Author Topic: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?  (Read 12974 times)  

Offline Reveries

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #150 on: January 12, 2018, 02:58:40 AM »
Well, at least all this has motivated me to start looking at selling using Payhip or something similar.

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #151 on: January 12, 2018, 03:26:48 AM »
Well, at least all this has motivated me to start looking at selling using Payhip or something similar.

Thats a good point. As Amazon keep tightening the screws its time to open up every other channel. I would never have considered it, but Amazon seem determined to skew the shop in their favor and scrape back margin.

Im already loading my print to Ingram and wont be selling the print books through Amazon in future. I never did sign up for ACX because there was no way Id hand over control for seven years and its a good thing I didnt. I ditched KU over a year ago and, given where thats going, Im happy to be out of it. All Ill have left on Amazon are ebooks that I dont use AMS to advertize, but I still like the idea of opening more off site channels that I can control. Heck, I even looked at Patreon, although I doubt Ill use it.

It would have been easier and preferred to use a single or limited number of platforms, but I think its time to get creative.

Offline Mercia McMahon

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #152 on: January 12, 2018, 04:45:07 AM »
Yes, it was an error. Someone screwed up and either modified a production file or stuck a development file into their production build script. Oopsie. But you don't "accidentally" insert code like that into a web form. It's in development now - we just weren't meant to see it yet.

Well they did accidentally announce Kindle Unlimited two days early. Of course they weren't trying to build up excitement in advance. That would be a scurrilous thing to suggest. How many days before 50% goes official?

https://the-digital-reader.com/2014/07/16/amazon-launch-new-ebook-subscription-service-called-kindle-unlimited/


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Offline RBN

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #153 on: January 12, 2018, 05:20:04 AM »
Amazon are unlikely to be intentionally skimming, but Id give them 99% chance of getting processes and therefore the numbers wrong. It all comes down to the integrity of their data capture, allocations and reconciliations, but I wouldnt be surprised if thats flaky as all heck. Theyre large, multi serviced, they rapidly change services, theyre continuously adding new staff, theyre expanding global ops, they value new ideas more than getting old ones working well. Hmm, what are the odds a company with that profile has robust, well designed, and bullet proof transactional processing? So close to zero its not worth arguing.

Am I the only one who remembers the AMS credits, some of which were tens of thousands of dollars, indicating the whole thing has been janky from the start? A month or so ago, they gave me an additional credit for a few hundred because they're still finding discrepancies they think it's prudent to make friendly overtures about. Their transactional processing is brazenly trash.

Offline Annie B

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #154 on: January 12, 2018, 06:03:51 AM »
I use Adblock, and I still see all the sponsored ads on Amazon.

Odd. I have to turn it off if I want to see them, otherwise I see only also-boughts etc and no sponsored bar at all.

Offline kw3000

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #155 on: January 12, 2018, 08:27:43 AM »
If that was your game and you're a small independent then you're probably in a shedload of trouble right now. If you weren't servicing the high volume (and quite frankly non profitable) KU reader then you need to look outside of Amazon for your readers. They won't change their reading tastes just because Amazon smother their site in ads for content mill books, so even though they might take a look at those books, they'll buy what interests them.

I'm not trying to say one game is better than the other, but as a small independent writer, I'm very happy I didn't chase the KU reader.

You definitely make a compelling case for leaving KU. Appreciate your thoughts on this subject.  8)

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #156 on: January 12, 2018, 09:10:45 AM »
I found the reference on the KDP forum. According to them, they found the following explanation on AMS help. They were asking where they could find Bid+. Its possible the person is an insane lunatic that made this up, but itd be an odd ruse because they cut and paste the following text they found in the help section.

***

What is Bid+?

Bid+ is a feature of Sponsored Products that helps you increase the opportunity to display your ads in the TOP placement (top row of search result pages). When Bid+ is turned on, Amazon will increase the maximum CPC bid by up to 50% for all your ads that are eligible to appear in the highest traffic placements at the top of Search results. You can select the Bid+ option with one click in the Sponsored Products Manual Campaign Settings tab.

Where is the Sponsored Products TOP placement?

The TOP placement is the one that shows sponsored products ads in the top row of the search result pages. You can differentiate these sponsored products from normal search results by looking at the Sponsored label right above the product title.

***

In answer to your question about the logic. In the last few weeks or so, AMS have put two sponsored ad strips on our pages. Bid+ lets you bid for the first strip on the page. I did wonder how that was going to work. Every strip has up to 100 or so pages, so just putting the highest to lowest bid on strip one and then filling strip two wouldnt make sense. It would have meant lower bids than everyone in strip one would end up in prime position on strip two (ie the first page on the strip).

Im inclined to believe the above cut and paste is for real. Id post the link, but Im not sure if it allowed.
The part I bolded doesn't actually match the info you got from the KDP forum. That's talking about appearing at the top of the search page. It says nothing about the higher of the stripes on product pages.

I believe I was told recently that other users of AMS ads (that is, vendors who aren't restricted to the options given to those of us in KDP) already had the option to buy placement at the top of search results rather than at the bottom of the page, where they normally appear. Could it be that all that Amazon is doing is opening up the same option to us? That's what it looks like to me.


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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #157 on: January 12, 2018, 09:30:44 AM »
The part I bolded doesn't actually match the info you got from the KDP forum. That's talking about appearing at the top of the search page. It says nothing about the higher of the stripes on product pages.

I believe I was told recently that other users of AMS ads (that is, vendors who aren't restricted to the options given to those of us in KDP) already had the option to buy placement at the top of search results rather than at the bottom of the page, where they normally appear. Could it be that all that Amazon is doing is opening up the same option to us? That's what it looks like to me.

You know as much as I do, Bill. It looks to me like theyre creating a way to position yourself at more visible locations on the sponsored ads, which would affect the two strips theyre now showing on our pages. It makes sense that you can pay more for the better position if you choose to, otherwise I dont know how theyd decide who gets page one position on the second strip versus being buried on page 100 of the first strip.

Anyway, the upshot is if Bid+ is released then youll have to pay more for the best spots, which will affect the ROI.

PS I was trying to show the quoted bit by using *** but maybe I should have used italics.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #158 on: January 12, 2018, 10:19:04 AM »
You know as much as I do, Bill. It looks to me like theyre creating a way to position yourself at more visible locations on the sponsored ads, which would affect the two strips theyre now showing on our pages.
I suppose that's possible, but what I was trying to point out was that the quoted material refers to the search pages only, not to the two strips on the product pages. From the quoted part, I would conclude that Amazon is opening up another option to us: have the search results visible at top of search page instead of at the bottom. As I said, that option has long existed for other advertisers. Jumping to the conclusion that the Bid+ choice affects sponsored ads on the product page seems to go beyond the evidence we have right now.

Of course, I could be wrong.  :-\


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Offline Elizabeth Barone

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #160 on: January 12, 2018, 11:18:07 AM »
Again, it showed up only for the pricing option of between 2.99 and 9.99. So no, it's not for over or under. Whatever this is, no one enters that kind of elaborate coding to change a dashboard and all the calculations behind it by accident. Yes, we saw it by accident, but that's a whole other matter.

Whatever it is, it's coming.

I used to work in web dev. It's incredibly easy to accidentally publish test code.

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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #161 on: January 12, 2018, 11:38:37 AM »
I suppose that's possible, but what I was trying to point out was that the quoted material refers to the search pages only, not to the two strips on the product pages. From the quoted part, I would conclude that Amazon is opening up another option to us: have the search results visible at top of search page instead of at the bottom. As I said, that option has long existed for other advertisers. Jumping to the conclusion that the Bid+ choice affects sponsored ads on the product page seems to go beyond the evidence we have right now.

Of course, I could be wrong.  :-\

Maybe, but having two strips of sponsored ads that are potentially a hundred pages deep does beg the question of how you get first page on the second strip. The first strip I understand, but the second I dont. If they already have a mechanism to prioritize by super charging a bid it makes sense to use it.

Offline IoneKeeling

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #162 on: January 12, 2018, 11:56:14 AM »
Maybe, but having two strips of sponsored ads that are potentially a hundred pages deep does beg the question of how you get first page on the second strip. The first strip I understand, but the second I dont. If they already have a mechanism to prioritize by super charging a bid it makes sense to use it.

Personally, I don't understand why a reader would look beyond the sponsored ads (7 or so) that fill that section. I do occasionally look through it on non-entertainment items because if I'm searching for eg a box fan, the sponsored ads are much more likely to have something I'm looking for. The book ads are way off IMO.

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #163 on: January 12, 2018, 12:05:08 PM »
Personally, I don't understand why a reader would look beyond the sponsored ads (7 or so) that fill that section. I do occasionally look through it on non-entertainment items because if I'm searching for eg a box fan, the sponsored ads are much more likely to have something I'm looking for. The book ads are way off IMO.

I found sponsored ads were effective, but only if you were on page one or two, after that not so much. As for the second strip, I couldnt say becasue its new and I havent used AMS much in the past year.

The problem is the prices have been steadily increasing for the best spots. Its becoming harder to get a decent payback, especially now the content mill style books rule the top 100 cats. You need to sell a heck of a lot more to get any algo love and its costing so much more to get it.

A year ago authors were cautiously advertizing one or two books, but more often now I see half an authors decent sized catalog on sponsored ads. I flinch when I see that because I know just how expensive it is to get that many books (like 10 or more) in the top spots. I gather they are playing a page read aggregation game to earn all star bonuses, otherwise it must be hard to make those ads ROI.


Offline Going Incognito

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #164 on: January 12, 2018, 12:59:37 PM »
Maybe, but having two strips of sponsored ads that are potentially a hundred pages deep does beg the question of how you get first page on the second strip. The first strip I understand, but the second I dont. If they already have a mechanism to prioritize by super charging a bid it makes sense to use it.


I think yall are talking past each other. The two strips are on the product's page. The bid+ seems to be talking about something else.
Look at something other than books. Ive shopped for both essential oils and tunic tops lately.
When you 'search' essential oils in the search bar the results page comes back with a huge banner ad on top, then a top row of sponsored essential oil products that have words that are specifically mentioned in that BID+ quote: "You can differentiate these sponsored products from normal search results by looking at the Sponsored label right above the product title." The sponsored essential oils have "sponsored product" directly above the 'title' of the essential oil product. The rows of sponsored products are on the item's "product page," not a "search page," and the rows on the product page dont have "Sponsored Product" directly over each title. It's the same with "searching" for tunic tops.

I think the BID+ thing is for the top items on the page that comes up after you search, hence 'the search page.' Then you pick a product, get taken to the item's 'product page' for the 'two rows' of other sponsored ads. Two completely different things, I think.

Edited for clarity, I hope, lol.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 01:05:36 PM by Going Incognito »

Offline Atlantisatheart

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #165 on: January 12, 2018, 03:05:12 PM »

I think yall are talking past each other. The two strips are on the product's page. The bid+ seems to be talking about something else.
Look at something other than books. Ive shopped for both essential oils and tunic tops lately.
When you 'search' essential oils in the search bar the results page comes back with a huge banner ad on top, then a top row of sponsored essential oil products that have words that are specifically mentioned in that BID+ quote: "You can differentiate these sponsored products from normal search results by looking at the Sponsored label right above the product title." The sponsored essential oils have "sponsored product" directly above the 'title' of the essential oil product. The rows of sponsored products are on the item's "product page," not a "search page," and the rows on the product page dont have "Sponsored Product" directly over each title. It's the same with "searching" for tunic tops.

I think the BID+ thing is for the top items on the page that comes up after you search, hence 'the search page.' Then you pick a product, get taken to the item's 'product page' for the 'two rows' of other sponsored ads. Two completely different things, I think.

Edited for clarity, I hope, lol.

Sp, sponsored ads versus display ads? I stopped doing those they were costing 1.50 minimum a shot.

Offline Marian

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #166 on: January 12, 2018, 06:22:04 PM »

Someone spotted an option called Bid+ on the AMS screens (its been removed now just like the 50% option was taken down). The logic was cute.

* You enable Bid+ for your ads.
* AMS will increase your bids by up to 50% to appear on the top carousel of sponsored ads.
* The enabled option isnt done by ad, but for all sponsored ads.
* Which means getting the prime position on the top carousel will cost you 50% more than you bid.

I have serious doubts that people actually look at the lower carousel of books. Most of them probably don't look beyond the first two or three pages of the top carousel.

Bid+ could be really risky. Doubling bids that are set at 0.30 cents have the potential of killing any chance of a decent ROI unless strict daily limits are set.

Offline Seneca42

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #167 on: January 12, 2018, 08:35:56 PM »
Am I the only one who remembers the AMS credits, some of which were tens of thousands of dollars, indicating the whole thing has been janky from the start? A month or so ago, they gave me an additional credit for a few hundred because they're still finding discrepancies they think it's prudent to make friendly overtures about. Their transactional processing is brazenly trash.

Yep. It was also stupid how they gave some people a $100 credit to blow on AMS but not others.

The whole thing always felt odd to me. It was only when i had a stint with a permafree and got a ton of impressions and clicks on very low bids (6-16 cents) that I realized the bid doesn't even matter, it was the clicks that mattered. Get a ton of clicks, AMS would push you more regardless of your bid (let's not even waste our time about how easy it would be to game that system).

I have no clue if AMS still behaves like that (haven't been in it now for 6 months),but that was enough to tell me that it doesn't operate the way they say it does.

I've also been noticing that there are authors (some of them regulars here on kboards) who are using the sponsored ads. Now here is what is totally F'd up. If you search for their books, let's say a series called "Bill the Cook", the results will show...

* Bill The Cook Book 1 (sponsored ad)
* Bill the Cook Book 1 (just regular listing)
* BIll the cook book 2
* bill the cook book 3

etc.

So zon is putting that product ad RIGHT ABOVE the regular listing (and they both look identical because they are, just that the ad gets listed first). And I'm telling you, if I avoid clicking on ads (because I don't want to cost authors money; I'll just search and click on the product link to get the book, never the ad), and even I instinctively go to click on that sponsored ad... then you know consumers are ALL clicking on that ad.

How is that for taking every penny out of your pocket that they can? I'll never use AMS again because of stuff like that, which is going on as we speak.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 08:38:00 PM by Seneca42 »

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #168 on: January 12, 2018, 09:20:01 PM »
Yep. It was also stupid how they gave some people a $100 credit to blow on AMS but not others.

The whole thing always felt odd to me. It was only when i had a stint with a permafree and got a ton of impressions and clicks on very low bids (6-16 cents) that I realized the bid doesn't even matter, it was the clicks that mattered. Get a ton of clicks, AMS would push you more regardless of your bid (let's not even waste our time about how easy it would be to game that system).

I have no clue if AMS still behaves like that (haven't been in it now for 6 months),but that was enough to tell me that it doesn't operate the way they say it does.

I've also been noticing that there are authors (some of them regulars here on kboards) who are using the sponsored ads. Now here is what is totally F'd up. If you search for their books, let's say a series called "Bill the Cook", the results will show...

* Bill The Cook Book 1 (sponsored ad)
* Bill the Cook Book 1 (just regular listing)
* BIll the cook book 2
* bill the cook book 3

etc.

So zon is putting that product ad RIGHT ABOVE the regular listing (and they both look identical because they are, just that the ad gets listed first). And I'm telling you, if I avoid clicking on ads (because I don't want to cost authors money; I'll just search and click on the product link to get the book, never the ad), and even I instinctively go to click on that sponsored ad... then you know consumers are ALL clicking on that ad.

How is that for taking every penny out of your pocket that they can? I'll never use AMS again because of stuff like that, which is going on as we speak.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that isn't Amazon doing that; it's the choice of the advertiser. This is the same thing Twisted Tales and I were discussing in a different context upthread.

Not yet available through KDP version of AMS, but available if someone goes to the trouble of setting up a different kind of vendor account, is sponsored ad placement as the first listing in search results. (That actually makes sense in most cases; it only creates the issue you're addressing if the ad appears on a page of search results specifically for that author. Any other time, having that first slot in search results would be an advantage.

I've used sponsored product ads quite a bit with various bid levels, and my ad never, never, never appears at the top, only at the bottom. That's because I haven't bothered to set up a different kind of vendor account.

If I'm wrong, and Amazon actually is doing what you suggest, I trust someone who has had an ad placed in the way you say without asking for it will correct me.


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