop or possibly I hint my identity to it by visiting Rivera's book pages.  Any ideas anyone??

Thanks mucho for any ideas or comments.



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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #508 on: February 07, 2018, 07:40:30 PM »
Private browsing doesn't work? Try a browser you never use? Sign out? If using Chrome, sign out of that, too. Delete the cookies? Use a specific "delete cookies" command that works only for Amazon so you can keep the cookies you like? 

The carousel does not show up on every page a reader looks at. If I don't drill down to a specific author's book, I see no carousel. I see groups of sponsored ads, sometimes before the author's own books, sometimes after. If someone was searching using an author name (not mine), they'd find that author's books mingled with my book ad and those of others. If the person clicked on the book by the author they'd searched for, they'd see the carousel. So, Amazon has to claim that first situation is an impression. The person browsing saw my book ad--sometimes before even seeing the book they were looking for. Shame on Amazon.

I agree it's difficult to be sure one is getting a clean view. I just checked on Chrome--which I don't use for Amazon--and my ad shows up on the first page of a popular author; this is consonant with how high my keyword bid is for that author name, but is it real? Would you see my book if you looked at the same author? I don't know. The only way to know is to go use someone else's computer, someone who doesn't share your internet address or even your ISP. Preferably, someone living in another state who never visits the Amazon site--yes, there are people who never go on Amazon.   :)

Offline Matt Helbig

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #509 on: February 07, 2018, 07:59:35 PM »
If you use Chrome, you can also use Incognito mode to get a clean view of Amazon (it ignores any cookies you've accumulated before that session of Incognito mode). To access Incognito mode click  ctlr+shift+N (also accessible in with the three dots on top of each other in the upper right, below the X [exit]).


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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #510 on: February 07, 2018, 10:05:51 PM »
(Disclosure, I am Rivera's life partner, Dariel, I handle her AMS accounts. She is the smart one...)
...

Another question...has anyone figured out how to see the ad carousel from a neutral browser. Knowing that the ads displayed are different for everyones individual browser, based on your own browser history, means that the ads you see were actually designed for you...which in my case means Rivera's ads are generally prominent. At least until recently, we are getting ready to do both a YA release and a few months later a niche market epic poem (audio) which means I am now continually pitched poetry and kids dragon books by Amazon. In order to get some idea of who sponsors ads on books similar to Rivera's, (so I could cross advertise twith them) it would be good to see the ads carousel before it is personalized for my browser. I have tried going in with a wiped clean browser but my sense is that Amazon quickly ID's my machine either from the ISP or unique software mix on my laptop or possibly I hint my identity to it by visiting Rivera's book pages.  Any ideas anyone??

Thanks mucho for any ideas or comments.

The Opera browser makes that easy. It has a free VPN. So long as your OS is able to handle the latest versions of Opera. Go to preferences > privacy and security and you will see the boxes to tick. Viola!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 01:12:14 AM by baldricko »

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Offline Bohemienne

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #511 on: February 08, 2018, 05:36:43 AM »
Thanks so much for the suggestions, Cassie. I'm going to try throwing more ad copy at it and see if I can make it work. :D

On that note--any suggestions for lists of "successful" AMS ad copy? Between their super restrictive format (I feel like half my ads get rejected for "grammatical errors") and the complete lack of visibility, I really don't know how to gauge what kind of copy works best here.

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Offline BigSlimJim

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #512 on: February 09, 2018, 01:39:01 PM »
Bohemienne, I don't know what your current ad copy is, but I see a line in your book description that looks promising. First, though, there may be a missing word in another line there. Did you mean to say "All she has to do IS sieze..."?

The good ad-copy basis might be the line, "With a revolution boiling over and war looming at the border, the greatest threat to Russalka may be Katza herself." I might take out the word 'a' and replace the end of this line (which is fine but depends on the rest of the description) with something inspired by your lead-in , coming up with something like,
 
"With revolution boiling over and war looming at the border, the greatest threat to Russalka may be its too-young queen's own reluctance to rule."

To the rest of you, hello, old friends, from a first-time-poster (that's hard to do). Not quite a newbie, though, after reading Cassie's book and all 2,352 posts in this and the earlier thread. You've been my closest and most helpful companions for a week now.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 01:44:16 PM by BigSlimJim »

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #513 on: February 09, 2018, 01:47:50 PM »
To the rest of you, hello, old friends, from a first-time-poster (that's hard to do). Not quite a newbie, though, after reading Cassie's book and all 2,352 posts in this and the earlier thread. You've been my closest and most helpful companions for a week now.

Welcome! I'm very impressed anyone can come along now and read through both threads from start to finish. That is a feat.


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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #514 on: February 09, 2018, 01:49:47 PM »
...with well over 100 million impressions

With those numbers, I'd say the student has become the master...


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Offline BigSlimJim

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #515 on: February 09, 2018, 03:32:08 PM »
Welcome! I'm very impressed anyone can come along now and read through both threads from start to finish. That is a feat.

It was worth the crossed eyes. My notes and quotes probably equal the word-count of that book of yours, reinforcing it and making it doubly helpful. Speaking of notes, I saved a couple of replies until I made it to the surface, just to be sure my thoughts weren't already shared:

I just went searching for one of my own books on Amazon so I could pull the ASIN and the Sponsored Product ad for the book was listed above the book in the search results, almost guaranteeing that anyone looking for that book in particular would click on the ad instead of the search listing. Ugh.

You may be wrong about almost guaranteeing, and the damage may be minimal. When I do a google search and find my destination in result #1, just under the same thing in the ad, I instinctively click the non-ad. I think a lot of people avoid the ad when given a choice, not necessarily out of compassion (not everyone thinks about it costing their target money), but just the distaste for advertisement that made TIVO a success. Speaking of successes, if you search 'amazon' in google, there they are in spot #1, just below their own ad.

I just randomly searched for "western romance" on Amazon and the top two results were sponsored ads followed by the actual search results which were different books. Same with "dating for men". Top two results are sponsored ads, bottom two are sponsored.

When I search for "puppy parenting in an apartment", the title of one of my books, the top result is my AMS ad for that book and the rest of the entire page is sponsored product ads. My actual book with that title doesn't even show.

It looks like Amazon is moving hard towards pay-to-play. I don't mind running ads to get more people to my books, but it  p*ss es me off to think that I might be paying for people who already wanted my book to find it on Amazon.

Perhaps each of us will pay much less than our competition for keywords equal to our own author names and titles. As the Amazon rep said in post 1506 of the AMS ADS LEARNING thread, "Your ad has the potential to win placements through the following combinations. High bid and High click through rate..." And I get the feeling that the better the CTR, the lower the bid needs to be. General consensus here is that 1 click per thousand or fewer impressions is a good goal, but I can only imagine how good the CTR would be for one's own unique author-name and book title (1 per single or double digits?). Neither we nor the algo need to wait for a thousand impressions to determine we've got a phenomenally-effective CTR and sales rate, which might allow us to drop those two keywords' bids down to small fractions of what they would cost competitors. Like you said, searchers who type 'Harry Potter' are looking for that, and searchers who type our names/titles are doing the same.

Of course success would depend on first establishing awareness of names and titles through use of other keywords, earlier books, promos, social media, etc., but once we do that even a little, adding those keywords to our ads would improve our whole ads' CTR for peanuts, if I'm correct about Amazon still relying on relevance, the weapon they used to slay the giants and become the giant.

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #516 on: February 09, 2018, 05:48:54 PM »
General consensus here is that 1 click per thousand or fewer impressions is a good goal, but I can only imagine how good the CTR would be for one's own unique author-name and book title (1 per single or double digits?).

Funny enough, I started a new ad for my romance book this week and I included the title as one of the keywords and I had 1 impression on that keyword this morning with 1 click and 1 sale.


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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #517 on: February 09, 2018, 09:46:35 PM »
Okay, here's one I don't think we've discussed. If my ad is producing impressions, clicks, and sales, why does the ACoS only seem to go up?

The obvious answer would seem to be that ads are getting more competitive literally every day, because every day, the ACoS goes up. Can that really be true on a daily basis? Why shouldn't it hold steady or even go down as the ad impressions increase and it sells more and more books? Ideas?

Offline Rising Sun

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #518 on: February 09, 2018, 11:38:13 PM »
Okay, here's one I don't think we've discussed. If my ad is producing impressions, clicks, and sales, why does the ACoS only seem to go up?

The obvious answer would seem to be that ads are getting more competitive literally every day, because every day, the ACoS goes up. Can that really be true on a daily basis? Why shouldn't it hold steady or even go down as the ad impressions increase and it sells more and more books? Ideas?

Some possibilities...
1.) My sense is that there is a placement preference given to new books and new ads. My evidence is not empirical on the KDP platform but it definitely works that way on the Advantage AMS platform. As the placement prefernce wears off (over seemingly a maximum of 3 weeks) the ads appear more costly per clic and thus ACoS is higher.
2.) On my titles there are often percentage shifts between number of units of print books versus ebooks. This grealy changes the gross sales amount and the ACoS.
3.) If you are like me and have multiple sponsored ads on the same titles there could be differing keyword prices that distort acvertising costs. The keywords don't compete directly but indirectly...for instance if a word in 2 ads is priced at 6 cents in one and 27 cents in another the higher priced word will compete against other advertised titles and win out before the lower priced/bid word is ever looked at. Interestingly the two carousel per book page model seems to have two auctions as I have seen my (differing) ads for the same title placed in both carousels. This becomes more complicated as all the KDP keywords are broadly defined.
4.) There may be another advantage in new or heavily changed keyword ads in that there may be a new preference calculation made by Amazon. This would explain why some very generic keywords have initial success as Amazon may have calculated that your word is a unique fit for someones browsing interests. That effect may degenerate over time.
5.) AMS seems to prefer maximizing ad $$ production over sales volume production. That's why we can sometime see runaway ads producing oodles of clics but little return. On the Advantage platform this is acute where headline ads (at least for my titles)(not available on KDP) have to produce better than 1 clic per 150 impressions even if producing ACoS in the low teens.
6.) I feel AMS is influenced by a traditional publishing look at titles where a new title is promoted heavily and is remaindered 6 months later. Clearly our books don't have to work that way but it does seem to cost us more advertising SS to prove that.
7.) The reporting has been so slow lately that you may not be getting the numbers reported to you correctly. I have had to only observe ACoS for the last 2-3 weeks as being inaccurate and just use stats from KDP and CreateSpace for my ACoS calcs.
8.) Lastly, at some points I (Dariel, Rivera's partner) have been so frustrated by the system that I have suspected that it was designed to play off human dynamics just as a casino game is designed. Give high initial rewards, reduce rewards to promote higher bids etc. I have tested this hypothesis pretty well by doing contrarian strategies and by happenstance simply because several times in the last year I had to be away from the systems for weeks at a time...thankfully I don't find any truth in tahty concept. I am also encouraged by the integrity of the system in countering bot activity and refunding clics generated by bots

These are some of my thoughts currently.
Thanks mucho to everyone who has contributed your thoughts to this and the prevopus thread and to Cassie for her books
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Online Accord64

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #519 on: February 10, 2018, 01:14:25 PM »
8.) Lastly, at some points I (Dariel, Rivera's partner) have been so frustrated by the system that I have suspected that it was designed to play off human dynamics just as a casino game is designed. Give high initial rewards, reduce rewards to promote higher bids etc. I have tested this hypothesis pretty well by doing contrarian strategies and by happenstance simply because several times in the last year I had to be away from the systems for weeks at a time...thankfully I don't find any truth in tahty concept.

Haha. You're not the only one who has suspected the same. Glad you didn't find any truth to it, because I still sometimes think AMS is like playing a card game with a the deck that's constantly changing.  ;D
 

Offline Philip Gibson

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #520 on: February 11, 2018, 10:06:23 AM »
TOPIC: Copying Sponsored Product ads.

I make lots of adjustments to my keyword bids over many months depending on whether I judge the keywords to be productive or not.  So one of my ads has bids ranging from $0.06 to $0.31 and everything in between.  The ad has now slowed to a crawl and now I want to do what I usually do and recycle the keywords by starting a new ad with those keywords and a different ad copy.

BUT I would like the new ad to keep the same elevated and lowered bids on the various keywords.  So if I use the COPY function to make a new ad and replace the ad copy, will the new keyword list keep the adjusted bids, or will they all have the same bid as when the old ad started?

If that makes sense.


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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #521 on: February 11, 2018, 11:21:59 AM »
TOPIC: Copying Sponsored Product ads.

I make lots of adjustments to my keyword bids over many months depending on whether I judge the keywords to be productive or not.  So one of my ads has bids ranging from $0.06 to $0.31 and everything in between.  The ad has now slowed to a crawl and now I want to do what I usually do and recycle the keywords by starting a new ad with those keywords and a different ad copy.

BUT I would like the new ad to keep the same elevated and lowered bids on the various keywords.  So if I use the COPY function to make a new ad and replace the ad copy, will the new keyword list keep the adjusted bids, or will they all have the same bid as when the old ad started?

If that makes sense.



It will copy over only your current enabled keywords (so any that are paused don't copy over) and at their current bids. (You can have AMS open in two tabs at once, so to see this I just copied an ad and then opened a new tab and pulled up the copy and the original and compared them.)


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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #522 on: February 12, 2018, 03:11:51 PM »
A couple of questions.

1. Has anyone noticed if there's a more general consensus among AMS users favoring either multiple ads per book or single ads?

2. I think I might follow Cassie's advice and limit my ads to one per book, but if I do that, which ads do I pause. I suspect that those ads that have been steady performers over a long period of time are worth running even though they have steadily run out of steam, to the point the ACOS looks decidedly unremarkable. They could be pulling in reads... I know there's only one way to find out, but this has been a bad month for sales and I've also read from several sources that once you pause an AMS ad and later restart it traction has been lost. Any thoughts?


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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #523 on: February 12, 2018, 06:18:11 PM »
I swear AMS responds to messing with my keywords. Suddenly, the very next day after I added a few new keywords on one of my oldest (and least expensive) ads, AMS has emailed me saying I'm running out of budget and wouldn't I like to raise it by 2.5 times the dollar figure?

Actually, no, I would not.

Whoever is interested in this book will be interested tomorrow, too. It has zero competition in its tiny niche.

AMS has been spending my total budget like a drunken sailor this month. I've cut back on one title's ad budget and seen sales suddenly blossom. I might do more pruning.

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #524 on: February 13, 2018, 06:55:50 AM »
Lily,

I don't understand. I thought the consensus was that it's hard to get AMS to spend your money, and when it does, that is a great thing. Why not up the budget? Also, I have the exact question as baldricko. If we run multiple ads per book, how are we supposed to measure conversion rate on any single ad? I don't get authors running multiple ads. Do they mean they are running multiple ads, one after the other, but with only one ad running at a time, or are they running multiple ads at the same time? Again, if it's the latter, how do you track the conversion rate for any given ad? Cassie, can you kindly chime in?

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