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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: Harald on January 21, 2017, 07:06:34 PM

Title: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 21, 2017, 07:06:34 PM
***ALERT: long initial post***
+ NOTE: all kinds of interesting info in the pages below. Just a few guideposts:
-- My 2-month update: Message #73, bottom Page 3
-- Discussion about creating a Series ad (no can do!) starts on Page 4
-- Discussion about scaling up by increasing daily budget starts on Page 7
-- Discussion about running simultaneous ads and testing ad copy around Page 13
-- Discussion about running ads for non-first-in-series books starts bottom of Page 15
-- Discussion about Sequential ad copy testing (with my 7-day test results) starts on Page 16
-- Discussion about Previewing your ad starts on Page 18
-- Discussion: "What's an Impression?" starts on Page 18 -19
-- My 3rd Sequential ad copy testing report starts on Page 19, Message #460
-- Slowing of AMS effectiveness? Start reading Page 22-23
-- My 1-month update on latest ad copy change: Message #591, Page 24
-- AMS Account Mgr input starts at bottom of Page 25
-- Automatic vs. Manual Targeting discussion starts bottom of Page 27
-- My 99-day update on latest ad copy change: Message #1354, Page 55

* Introduction: As a relatively new indie-self-publishing author, I've learned a lot here in the Kboards Writer's Cafe while preparing my fiction writing debut, so I'd like to offer some thoughts about my recent (14 days in) experience with AMS ads. I was between books and decided to spend some marketing time on AMS. This thread can go on as long as needed, and I'll be adding updates when I can. Feel free to add your own ideas and answer questions raised (including mine) or pose new ones that relate to AMS Ad Learning.

* Where I'm coming from: I may be different from many reading this, so keep that in mind. I'm doing a novella series in Historical Fiction; early 17th century time period with New York City/Manhattan as the focus setting. Genre surely influences AMS ad performance so filter as needed. Two short books (novellas) are now out (both in KDP Select/KU); the third is releasing soon. I wanted to start AMS ads with the release of Book 2 ("1612") at its discounted price ($0.99 from $2.99) and carefully studied what I could and could not say about price in the ad, but Zon still rejected it. Rather than argue with them, I just re-submitted the ad without any price mentions and made sure the book detail page had all that verbiage. Then I quickly created and launched my AMS ad campaign for Book 1 ("1609"), which I'm keeping at a low $0.99 as a funnel into the series. Then I changed the copy of Book 2 and started a new campaign for that, eventually raising its price back to $2.99. Got it? :) I'll focus here on Book 1, which has a longer run (14+ days for this post) but throw in some info from Book 2 as well.

* My AMS Setup:
Type: Sponsored Product; avg Daily Budget: $1.00; Targeting: Manual

Here's what I've learned after 14 days...

(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/GRAB_AMS_AllCampaigns_jan16_10days_800x_65q.jpg)
ABOVE: January 16 - 10 days of Book 1
(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/GRAB_AMS_AllCampaigns_jan20_14days_800x_65q.jpg)
ABOVE: January 20 - 14 days of Book 1

* Dashboard Delays: My initial routine was to view and record the single-line campaign stats (charts above) to get familiar with the workings of the system: 11:00am, 5:00pm, and 11:00pm each day (have now backed off to twice a day). AMS says right on the Dashboard: "Campaign metrics may take up to 3 days to appear..." My delays seem to be around 2 days, primarily in the Sales column. Well, that kinda makes things hard to measure, especially if some things are updating while others are not within the same campaign. For example, I noticed I would sometimes see new Sales but NO new Clicks. Huh? Assuming that AMS is only tracking sales within the AMS ecosystem, which it states it is, this doesn't make sense UNLESS it's explained by different metrics (dashboard columns) lagging others within the same campaign. Then I also noticed sales showing on my campaign line but NOT showing in the Sales column in the Keyword tab page. Then 1-2 hours later, there they'd be! So all this tells me I can't rush this stuff; gotta play the long game.

* Keywords ("KWD"): An important subject for this AMS ad business. I started off with about 25 KWDs but soon ratcheted that up to 225. Some recommend filling all 1,000 available slots, but that seems unwieldy, especially when so many end up doing nothing. Of course, if I see new KWDs with potential, I'll add them.

The following is based on viewing the detailed "Keywords" tab in the campaign: (see chart below)

* CPC Bidding: Because I didn't know anything, and because Amazon's suggested bidding amount was $0.25, I just went with that. But over time and with learning, I began pulling many of those bids down lower and lower. Why? One reason was because I was hitting my $1 Daily Budget too early in the day (sometimes in a couple of hours), and I wanted to track full days. Also, most of the daily budget was being drained by Clicks that didn't go anywhere, i.e., no Sales. Moving forward with new campaigns, I might take the opposite approach: Start all at minimum bids ($0.02) and ratchet them UP over time.
NOTE: the "day" for AMS is supposed to be midnight YOUR local time, but I noticed that was usually later in the middle of my night. Then I received an email from Amazon stating that the "ad day" begins at 12:01 AM Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8), which is 3:00AM in the morning for me on New York time, so that explains that.

* Impressions: I don't really care about Impressions as long as I'm getting some, and they started immediately and usually increase by several thousands each day, with the exception noted below. It's easy to get loads of impressions by just adding big, generic keywords ("unlimited," "books," "Kindle") but that's a waste effort in my opinion. But there was one exception to this idea: the keyword "fiction," which Amazon suggested in its initial grouping. I was skeptical, and it only got 1,339 Impressions in 14 days (and three clicks), but I've already gotten one sale out of it. FYI: Just for the heck of it, I even threw in "Trump" as a Keyword along the way and within days, his Impressions were beating out many of my genre's author names. But with little relevance (although he is based in Manhattan, which is my primary setting, so there actually is some relevance, if far-fetched), the Clicks are still at 0 for Prez Trump, but with a $0.02 Bid, it's an inexpensive experiment.

One anomaly with Impressions in my 14 days was the six times that the Impressions DROPPED, usually at the end of the day, and mostly after the Daily Budget had been spent. How can this be? ***Anybody know??? UPDATE: Just re-checked and it was always after the Budget was spent. So I can see the algo freezing the Impressions but not taking them away. Still curious.

* Clicks: I check the Clicks column regularly, sorting from top to bottom, and make note of any new "top clicks" (3 or above) and adjust the CPC bid according to my bidding strategy below. FYI: it was 23 Clicks to the first Sale on both books, and both occurred on Day 3 of their respective campaigns. Interesting, eh? Wonder if that included a 2-day delay in Sales reporting?

* CTR (Click-Through Ratio: Clicks / Impressions): CTR isn't even on the AMS chart and doesn't interest me much, mainly because it doesn't take into account off-relevance KWDs or ad placement. Besides, it's easy enough to see at a glance by sorting the Imps column and looking at the Clicks next door.

* ACPC (Average Cost Per Click): Best viewed per KWD on the column breakout page. Doesn't mean much if you have only 1 click, but when click numbers (per KWD) go up, it's a helpful metric for adjusting the CPC Bid.

* Spend: Self-evident. Also sortable by clicking on the top of the column.

* Sales: An important column to sort to see how the metrics are relating. But there is that 1-2-3-day delay to deal with.

* ACoS (Average Cost of Sales): Very important, but even more important are the ACoS numbers PER KWD. Those are what I spent time looking at and how I came up with my personal Bidding Rules (see at bottom).

(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/AMSGRAB_1609_10days_ACoS_jan16_partial_800x_65q.jpg)
ABOVE (partial view): "1609" - Jan 16 - 10 days in
(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/AMSGRAB_1609_ACoS_jan16-20_partial_800x_65q.jpg)
ABOVE (partial view): "1609" - Jan 20 - 14 days in

* ROI: The Return on Investment for the AMS ads is more complicated than it seems. For me, it's not an obvious: "So, did the ad campaign have an ACoS that's under the royalty rate of the book?" In theory, if you're over the ACoS, you're losing money. But that's just a surface view of the situation (to me). Why? Because there are follow-on benefits that enter the equation. Like:

1. KENP Reads in KU. Especially with a $0.99 book, this is a significant % of revenue. And my Reads of Book 1 definitely went up when AMS ads started running (see chart below). In fact, the Reads during the 14-day AMS period were more than 7 TIMES (754%) the Reads in the 14 days prior to the ad starting. Or, put another way, that's an *additional* 76% of the revenue from Reads *after* the AMS ad starting running.

(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/KDPreportsGRAB_1609_jan16-20_KENPonly_14days_800x_65q.jpg)
ABOVE: a 754% increase in Reads after AMS ad started running.

2. Sales Rank bump from KU "borrows" (did you know that a borrow counts as a sale?). And there are probably some additional "organic" sales from a higher Sales Rank.

3. Undefined increase in "visibility" when ads are running, and especially when showing up on Page 1 of Sponsored Products as mine did early. Again, more visibility *could* result in more sales. Hasn't really worked out that way when I relaunched "1612" with a price increased to $2.99. (NOTE: "1612" is selling at the higher price, but just not through AMS)

(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/BSRGRAB_1612inNo1SponsoredSpot_jan13-20_800x_65q.jpg)
ABOVE: Book 2 appears on Sponsored pages of Book 1

4. NOTE that I'm not doing Audiobooks or print books (yet), which would add to the complexity--and richness--of the ROI.

* KWD Types: For me (in my HF genre), besides the obvious content KWDs ("historical fiction"), the biggest Clickers and resulting Sales were the names of related authors. Not as much the book titles but the big or selling author names in my genre: James Michener, Ken Follett, et al. Which tells me that readers are searching for both Content and Author relevance (and Relevance is what the AMS ad system is mostly about).

My Current KWD Bid Strategy:
-- If a KWD's ACoS is under the book's royalty % *and selling*, I'll raise the bid slightly (1-3 cents) to see if I can pick up some more sales. If it's an author that seems a perfect fit and *should* be selling more, I'll go up a little more to give her more of a better shot.
-- If a KWD's ACoS is over the royalty % but under 100% (35% royalty) or 140% (70% royalty), I'll match the ACPC. Unless it's a category or an author who's perfect and then I'll increase the bid 1-3 cents more.
-- If a KWD's ACoS is over the 100% or 140% (only one instance so far), I'll start dropping the bid and watching closely.
-- I'll be updating these "rules" over time as I learn more. If anyone wants to submit their own formulas or rules about this, feel free to chime in.

THE BOTTOM LINE: With a current 84% overall ACoS on my $0.99 Book 1 of the novella series, I'm going to keep that AMS campaign running. However, I may tweak the copy, which means submitting a new ad and starting my tracking all over again. Book 2, with a current 237% campaign ACoS is not doing nearly as well (although still selling + KENP reading outside of AMS). I may pause it, or I may just let it run as the Spend is not costing me much. Maybe best to keep an eye on Book 2 while Book 3 in the series soon launches, then revisit.
3/18/17 UPDATE: Paused this campaign after 2 months and getting the overall ACoS down to 52.20%; rebooted campaign with different Bid strategy for a week, then rebooted that (for a blurb change); see more below.

How much trouble is all this? Not really that much. For me, while it did take time at the start to understand and set it all up, I found that tracking and tweaking things--especially keywords and bids--is no trouble at all; just a few minutes a day. And it's actually kinda fun! It's now just part of my daily routine: check the dashboard each day to see what's changed and make adjustments accordingly. Try it! You may just get hooked. And sell some books in the process.

I hope this is helpful to others thinking about AMS ads.

P.S. Feel free to contribute your own findings, thoughts, or questions about AMS ads.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jack Krenneck on January 21, 2017, 08:38:43 PM
* KWD Types: For me (in my HF genre), besides the obvious content KWDs ("historical fiction" "new york"), the biggest Clickers and resulting Sales were the names of related authors. Not as much the book titles (exception: "Pillars of the Earth") but the big or selling author names in my genre: James Michener, Ken Follett, Louise Erdrich, et al. Which tells me that readers are searching for both Content and Author relevance (and Relevance is what the AMS ad system is mostly about).

My experience with this is similar. I note that by using an author name as a keyword an ad can appear on any of the author's books. That's handy and makes things easier. On the other hand, sometimes I see my own ads for an author keyword, sometimes I don't. Alternatively, when I target a specific book my ad seems to appear more regularly.

Perhaps when Amazon is deciding relevance/ad placement the more specific targeting gives an ad a higher relevance score?
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 21, 2017, 08:49:10 PM
... Perhaps when Amazon is deciding relevance/ad placement the more specific targeting gives an ad a higher relevance score?

Hi Jack. That, and maybe a history of Clicks and Sales on that Keyword could also be part of the relevance formula? Just a guess.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jan Hurst-Nicholson on January 22, 2017, 04:59:51 AM
Thanks for posting this. It's making my head spin. I'm going to bookmark it for when/if I decide to do an AMS ad.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: brkingsolver on January 22, 2017, 05:17:58 AM
Your observations on AMS ROI for KU books (my, doesn't that look like alphabet soup) is dead on. I have a huge negative ROI on my 99c first-in-series, but its ranking has gone up from the 125,000 level to the 12,500 level (approx.) since I started running the ad. Reads are up on it and the follow-on books. I've spent about $40 on the ad this month, made $283 on the book. AMS isn't the only factor, but I truly believe it helps.

On the other hand, the sponsored products list on my most successful book is now 93 pages across. Are all of those authors getting benefits from their ads?
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: KCecala on January 22, 2017, 05:25:59 AM
Thanks for posting Harald! I just started my very first AMS 'keyword' campaign and feeling clueless. Guess I should be thinking up more keywords!
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on January 22, 2017, 05:38:23 AM
First, thanks for sharing your experience(s).

* Impressions: I don't really care about Impressions as long as I'm getting some, and they started immediately and usually increase by several thousands each day, with the exception noted below.

I consider impressions a measurement of how much traffic a keyword is generating while my ad is running in it. However, when impressions suddenly decreased (or stopped), I initially considered it a sign that my daily limit was reached. After a while, I found this not to be the case. While it could mean the daily limit was reached, it can also mean that your ad isn't running in that keyword as often. Why? Not sure. I suspect there's an overriding algorithm at work, pulling ads on keywords where it detects under-performance. Just my theory.

Quote
-- If a KWD's ACoS is under the book's royalty % *and selling*, I'll raise the bid slightly (1-3 cents) to see if I can pick up some more sales. If it's an author that seems a perfect fit and *should* be selling more, I'll go up a little more to give her more of a better shot.

I have the same strategy. If I see a lot of impressions but no clicks, I'll even search on that keyword to see on what page my ad is running on. However, if impressions start a steep decline, it doesn't seem to matter how high I bid. The ad still doesn't run as often. More evidence that an overriding algorithm has already determined that my ad is under-performing and simply won't run as often as it did during the first few days. Makes me wonder if it's better to just end the campaign right then and set up a new one.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jennifer Joy on January 22, 2017, 05:41:50 AM
Thanks for posting this. It's making my head spin. I'm going to bookmark it for when/if I decide to do an AMS ad.

My thoughts exactly! Thank you so much for posting this. It's a lot of information and I appreciate the breakdown.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 22, 2017, 08:54:44 AM
Your observations on AMS ROI for KU books (my, doesn't that look like alphabet soup) is dead on. I have a huge negative ROI on my 99c first-in-series, but its ranking has gone up from the 125,000 level to the 12,500 level (approx.) since I started running the ad. Reads are up on it and the follow-on books. I've spent about $40 on the ad this month, made $283 on the book. AMS isn't the only factor, but I truly believe it helps.

Glad you're seeing positive results!

Quote
On the other hand, the sponsored products list on my most successful book is now 93 pages across. Are all of those authors getting benefits from their ads?

My two novellas are now showing 75 pages of Sponsored Products. The authors I'm using as keywords are at or over 100 pages. I would certainly be honored if Ken Follett were getting an ad benefit off of me, as I'm getting one off of him! :)
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 22, 2017, 08:57:37 AM
Thanks for posting Harald! I just started my very first AMS 'keyword' campaign and feeling clueless. Guess I should be thinking up more keywords!

Hope I'm providing useful clues! Shoot for at least a 100-200 kwds and see how it goes from there.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 22, 2017, 09:12:00 AM
First, thanks for sharing your experience(s).
I consider impressions a measurement of how much traffic a keyword is generating while my ad is running in it. However, when impressions suddenly decreased (or stopped), I initially considered it a sign that my daily limit was reached. After a while, I found this not to be the case. While it could mean the daily limit was reached, it can also mean that your ad isn't running in that keyword as often. Why? Not sure. I suspect there's an overriding algorithm at work, pulling ads on keywords where it detects under-performance. Just my theory.

Could be (your drop in Impressions theory). I just went back over my tracking, and it looks like my Impressions only dropped after my Daily Budget was spent, although it didn't show up for a while. But within hours, the Impressions started gaining again.

Quote
I have the same strategy. If I see a lot of impressions but no clicks, I'll even search on that keyword to see on what page my ad is running on. However, if impressions start a steep decline, it doesn't seem to matter how high I bid. The ad still doesn't run as often. More evidence that an overriding algorithm has already determined that my ad is under-performing and simply won't run as often as it did during the first few days. Makes me wonder if it's better to just end the campaign right then and set up a new one.

I agree about the algo pushing under-performing kwds down and eventually out. The decision to end the campaign for me requires looking at all the kwds as a group and individually. And I can also pause any single keyword.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 22, 2017, 09:18:43 AM
My thoughts exactly! Thank you so much for posting this. It's a lot of information and I appreciate the breakdown.

You're welcome! And this might help, too: I have a document open where I track my daily AMS campaign results in an overview fashion. It's just a single that I update each day. Like this:
11:0AM: ___ Imps | ___ Clicks | $___ aCPC | $___ Spend | ___ Sales | ___% ACoS
(then I add little notes and observations under it; this gives me a quick way to capture ad history over time)
Feel free to steal it! :)
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on January 22, 2017, 10:24:59 AM
I have been grumbling about not being able to sort. Now I know I can. Thanks so much for that. Thanks so much for the whole post, actually. I learned a lot.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 22, 2017, 10:57:00 AM
I have been grumbling about not being able to sort. Now I know I can. Thanks so much for that. Thanks so much for the whole post, actually. I learned a lot.

Yeah, it took me day or so to see the sorting (clicking the tops of the columns). Now I can't stop doing it!


Glad you're learning. That was my goal in posting this.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on January 22, 2017, 10:59:55 AM
How can you determine your ad has reached its daily spend limit?

Searching "baby boomer romance," which is a broad category that includes a lot of nonfiction, the first sponsored title is about a 17-year-old babysitter, and the second and third are billionaire romances. By the last couple of pages, there are no sponsored ads at all. And there is no moving band of sponsored ads below. My ads are not there, although they should be, so I'm wondering if I've reached my daily spend limit on them.



 
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: TromboneAl on January 22, 2017, 11:34:10 AM
Good rules.

One thing I've learned is that once you start changing the bid rate for a keyword, the data for that keyword will be invalid and misleading.

For example, I had a high bid for "piano sheet music" (fifty cents?) and got a bunch of clicks but no purchases. So I decreased the bid to two cents.

(http://i.imgur.com/THmgSw9.jpg)

So now, if I look at the data, it looks like the two-cent bid got a lot of impressions, but it did not. That's old data from before I decreased the bid. The other data for that keyword is also no longer relevant. Hope that's clear.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on January 22, 2017, 11:46:14 AM
Yeah, it took me day or so to see the sorting (clicking the tops of the columns). Now I can't stop doing it!


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

I just used the sort and it only took me a few minutes to see what's what and adjust my bids.

How can you determine your ad has reached its daily spend limit?

Searching "baby boomer romance," which is a broad category that includes a lot of nonfiction, the first sponsored title is about a 17-year-old babysitter, and the second and third are billionaire romances. By the last couple of pages, there are no sponsored ads at all. And there is no moving band of sponsored ads below. My ads are not there, although they should be, so I'm wondering if I've reached my daily spend limit on them
 

It will say so on the left aide of the campaign.

Good rules.

One thing I've learned is that once you start changing the bid rate for a keyword, the data for that keyword will be invalid and misleading.

For example, I had a high bid for "piano sheet music" (fifty cents?) and got a bunch of clicks but no purchases. So I decreased the bid to two cents.

So now, if I look at the data, it looks like the two-cent bid got a lot of impressions, but it did not. That's old data from before I decreased the bid. The other data for that keyword is also no longer relevant. Hope that's clear.

 How much did I spend? How much did I make? That's the most important data.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 22, 2017, 05:10:55 PM
How can you determine your ad has reached its daily spend limit?

It will say it at far left on your main campaign screen (the one that's titled "Advertising Campaigns"). The column is titled "Status." The normal is "Running" and if you're over your budget, it will say "Daily Budget Spent" (or something similar). It will be obvious. If it says "Running," then you have not reached the daily limit.

Quote
Searching "baby boomer romance," which is a broad category that includes a lot of nonfiction, the first sponsored title is about a 17-year-old babysitter, and the second and third are billionaire romances. By the last couple of pages, there are no sponsored ads at all. And there is no moving band of sponsored ads below. My ads are not there, although they should be, so I'm wondering if I've reached my daily spend limit on them.

I just typed in "Amazon Books: Baby Boomer Romance" in Google and got "Stormy" by Tina Gayle as result number 1. And the Sponsored Product "band" has 132 pages (with my browser window small; the size of your browser window determines the number of pages). Reaching your Daily Budget could be one reason you're not showing up in competitive books. But I also see that for me -- I'm on some books by a certain keyworded author but not others. Not exactly sure why that is (beyond keyword relevance).
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 22, 2017, 05:21:47 PM
Good rules.

Thanks!

Quote
One thing I've learned is that once you start changing the bid rate for a keyword, the data for that keyword will be invalid and misleading. For example, I had a high bid for "piano sheet music" (fifty cents?) and got a bunch of clicks but no purchases. So I decreased the bid to two cents.
So now, if I look at the data, it looks like the two-cent bid got a lot of impressions, but it did not. That's old data from before I decreased the bid. The other data for that keyword is also no longer relevant. Hope that's clear.

Correct; it's now "rolling data." And one reason I keep a running document to help with the overall history . Like this:
January 21, 2017:
√ 11:00AM: 93,644 Imps | 150 Clcks +5 | $0.09 aCPC | $13.96 Spnd | 16 Sale | 87.96% ACoS
√ 11:00PM: 96,070 Imps | 157 Clcks +7 | $0.09 aCPC | $14.54 Spnd | 17 Sale | 86.24% ACoS

That, of course, doesn't help with each kwd row -- that would require more than I'm willing do -- but I do add important notes under my tracking lines. Like this:
January 20, 2017: (*** DAY 14 ***)
√ 11:00AM: 89,034 Imps | 142 Clcks | $0.09 aCPC | $13.26 Spnd | 16 Sale +1 | 83.55% ACoS
NOTE New Click on "xxxxxxxxx" = 5.88% ACoS ($0.25 bid; $0.06 CPC), so reduce bid to $0.15 to match "yyyyyyyy".

Not a perfect system of tracking but better than nothing.


Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on January 22, 2017, 05:44:17 PM
None of my ads say "Daily Budget Spent." Never have.

I've done the same Google search on Baby Boomer Romance and come up with the same title, Stormy, which is 694,000 and change in the Amazon store and which does NOT look like it's about baby boomers. (Bare male torso.) I got to page 73 of the sponsored 111 pages of ads--most of which are also bare male torsos--before my crap internet decided to stop building pages. So I still have no idea if my sponsored ads with those keywords are in there. But it hardly matters since mine are not bare male torso books.

I tried the same category term, "baby boomer romance," in the Books store instead of the Kindle store as I had done previously. Again, no sponsored ads. So this means if a reader is already on the Amazon site and puts in a category, the ads may not be there. Then again, they can be. I checked a couple of keywords for another of my titles and mine was on page one--but it's a nonfiction, niche category. Romance is super competitive now. It does seem that Amazon sometimes shows ads and sometimes does not--even though we are waving ad dollars and saying "Pick me!"
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on January 22, 2017, 07:29:39 PM
None of my ads say "Daily Budget Spent." Never have.

I've done the same Google search on Baby Boomer Romance and come up with the same title, Stormy, which is 694,000 and change in the Amazon store and which does NOT look like it's about baby boomers. (Bare male torso.) I got to page 73 of the sponsored 111 pages of ads--most of which are also bare male torsos--before my crap internet decided to stop building pages. So I still have no idea if my sponsored ads with those keywords are in there. But it hardly matters since mine are not bare male torso books.

I tried the same category term, "baby boomer romance," in the Books store instead of the Kindle store as I had done previously. Again, no sponsored ads. So this means if a reader is already on the Amazon site and puts in a category, the ads may not be there. Then again, they can be. I checked a couple of keywords for another of my titles and mine was on page one--but it's a nonfiction, niche category. Romance is super competitive now. It does seem that Amazon sometimes shows ads and sometimes does not--even though we are waving ad dollars and saying "Pick me!"

I had the same problem since my romances are "sweet." Although my cover stood out from the manly chests, it is obviously not in the same ballpark.

Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 22, 2017, 08:14:56 PM
None of my ads say "Daily Budget Spent." Never have.

This is what it looks like when you hit your daily limit:
(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/statuscols_726x_65q.jpg)

Quote
... I tried the same category term, "baby boomer romance," in the Books store instead of the Kindle store as I had done previously. Again, no sponsored ads. So this means if a reader is already on the Amazon site and puts in a category, the ads may not be there. Then again, they can be. I checked a couple of keywords for another of my titles and mine was on page one--but it's a nonfiction, niche category. Romance is super competitive now. It does seem that Amazon sometimes shows ads and sometimes does not--even though we are waving ad dollars and saying "Pick me!"

I don't know your books, so hard to evaluate, and not sure what you mean by "Again, no sponsored ads." My search in Books: "baby boomer romance" comes up with Secret: Bluegrass Homecoming, Book 2 as the #1 result. THAT does look like Baby Boomer Romance (and no bare male torsos :), and it has well over 100 Sponsored Products pages. Are you in there? Is that author/title in your keywords? Just curious.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on January 22, 2017, 10:30:35 PM
I found the same page, but no ads, even though I disabled Adblock Plus and refreshed. But regardless, sometimes the sponsored ads are running down below like a banner, and sometimes they're just the last two or three books on the page, indistinguishable to the casual shopper from whatever other titles came up in that category. Obviously, that's the better place to be.

Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 23, 2017, 08:07:07 AM
I found the same page, but no ads, even though I disabled Adblock Plus and refreshed. But regardless, sometimes the sponsored ads are running down below like a banner, and sometimes they're just the last two or three books on the page, indistinguishable to the casual shopper from whatever other titles came up in that category. Obviously, that's the better place to be.

Not exactly sure what you mean by "...sponsored ads... sometimes they're just the last two or three books on the page." On my desktop view of that "Secrets: Bluegrass..." book's (and most other books) product detail page, I see, in order going down: Also Bought panel, Sponsored Products panel, Editorial Reviews, Product Details, About the Author, Customer Reviews, What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item, Your Recently Viewed Items... panel (and then the Product Display ad on the right). ***Are you seeing something else? Can you identify more? AFAIK, Sponsored Product ads only appear in that panel dedicated to them (on the product detail page).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LFGabel on January 23, 2017, 10:49:35 AM
THE BOTTOM LINE: With a current 84% overall ACoS on my $0.99 Book 1 of the novella series, I'm going to keep that AMS campaign running.

Greetings Harald,

So if I understand this correctly, the 84% ACoS represents an ad spend of $13.33 and an estimated total sales of $15.87. And this doesn't represent the royalty, which is 35% of $15.87, or $5.55 (your actual income from the book sales).

Are you banking on KU reads to make up for the balance of $7.78 ($13.33 - $5.55?) Otherwise wouldn't you be losing money (spending more than you make)?

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

We also have to take into account impressions. If, as the marketing people claim, a reader has to see the cover of a book seven times before buying, the impressions without clicks are valuable free advertising. So are some of the clicks without purchases, but not all; it's hard to imagine someone deciding not to buy and then circling back and buying after all, although it is possible. Obviously, if you have other ads running on some of the days you examine, your results could be skewed.
Title: Re: My AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Beth_Hammond on January 23, 2017, 12:00:13 PM
Yeah, it took me day or so to see the sorting (clicking the tops of the columns). Now I can't stop doing it!


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

This is exactly where I was too. Thank you. Your post is much appreciated.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LFGabel on January 23, 2017, 12:10:13 PM
An ACoS of 70% on a book for sale within Amazon's 70% royalty program is breaking even. If you have a nice little graph of what your KU sales looked like before you started AMS ads, you can compare it to what they're like after the ads have been going for a while. Then you can get a very approximate (unless you're a math nerd) idea of whether the increased KU reads are giving you a net profit.

But if you're not in KU, there's no point in going over the 70% or 35% mark. Is that correct thinking?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 23, 2017, 12:44:21 PM
So if I understand this correctly, the 84% ACoS represents an ad spend of $13.33 and an estimated total sales of $15.87. And this doesn't represent the royalty, which is 35% of $15.87, or $5.55 (your actual income from the book sales).
Are you banking on KU reads to make up for the balance of $7.78 ($13.33 - $5.55?) Otherwise wouldn't you be losing money (spending more than you make)?
Thanks for this very illuminating post.

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

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

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

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

Yep. And see more in my response to LFGabel above. (sorry, I missed this before I answered him)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LFGabel on January 23, 2017, 07:55:07 PM
...there can be other tactical benefits. For me and for a Book 1 of a series, I would be willing to skate close to the edge of breakeven or even lose money if it helps follow-on sales to the other books. Remember... THE FUNNEL!  :D

Thank you for for this generous share of information and your time. It is appreciated.  :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: TromboneAl on January 24, 2017, 04:23:16 PM
I should mention that before I started with AMS, I'm pretty sure I never even glanced at a sponsored ad.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on January 24, 2017, 04:28:02 PM
I should mention that before I started with AMS, I'm pretty sure I never even glanced at a sponsored ad.

Glad you're not my target audience!  :D

Seriously, I did, but rarely past "page 1" or whatever was showing. Now, I'll go a little further in but not to page 99 or wherever the end is. Unless I'm looking for my own book, that is!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on January 27, 2017, 05:34:46 AM
I need to change the end date of a campaign. The instructions say that there is a pencil icon next to the campaign name which allows me to edit the duration. But, I don't see any pencil icon.

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

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

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

Thanks. That's what I've done. I guess there is no other option.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AisFor on February 20, 2017, 07:52:43 PM
If someone clicks on your ad and borrows the book through KU, does it show up as a click, or does it not register at all?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 20, 2017, 09:01:42 PM
If someone clicks on your ad and borrows the book through KU, does it show up as a click, or does it not register at all?

You get the Click, and if they then read, you get KENP Read pages. *And* you get a Sales Rank bump. Cool, huh?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on February 20, 2017, 11:51:51 PM
Great post. But it's a daunting amount of information. I'm keen to try AMS. Is it so hard to start using them? What would you say is the most difficult aspect of creating an AMS ad? Is it coming up with 100-200 keywords that are relevant to your book?

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

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

Again, thanks for taking the time to do this. It's going to be a great help to a lot of people.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on February 21, 2017, 07:15:25 AM
Go to a book on Amazon and scroll down to the banner of sponsored ads. Those ads are "impressions." Also, look to the right of the screen and you will see one large ad for a book. That is also an impression.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on February 21, 2017, 08:04:07 AM
The one thing you should do before releasing your ad from draft stage is to write a really good teaser blurb, because you can't edit it later; you'd have to start a new campaign to use a new blurb. Check out some on other sponsored ads to see how many words get shown and which teasers are hooky.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on February 21, 2017, 08:26:59 AM
Thanks for the post. A lot of useful info there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basically, I doubt I'm ever going to be a mega seller of any of my books, but as it stands they will make around $250 in royalties after SA costs per month if I just let things ride with only sponsored ads for marketing.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 21, 2017, 08:31:42 AM
Great post. But it's a daunting amount of information. I'm keen to try AMS. Is it so hard to start using them? What would you say is the most difficult aspect of creating an AMS ad? Is it coming up with 100-200 keywords that are relevant to your book?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I've currently paused my other series' AMS campaigns but am still running my original Book 1 campaign, but constantly tweaking it (now only x1 per day at night). Keep meaning to do an update here but this post will have to serve for now. :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JB Rowley on February 21, 2017, 11:35:37 AM
Thanks for this post, Harald. Very informative. Been trying to get my head around AMS ads for ages.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 21, 2017, 11:55:47 AM
Thanks for this post, Harald. Very informative. Been trying to get my head around AMS ads for ages.

Thanks! Definitely a learning experience. Once you get in there and start mucking about, it gets clearer.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on February 21, 2017, 03:28:13 PM
It's not that hard but it does take thought and effort. Your list of Keywords is vital but so is your "Custom Text" (the blurb @ 150 characters max). Actually, I agree with LilyBLily: the blurb is the #1 thing to get right; you cannot change that once the ad starts. Keywords you can add to, pause, adjust with bids, etc.

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

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

Let us know how it goes!

Thanks for the reply (and from others, too). So today is my day to study AMS thoroughly and have a go. "AMS Help Pages"? Doh! Didn't occur to me they might exist! But in my defense, I've been on holiday. Today might need the BIG coffeepot and multi-pronged head-scratcher.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on February 21, 2017, 11:12:43 PM
I have to say - I did spend an hour or so reading the AMS Help Pages, which was very... well, helpful (really)... then came back to read Harald's OP and lots of light bulbs went off. I "get" it now.

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on February 22, 2017, 07:53:03 AM
I have to say - I did spend an hour or so reading the AMS Help Pages, which was very... well, helpful (really)... then came back to read Harald's OP and lots of light bulbs went off. I "get" it now.

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

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

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

Thanks!

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

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on February 22, 2017, 07:22:52 PM
Don't be afraid of those broad keywords. I had my best sales on one ad from "women" which was one of the Amazon suggested keywords.



Thanks for this, I'll definitely include them. My plan is to figure out my own "special" keywords then pick the eyes out of the Amazon suggestions, which I'm expecting will include those broad references. Cheers.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 22, 2017, 09:48:13 PM
Don't be afraid of those broad keywords. I had my best sales on one ad from "women" which was one of the Amazon suggested keywords.

Strange thing about this for me... In my initial Amazon suggestions was the keyword "fiction." I laughed and almost deleted it because it seemed so broad as to be useless. Well, guess what? After 6 weeks in on my main AMS campaign, "fiction" is a top seller! Who knew? (Amazon, I guess) (Of course, now all of you will start using it and competing with me for clicks, but that's OK, I don't mind :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 22, 2017, 09:58:15 PM
... Harald's right, I can see myself getting hooked on tweaking my AMS ads.

Yep, it's addicting. One of my original author names wasn't doing much, and I was disappointed. But over the last week, he's shot up into the Top Five. I got a thrill out of watching him move up the Sales list. I was cheering him on!

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

Ha ha... see above about being addicted.

I'm well over 250 keywords now. They just keep popping up, and I add them. But my original comment at the top of this thread is still holding: on the whole, author names are doing better than book titles by those same authors (for me). But I still include both.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on February 23, 2017, 06:48:39 AM
Strange thing about this for me... In my initial Amazon suggestions was the keyword "fiction." I laughed and almost deleted it because it seemed so broad as to be useless. Well, guess what? After 6 weeks in on my main AMS campaign, "fiction" is a top seller! Who knew? (Amazon, I guess) (Of course, now all of you will start using it and competing with me for clicks, but that's OK, I don't mind :)

Yup, I've got "fiction" too. How about "book"? Amazon suggested that one, too. I've learned to trust their keywords.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on February 23, 2017, 07:02:23 AM
I finally maxed out my keywords at 1,000, but I'm not ready to add a second campaign.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on February 23, 2017, 07:14:45 AM
I finally maxed out my keywords at 1,000, but I'm not ready to add a second campaign.

Congrats! I think the most I have on any one campaign is 289.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 23, 2017, 08:14:15 AM
Yup, I've got "fiction" too. How about "book"? Amazon suggested that one, too. I've learned to trust their keywords.

I thought about that one, too. They didn't suggest it but might try. How much broader can we go? "life"? "read"?  ;)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on February 23, 2017, 11:22:12 AM
I thought about that one, too. They didn't suggest it but might try. How much broader can we go? "life"? "read"?  ;)

My favorite Amazon suggestion ... 1+1 ... no idea.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Christopher Bunn on February 23, 2017, 12:39:59 PM
My favorite Amazon suggestion ... 1+1 ... no idea.

That's pretty mysterious. Maybe the universe is somehow trying to communicate with you via Amazon?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: SC on February 23, 2017, 12:49:44 PM
What kind of bid per click do you guys think is a good, effective (but not expensive) one?

And I've seen some people do a budget-per-day thing, but the only option I saw when I tried was total budget, and the minimum you could enter was $100.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: APeter on February 23, 2017, 01:03:56 PM
When you click on Create A New Ad Campaign, you're presented with two options.

You'll need to click on the SPONSORED PRODUCT, not the PRODUCT DISPLAY ADS
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 23, 2017, 01:28:51 PM
What kind of bid per click do you guys think is a good, effective (but not expensive) one?

I made the mistake of accepting Zon's $0.25 at first. My sweet spot currently is between 0.05-0.10. YMMV.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on February 23, 2017, 05:42:11 PM
There is so much to the topic but I'll make two quick observations:

-Most people I have read about who are making significant positive RoI (let's say over $5 per day profit) are paying between 15 cents and 25 cents per click. To achieve this you need to bid between 20 and 40 cents. Yes, there are exceptions so experimentation makes sense. But very few people manage to hit even a $5 per day spend bidding ten cents per click.

-ACos is. . not completely useless but close to it. Here's why:
--The reasons already stated in this thread, page reads, list signups, sell-throughs, etc.
--As per Amazon's own KDP page on ads, it can take weeks for sales to show up. You certainly can't make week to week decisions based on it unless 20% of your sales being missing won't change your decision
--Possibly not every sale will show up even weeks later.  I am not the only one to experience this. I started ads on 2/3 for 2 books which hadn't had any sales in several months. I got 13 sales in KDP in a week but the campaigns are still showing only 10 of them and I ended the campaigns a week ago.

I could go into all the things I am experimenting with, but I'm pretty sure most of it won't work. When I find something that does, I will be sure to post. I am essentially breaking even this month and I'm fine with that. Even sold one PB via AMS ads!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on February 23, 2017, 06:57:32 PM
I made the mistake of accepting Zon's $0.25 at first. My sweet spot currently is between 0.05-0.10. YMMV.

I think your genre is less competitive than my romance genre and you can bid lower. I started out at .10 and did nothing. Now, every keyword is a different bid based on the average bid per click for that keyword. I bid a few cents less than the average. I want to be on the first or second page, not necessarily at the front of the line.

There is so much to the topic but I'll make two quick observations:

-Most people I have read about who are making significant positive RoI (let's say over $5 per day profit) are paying between 15 cents and 25 cents per click. To achieve this you need to bid between 20 and 40 cents. Yes, there are exceptions so experimentation makes sense. But very few people manage to hit even a $5 per day spend bidding ten cents per click.

-ACos is. . not completely useless but close to it. Here's why:
--The reasons already stated in this thread, page reads, list signups, sell-throughs, etc.
--As per Amazon's own KDP page on ads, it can take weeks for sales to show up. You certainly can't make week to week decisions based on it unless 20% of your sales being missing won't change your decision
--Possibly not every sale will show up even weeks later.  I am not the only one to experience this. I started ads on 2/3 for 2 books which hadn't had any sales in several months. I got 13 sales in KDP in a week but the campaigns are still showing only 10 of them and I ended the campaigns a week ago.

I could go into all the things I am experimenting with, but I'm pretty sure most of it won't work. When I find something that does, I will be sure to post. I am essentially breaking even this month and I'm fine with that. Even sold one PB via AMS ads!

I definitely agree about ACOS being pretty useless. I think ACOS per keyword is marginally more helpful than overall ACOS. I go by what's on my dashboard plus audiobooks against what I've spent.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 23, 2017, 07:11:32 PM
I think your genre is less competitive than my romance genre and you can bid lower. I started out at .10 and did nothing. Now, every keyword is a different bid based on the average bid per click for that keyword. I bid a few cents less than the average. I want to be on the first or second page, not necessarily at the front of the line.

Oh yeah, my genre (historical fiction) is way less competitive than Romance. And genre does make a difference on bidding, which is why I gave a "YMMV" on last post. My top kwd sellers (multiple sales) have ACPCs between $0.05 and $0.09.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Kelliher on February 23, 2017, 07:29:58 PM
Along the same lines of those talking about ACoS being (somewhat) useless, I've kind of been going more by sales rank improvement (or lack thereof) since launching my ads.

I've only been doing AMS ads in terms of promotion for the last week, and my sales rank has gone from about 32k to 13k in that time, while the ACoS data would suggest a FAR smaller increase in ranking.

Just something to consider.

BTW, does anyone know if KU pagereads improve sales rank? Or is it only sales?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 23, 2017, 08:43:57 PM
Along the same lines of those talking about ACoS being (somewhat) useless, I've kind of been going more by sales rank improvement (or lack thereof) since launching my ads. I've only been doing AMS ads in terms of promotion for the last week, and my sales rank has gone from about 32k to 13k in that time, while the ACoS data would suggest a FAR smaller increase in ranking. Just something to consider. BTW, does anyone know if KU pagereads improve sales rank? Or is it only sales?

There are many things outside of AMS that can affect your sales rank. You ask about KU/KENP page reads. Every KU Borrow counts as a type of sale and boosts your sales rank (not sure if # of pages read impacts this). BTW, my reads went up 700%+ after starting AMS ads; not that high now but still above the pre-AMS baseline. So for me, AMS ties into KENP reads which ties into Sales Rank (although not exclusively).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 23, 2017, 09:04:59 PM
... -ACos is. . not completely useless but close to it. Here's why:
--The reasons already stated in this thread, page reads, list signups, sell-throughs, etc.
--As per Amazon's own KDP page on ads, it can take weeks for sales to show up. You certainly can't make week to week decisions based on it unless 20% of your sales being missing won't change your decision
--Possibly not every sale will show up even weeks later.  I am not the only one to experience this. I started ads on 2/3 for 2 books which hadn't had any sales in several months. I got 13 sales in KDP in a week but the campaigns are still showing only 10 of them and I ended the campaigns a week ago...

Gotta disagree a bit. I'm now 6+ weeks into AMS for my main ($0.99) series funnel book (same campaign I started with). I'm really not seeing AMS delays longer than 2-3 days. In fact, Amazon says right at the top of the Campaign Metrics screen: "Campaign metrics may take up to 3 days to appear and do not include Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Lending Library royalties generated by the ad." That's what I'm currently seeing.

I find ACoS useful, especially over the long term. Example: I'm looking at my first page with ACoS sorted top to bottom. Looking across all the columns, I see two keywords that are over 100%. I've already lowered their bids to the minimum $0.02 (they started much higher and those Spends are already booked), and they're still racking up Spends but with paltry Sales. Meaning: they're not pulling their weight. The only thing left to do is pause them. 

On the other end, I've got somewhat obscure Author Names that are selling with ACoSes in the 5-8% range (they're obscure in the overall genre but not in the narrow categories I'm aiming at). Those are worth increasing bids on because if those readers see my ad, there's a decent chance they'll click and then buy.

All this is easily seen when comparing the ACoS with other columns with the caveat of taking into account any system/reporting delays. But if you take the long view (weeks/months), it makes sense to me.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BVLawson on February 24, 2017, 08:01:15 AM
Harald, I am envious of your success and those of others. But I'm still finding a very quirky reporting scheme with my ads, and I've tried several different Sponsored Ads with various keyboards,  bids, budgets, etc. For example, on a book that has been out for two weeks, AMS says I had one click on a keyword that resulted in sales of $25. That is impossible (unless they're suggesting that one clicker went on to purchase multiple copies of this one book). I also just started up a new book/new ad a few days ago with the same keywords/budget/genre/targeting as with a previous ad. For some reason, AMS maxes out my little $5/day budget every morning within a couple of hours, but on this one ad only. But none of the rest have ever done this. Why this one ad? I have no idea.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 24, 2017, 11:35:59 AM
Harald, I am envious of your success and those of others. But I'm still finding a very quirky reporting scheme with my ads, and I've tried several different Sponsored Ads with various keyboards,  bids, budgets, etc. For example, on a book that has been out for two weeks, AMS says I had one click on a keyword that resulted in sales of $25. That is impossible (unless they're suggesting that one clicker went on to purchase multiple copies of this one book). I also just started up a new book/new ad a few days ago with the same keywords/budget/genre/targeting as with a previous ad. For some reason, AMS maxes out my little $5/day budget every morning within a couple of hours, but on this one ad only. But none of the rest have ever done this. Why this one ad? I have no idea.

Well, I'm not immune to AMS glitches either, e.g., getting Sales with 0 Clicks. But I haven't heard of 1 Click = $25 before! Guess that's a good glitch, eh?

One thought about maxing out your daily budget: maybe because it's a new campaign and the Zon is at the moment showing it a lot? Who knows. Maybe we should record all the AMS Strange Things here.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: SC on February 24, 2017, 03:53:33 PM
When you click on Create A New Ad Campaign, you're presented with two options.

You'll need to click on the SPONSORED PRODUCT, not the PRODUCT DISPLAY ADS

It seems like everyone is talking about Sponsored Product ads. Is there a reason no one seems to be doing product display ads?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: APeter on February 25, 2017, 07:42:14 AM
I've tried both methods.

From my perspective, Product Display Ads cost more and the ROI is substantially less. But with Sponsored Ads, you're better able to fine tune your campaign and control your expenditures. And the ROI is much better.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on February 25, 2017, 08:51:12 AM
I've tried both methods.
From my perspective, Product Display Ads cost more and the ROI is substantially less. But with Sponsored Ads, you're better able to fine tune your campaign and control your expenditures. And the ROI is much better.

This is exactly what I heard multiple times when I researched AMS at the start, and why I went with Sponsored Product ads. It seemed the easiest/lowest-cost way to start. To me.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 06, 2017, 09:15:13 PM
Hi all. I'm the original poster, and here's an update after 2 months continuously running my intro-to-series book with an AMS ad. Keep in mind that my results may (probably will) be different than yours.

Book: "1609" (Book 1 of The Manhattan Series)
Length: short! It was 100 pages but now Zon has inexplicably increased it to 141 pages after I updated the cover; no idea why.
Price: $0.99, series intro (no change during 2-month AMS period)
Exclusivity: KDP Select/KU throughout the 2-month AMS period
AMS Type: Sponsored Product
Daily Budget: $1
Targeting: Manual (keywords updating)

Here's a quick Before and After looking at the Campaign view:

(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/GRAB_AMS_AllCampaigns_1609before-after_2months_800x_65q.jpg)

Campaign Thoughts:

* You'll see above that I stopped the "1612" campaign after one month. I was just spending too much money for the return; wasn't getting the click-to-sales conversions. Maybe because it was Book 2 of the series? At triple the price of Book 1? And I had "booked" so much in Spend amount that it would probably not turn itself around; in fact, you can see clearly in the ACoS columns that it was going in the wrong direction. So I stopped it and focused on the series intro book ("1609").

* The big news (and something I worked diligently at) is that the campaign ACoS for "1609" dropped from 113% to 51%. Some people say that this metric isn't important but I disagree. The average ACoS shows in a quick glance where the Spend-to-Sales ratio is (if you allow for enough time to pass). Admittedly, the individual keyword ACoSes are even more important, but this one is valuable, too.

I had to work hard on getting this ACoS down to less than half of what it was. This was accomplished by incrementally adjusting all the active keywords, mostly adjusting them DOWN ($0.04-$0.09 was the best range, with some high-sellers bidding in the very low teens). In my genre (historical fiction), I got 3k-4k Impressions per day, always some Clicks per day, and 0-3 Sales per day, and I NEVER hit my $1 daily budget (usually half that) once I dropped my Bids. This created a nice, low-budget trickle effect with the following results over the 2 month campaign:
-- 638 Impressions per Click
-- 9.2 Clicks per Sale

* On the surface, you might think that a 51% ACoS is losing money (at 35% royalty), but in my case, you'd be wrong. The main reason is that my KU reads were still high compared to the baseline before I started the campaign. And with this .99 book, Reads are worth equal or more than outright Sales. Although it's hard to know exactly how many Reads were a result of the AMS campaign versus organically, here's how the Reads chart looks for 90 days:

(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/KDPreportsGRAB_1609_2months_90days_KENPonly_800x_65q.jpg)

* Then there are the other soft benefits that are also hard to quantify, but that nevertheless add to the ROI picture with AMS (in my view):
-- Sales bump from every KU borrow.
-- Increased visibility with extra exposures of book. Here's how this ad looks recently on Page 1 of a high-selling comparable book (and yes, I got AMS Sales from this ad placement):

(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/AMS_1609_p1ad_Tidewater_x800_65q.jpg)

What's Next?

* I may create a new "1609" ad with an updated blurb and restart. Not sure if I'll keep this one going simultaneously.
***3/10/17 UPDATE: have started a new campaign for same book and paused this one

* I might create a 3-book series AMS ad. Amazon has given me the OK for doing this as the series has its own SKU (product page). It's worth a try.
***3/8/17 UPDATE: Amazon says: no dice on doing a Series AMS ad. Sad!

Your comments welcome.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on March 07, 2017, 06:59:36 AM

* I might create a 3-book series AMS ad. Amazon has given me the OK for doing this as the series has its own SKU (product page). It's worth a try.

Your comments welcome.

That sounds interesting, Harald.  How would it work?  Would the thumbnail sponsored product ad show all three books like it appears on left of the series page?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 07, 2017, 08:41:46 AM
That sounds interesting, Harald.  How would it work?  Would the thumbnail sponsored product ad show all three books like it appears on left of the series page?

Hi Philip! Yeah, I've been wondering the same thing. Have not seen it done yet. Here is the actual KDP Support message about this:

Hello Harald,
I apologize for the long wait.
I have received confirmation from our AMS team that you can advertise the series page (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/XXXXXXX) using the ads service.
Please make sure that the series meets "creative acceptance policies". Below I have included the link to the creative policy :
https://advertising.amazon.com/ad-specs/en/policy/KDP-acceptance
Thank you for your time and for using Amazon KDP. blah blah...


So I guess it's you or me who are going to pioneer and find out! :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on March 07, 2017, 08:47:07 AM
BVLawson-- Re your problem of maxing out early every morning: I would recommend that you go to your keywords list and check that the amount of money you bid is actually the amount of money each keyword is listed for.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 07, 2017, 08:48:25 AM
Hi Philip! Yeah, I've wondering the same thing. Have not seen it done yet. Here is the actual KDP Support message about this:

Hello Harald,
I apologize for the long wait.
I have received confirmation from our AMS team that you can advertise the series page (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/XXXXXXX) using the ads service.
Please make sure that the series meets "creative acceptance policies". Below I have included the link to the creative policy :
https://advertising.amazon.com/ad-specs/en/policy/KDP-acceptance
Thank you for your time and for using Amazon KDP. blah blah...


So I guess it's you or me who are going to pioneer and find out! :)

Interesting. Since I paused the one ad that was stalled, maybe I'll do a series page for all three of those books. Maybe I'll even beat you and Philip to it.  8)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 07, 2017, 09:00:17 AM
Interesting. Since I paused the one ad that was stalled, maybe I'll do a series page for all three of those books. Maybe I'll even beat you and Philip to it.  8)

Go for it, Gertie! You be the canary.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 07, 2017, 09:02:22 AM
Go for it, Gertie! You be the canary.

I don't know if you really want me to be the canary. I never could sing worth a darn.  :D

Anyway, I'm having a problem selecting the trilogy. I've got the right asin #, but it doesn't show up on my list. I'll keep at it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 07, 2017, 09:13:27 AM
Nope, the series won't come up when I enter the ASIN. You can see the series in my sig, second from last, so it's there. I've tried entering the series name, too. No dice. Great idea, though. Let me know if you have better luck, 'cause this canary died.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 07, 2017, 09:25:00 AM
Nope, the series won't come up when I enter the ASIN. You can see the series in my sig, second from last, so it's there. I've tried entering the series name, too. No dice. Great idea, though. Let me know if you have better luck, 'cause this canary died.

Hmmm... OK, Philip, you're up! (no time for me at the moment).

Thanks for the try and report, Gertie. We'll get to the bottom of this eventually.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 07, 2017, 10:41:14 AM
The series ads are intriguing - I just tried and the AMS campaign creation won't find my series when I search by either the series ASIN or the series name. Harald,  did you have to request them to make it available to you? I know that the only books which appear as options for me to advertise are ones I have published in Amazon KDP - i have books I co-authored but didn't publish myself, books with a small publisher, and kindle world books which do not appear as options for me to advertise.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 07, 2017, 10:52:23 AM
The series ads are intriguing - I just tried and the AMS campaign creation won't find my series when I search by either the series ASIN or the series name. Harald,  did you have to request them to make it available to you? I know that the only books which appear as options for me to advertise are ones I have published in Amazon KDP - i have books I co-authored but didn't publish myself, books with a small publisher, and kindle world books which do not appear as options for me to advertise.

Hi Edward. Here's what I asked KDP Support and what they answered. But I haven't tried it yet. Apparently it's more difficult than they say. I would suggest sending a message to them asking them what's up with this. Then let us know!

ME TO KDP on January 1:
... But here's a related question: Can I advertise (via AMS) my growing book SERIES?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/XXXXX
The series has its own page, it's own purchase button, and therefore, its own SKU on Amazon. And I can find no prohibition against doing this in the Advertising Policies. And I could use a single book cover as the image. ***Q: Is this possible (to advertise a series vs. a single book)? Thanks.


KDP TO ME on Jan 30:
Hello Harald,
I apologize for the long wait.
I have received confirmation from our AMS team that you can advertise the series page (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/XXXXX) using the ads service.
Please make sure that the series meets "creative acceptance policies". Below I have included the link to the creative policy :
https://advertising.amazon.com/ad-specs/en/policy/KDP-acceptance.
Thank you for your time and for using Amazon KDP.
Regards... Kindle Direct Publishing


***3/8 UPDATE***
Amazon says: no dice on doing a Series AMS ad. Sad!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 07, 2017, 10:56:01 AM
I'll let you know if I contact them, what they say. Sounds they said you can but haven't told us HOW to do so :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on March 08, 2017, 07:08:13 AM
Nope, the series won't come up when I enter the ASIN. You can see the series in my sig, second from last, so it's there. I've tried entering the series name, too. No dice. Great idea, though. Let me know if you have better luck, 'cause this canary died.

This canary died too.  May need someone with more brain than this bird.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 08, 2017, 07:16:46 AM
Have you tried the display ad type--the one where you provide a visual a la Facebook ads?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 08, 2017, 08:18:25 AM
This canary died too.  May need someone with more brain than this bird.

Philip

I'm thinking with the new display of the full series at the top of the product page, we might not need to do a series ad. And I've had a few times lately where all four books were bought at once.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 08, 2017, 09:23:12 AM
I'm thinking with the new display of the full series at the top of the product page, we might not need to do a series ad. And I've had a few times lately where all four books were bought at once.
I only have two books in the series and I have also had at least three times in the past month where both were bought at what seems like the same time due to ads. Time to get that third book out right quick ;)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 08, 2017, 10:32:22 AM
I only have two books in the series and I have also had at least three times in the past month where both were bought at what seems like the same time due to ads. Time to get that third book out right quick ;)

Sounds like a plan.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 08, 2017, 02:55:45 PM
***NEWS ALERT!***

Well, I just got off the phone with KDP Support (Costa Rica), and they said "No, Señor, you cannot do an AMS ad for a Series; single books only." When I pointed out their email saying the opposite, they apologized profusely.

Oh well, with the new positioning of Series at the top now, as Gertie says above, the idea is probably less important. But I had a great series blurb ready!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 08, 2017, 03:22:41 PM
***NEWS ALERT!***

Well, I just got off the phone with KDP Support (Costa Rica), and they said "No, Señor, you cannot do an AMS ad for a Series; single books only." When I pointed out their email saying the opposite, they apologized profusely.
Thanks for sharing the info!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 08, 2017, 03:28:15 PM
***NEWS ALERT!***

Well, I just got off the phone with KDP Support (Costa Rica), and they said "No, Señor, you cannot do an AMS ad for a Series; single books only." When I pointed out their email saying the opposite, they apologized profusely.

Oh well, with the new positioning of Series at the top now, as Gertie says above, the idea is probably less important. But I had a great series blurb ready!

And we killed off two canaries for no reason. Oh, well.

Yes, I had a killer ad for the series, too. Isn't it always the way? Maybe I'll use it on Twitter.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: SC on March 10, 2017, 08:22:19 AM
I have an AMS 'sponsored products' ad that started on the 7th. I only have about 56 keywords, most at 6 cents with some at 10, $1/day budget. As of right now, it's showing zero impressions. Not a single one. That seems really strange at this point, doesn't it?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on March 10, 2017, 09:03:53 AM
I have an AMS 'sponsored products' ad that started on the 7th. I only have about 56 keywords, most at 6 cents with some at 10, $1/day budget. As of right now, it's showing zero impressions. Not a single one. That seems really strange at this point, doesn't it?

There are a number of variables, but I'd say right off that the 6 cent bid is probably too low. My suggestion is to try an increase to 15 cents for a day to see if it makes a difference. If no impressions come after that, you might have to terminate the campaign and start a new one because the AMS performance algorithms might have slowed/stopped your current campaign.     
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Christopher Bunn on March 10, 2017, 09:15:18 AM
This thread is highly educational. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Has anyone tried using copy on an AMS ad that really has nothing to do with the book? Odd things like "Wow!" or "You'll always sleep again" etc. Basically, almost random text just to get a person to click?

I realize the potential downside is that the copy will be a complete disconnect to the book page, once the person has clicked through. But, the cover image in the ad would, of course, provide a visual connection between the ad and the book page...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Aderyn Wood on March 10, 2017, 11:25:36 AM
I'm curious about the ideal number of keywords we should aim for. I've heard conflicting opinions about it. Some say to get to 1000, others say to keep the number small. Any thoughts on this?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Anarchist on March 10, 2017, 11:29:50 AM
I'm curious about the ideal number of keywords we should aim for.

267.




Kidding, of course.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 10, 2017, 11:34:26 AM
267.

Kidding, of course.
I was thinking 42 :)

I have heard success stories with two different methods. One is blanketing with as many keywords as possible so close to 1000. Another is starting with a large number like that but then gradually raising/lowering bids and disabling keywords based on performance - performance in this case being largely based on impressions and clicks not so much on ACoS/estimated sales other than for significant enough spends without results that you can be sure you're not killing a winner.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Aderyn Wood on March 10, 2017, 11:47:27 AM
I was thinking 42 :)

I have heard success stories with two different methods. One is blanketing with as many keywords as possible so close to 1000. Another is starting with a large number like that but then gradually raising/lowering bids and disabling keywords based on performance - performance in this case being largely based on impressions and clicks not so much on ACoS/estimated sales other than for significant enough spends without results that you can be sure you're not killing a winner.

Thanks for that.

I'm trialling 2 identical ads. One I'll get to 1000 keywords. The other will use the keywords that get sales, high clicks and impressions from the first ad, and maybe no more than 100 keywords in total. Or maybe 42 😉
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 10, 2017, 11:50:47 AM
294  8)

That's the number I have with a new campaign I just started (just got my first click!).

And here's how the original campaign (same book) after 2+ months looked (now paused so new one can take over):
-- Total keywords: 275
-- with 0 clicks: 150
-- with 0 clicks and Imprs under 100: 95
-- with 0 Imprs (that dash thing): 18

So ~300 feels good to me, and I'll be adding newly discovered keywords as they come up. I'm not too worried about the 150 with no clicks because you never know when/if they start performing. And with low bids, there's little financial risk. But, as before, I'll be adjusting the bids for the active keywords over time. I decided to reverse my strategy from last time and use low bids to start and gradually bring them up; it's easier/faster to raise a smaller number of actives than the other way around. That's my theory anyway. Will see how it plays out.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on March 10, 2017, 04:07:27 PM
If you have a lot of keywords, but many are ineffective (or are looking to as such), are those "bad" keywords costing you anything? If no one's clicking on them, they're not costing you money, right?

But do they somehow reduce the effectiveness of the campaigns? Mess with the algorithms? Aside from making room for other keywords (assuming you hit the 1000 limit) is there any real need to disable poor-performing keywords?

Thanks
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 10, 2017, 04:38:37 PM
If you have a lot of keywords, but many are ineffective (or are looking to as such), are those "bad" keywords costing you anything? If no one's clicking on them, they're not costing you money, right?

Right. You only pay when there's a Click.

Quote
But do they somehow reduce the effectiveness of the campaigns? Mess with the algorithms? Aside from making room for other keywords (assuming you hit the 1000 limit) is there any real need to disable poor-performing keywords? Thanks

Two possible risks I see:
1. If you have a LOT of poor-performing keywords and are not getting clicks, then supposedly Amazon will shut you down. Hasn't happened to me so don't know what that looks like. And/or... they may reduce the displaying of a poor-performing ad.
2. If you have high bids on poor-performing keywords and they start kicking in, you could be swamped with high Spends. That's one reason I'm starting off my new campaign at low Bids.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 10, 2017, 05:09:35 PM
I'm trying one right now using all the keywords that have resulted in a purchase of that title.  55 in total.  So far not looking as impressive as the other two ads I've run on this title.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on March 10, 2017, 05:17:06 PM
Right. You only pay when there's a Click.

Two possible risks I see:
1. If you have a LOT of poor-performing keywords and are not getting clicks, then supposedly Amazon will shut you down. Hasn't happened to me so don't know what that looks like. And/or... they may reduce the displaying of a poor-performing ad.
2. If you have high bids on poor-performing keywords and they start kicking in, you could be swamped with high Spends. That's one reason I'm starting off my new campaign at low Bids.

Interesting... I'm trying to tweak a bad advert into life. Makes me think I'd be better off stopping that campaign and launching a new one. I wonder, if Amazon was to close down a poor ad, if they flag the book and prevent new campaigns aimed at "bad" books"?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 10, 2017, 05:19:11 PM
I'm trying one right now using all the keywords that have resulted in a purchase of that title.  55 in total.  So far not looking as impressive as the other two ads I've run on this title.

1. Give it time.

2. Did you also include Amazon's "suggested keywords"? I've found that they're actually really good even though I was doubtful on some at first.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 10, 2017, 06:23:13 PM
Interesting... I'm trying to tweak a bad advert into life. Makes me think I'd be better off stopping that campaign and launching a new one. I wonder, if Amazon was to close down a poor ad, if they flag the book and prevent new campaigns aimed at "bad" books"?

No.  They don't.  I once had them shut down an ad related to my budgeting title that I had targeted at high-end televisions and jewelry.  (I did get a sale off of it, but only had maybe 2 clicks in 30,000 impressions.)  I've since run ads on that book no problem.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 10, 2017, 06:27:56 PM
2. Did you also include Amazon's "suggested keywords"? I've found that they're actually really good even though I was doubtful on some at first.

2. This ad is just to see what happens when I have an ad that only includes the "winners". (My last ad was only those that had zero or no impressions.)  There are a few generic keywords in there that did come from Amazon's suggestions on my original ad (like "edition" and fiction") but most of my successful words are related to authors I've found.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 10, 2017, 07:04:46 PM
1. If you have a LOT of poor-performing keywords and are not getting clicks, then supposedly Amazon will shut you down. Hasn't happened to me so don't know what that looks like. And/or... they may reduce the displaying of a poor-performing ad.

Yeah, it's the reducing the displaying that is the concern. I don't think anyone really knows if this happens, though there seems to be some general sense that poorly performing ads start seeing their impressions diminish more quickly that well performing ones. And, I'm not even sure how they calculate "poorly performing" since KU reads aren't included and sales ofetn take 3,4,5 days to show up on the dashboard.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 10, 2017, 07:59:14 PM
2. This ad is just to see what happens when I have an ad that only includes the "winners". (My last ad was only those that had zero or no impressions.)  There are a few generic keywords in there that did come from Amazon's suggestions on my original ad (like "edition" and fiction") but most of my successful words are related to authors I've found.

Ah, OK. Gotcha. Good test.

Yeah, author names work for me, too (more so than titles by the same authors).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 11, 2017, 04:26:13 PM
Thanks Harald and everyone. I'm finally starting to get it too. A question: If my CPC bid is .10 and the ACPC is .07 does it make sense to lower or raise the CPC bid? It would seem to make sense to lower it but then I could get a better position if I raise it. And then I could just keep it the same.

An observation: I seem to be doing a lot better with author names than book titles.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 11, 2017, 04:46:27 PM
Thanks Harald and everyone. I'm finally starting to get it too. A question: If my CPC bid is .10 and the ACPC is .07 does it make sense to lower or raise the CPC bid? It would seem to make sense to lower it but then I could get a better position if I raise it. And then I could just keep it the same.

An observation: I seem to be doing a lot better with author names than book titles.

Yes author names definitely do better.

My goal is to get on the first or second page of ads, not necessarily be the first in line. I like to keep my bids a penny or two below the acpc.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Kelliher on March 11, 2017, 05:14:59 PM
Yeah, it's the reducing the displaying that is the concern. I don't think anyone really knows if this happens, though there seems to be some general sense that poorly performing ads start seeing their impressions diminish more quickly that well performing ones. And, I'm not even sure how they calculate "poorly performing" since KU reads aren't included and sales ofetn take 3,4,5 days to show up on the dashboard.

I think this is true.

I've been running 5 PD ads for March, and while they weren't doing great, they were each netting me between 3-5 clicks per day. For the last week, they have literally not brought in a single click, which doesn't really make sense to me. The budgets aren't even close to spent. I think there's truth to the idea that Amazon essentially stops displaying ads that aren't getting a lot of clicks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 11, 2017, 06:22:55 PM
I think this is true.

I've been running 5 PD ads for March, and while they weren't doing great, they were each netting me between 3-5 clicks per day. For the last week, they have literally not brought in a single click, which doesn't really make sense to me. The budgets aren't even close to spent. I think there's truth to the idea that Amazon essentially stops displaying ads that aren't getting a lot of clicks.

Yes, I had an ad that went dead. I paused it for five days and added maybe 30-40 keywords. I enabled it Thursday morning and impressions and clicks have picked up again, along with sales (only one) and page reads for both the original book and the second in series.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 11, 2017, 06:23:50 PM
I do better with book titles, not author names. It may have to do with genre and bid amount. I write action thrillers and my bids are between 32 and 52 cents. Or it could just be coincidence. The amount of data I have is not large enough that I would draw a conclusion that authors or titles work better in particular.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on March 11, 2017, 08:25:59 PM
Thanks Harald and everyone. I'm finally starting to get it too. A question: If my CPC bid is .10 and the ACPC is .07 does it make sense to lower or raise the CPC bid? It would seem to make sense to lower it but then I could get a better position if I raise it. And then I could just keep it the same.

It seems to be the case that ACPC is always less than half of the CPC bid.  At least in my case.  So it would seem to make sense to increase the bid in an effort to gain more exposure.

But, so far, nobody really knows. 

It's a mystery.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 11, 2017, 08:59:21 PM
It seems to be the case that ACPC is always less than half of the CPC bid.  At least in my case.  So it would seem to make sense to increase the bid in an effort to gain more exposure....

But in some cases, CPC and ACPC can be very unrelated. I have ACPCs that are 3x higher than my CPC bid because I started bidding high and gradually dropped the bids. The average is still high, so not that useful to me.

Also (for Gregg), don't forget to take into account Sales and ACoS. If a keyword is selling, and your ACoS is low, then there's no reason to drop your bid. Keep it where it is or even go up a little. My theory anyway.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on March 12, 2017, 04:56:57 AM
I think there's truth to the idea that Amazon essentially stops displaying ads that aren't getting a lot of clicks.

Not just an idea, but fact. Amazon has confirmed that a performance algorithm is at work. They sent this reply to a Kboard member in this topic (Page 18) http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245230.425.html (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245230.425.html)

"Yes, it is true. If customers did not engage with your ad campaign when there are many impressions (impressions are the number of times your ad was displayed.); but, no clicks for it, your ad may get stopped.

We're unable to provide you with specific numbers or algorithm on how it works. I'm sorry for any inconvenience that has caused.

However, we do actively compare the effectiveness of an ad with other similar ads. We want to ensure that ads are both of interest to our customers and effective to advertisers like you.

In such cases, we highly encourage you to create a new campaign with an eye towards more specific interests and products your potential customers would likely have. Refining your targeting options, ensuring your book's cover, title, and price appeal to customers and adding ratings and reviews to your detail page may help increase the effectiveness and relevance of your ad."




 
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 12, 2017, 07:37:52 AM
Not just an idea, but fact. Amazon has confirmed that a performance algorithm is at work. They sent this reply to a Kboard member in this topic (Page 18) http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245230.425.html (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245230.425.html)

"Yes, it is true. If customers did not engage with your ad campaign when there are many impressions (impressions are the number of times your ad was displayed.); but, no clicks for it, your ad may get stopped.

We're unable to provide you with specific numbers or algorithm on how it works. I'm sorry for any inconvenience that has caused.

However, we do actively compare the effectiveness of an ad with other similar ads. We want to ensure that ads are both of interest to our customers and effective to advertisers like you.

In such cases, we highly encourage you to create a new campaign with an eye towards more specific interests and products your potential customers would likely have. Refining your targeting options, ensuring your book's cover, title, and price appeal to customers and adding ratings and reviews to your detail page may help increase the effectiveness and relevance of your ad."


I know they say that, but IMO they do a pretty lousy job at it. I almost NEVER see AMS books of relevant genre in the books I want to target. For the record I currently write WWII historical fiction. I'd make more money than royalties if I can get a dime for every  time I see steamy romance, dark romance (ie kidnap and abuse type romance), sheik romance, in the line of AMS ads for say, a fiction book about the horrors of the Holocaust.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: botolo on March 12, 2017, 08:00:55 AM
Hello friends,

Here is my experience. I have run two campaigns in the past few days and carefully monitored them daily. One of the campaign is a Product Display campaign and I decided to terminate it today. Here is some data.

My book is in the genre of women's fiction / romance. I targeted 50 books similar to my book.

At a $0.50 bid, I was generating about 1,000 daily impressions but almost 0 clicks (1 click here and there once in a while). Average CPC was at $0.39.

I increased the bid with the goal of generating way more impressions and clicks.

At a $1.00 bid, I was generating about 6,500 daily impressions (good), and about 15 daily clicks (good) but conversion was at 0 sales (very bad). Average CPC was at $0.48.

I stopped because even if I generate a sale, this requires way too many clicks and can cost way too much. Even if I start getting 1 sale per day, that sale would cost me $7.20 (at current daily click rate).

I am now running a keyword based campaign and I will report back in the next few days.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 12, 2017, 08:04:54 AM
Hello friends,

Here is my experience. I have run two campaigns in the past few days and carefully monitored them daily. One of the campaign is a Product Display campaign and I decided to terminate it today. Here is some data.

My book is in the genre of women's fiction / romance. I targeted 50 books similar to my book.

At a $0.50 bid, I was generating about 1,000 daily impressions but almost 0 clicks (1 click here and there once in a while). Average CPC was at $0.39.

I increased the bid with the goal of generating way more impressions and clicks.

At a $1.00 bid, I was generating about 6,500 daily impressions (good), and about 15 daily clicks (good) but conversion was at 0 sales (very bad). Average CPC was at $0.48.

I stopped because even if I generate a sale, this requires way too many clicks and can cost way too much. Even if I start getting 1 sale per day, that sale would cost me $7.20 (at current daily click rate).

I am now running a keyword based campaign and I will report back in the next few days.

$1 a bid! Wow, that's way high. Maybe your genre is very competitive? Can you target your ads with more focus so you can lower the CPC? If you're in a competitive genre, you'll probably have to be more vigilant in tweaking your ad.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Mindflutters on March 12, 2017, 08:11:55 AM
Great information! I'm coming back to this when I don't have a head cold!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 12, 2017, 08:49:33 AM
$1 a bid! Wow, that's way high. Maybe your genre is very competitive? Can you target your ads with more focus so you can lower the CPC? If you're in a competitive genre, you'll probably have to be more vigilant in tweaking your ad.

Romance is incredibly competitive.  It's why I've stopped running ads for my romances.  I don't have enough of a catalog to justify the cost. botolo's experience matches mine as well.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 12, 2017, 09:24:17 AM
I know they say that, but IMO they do a pretty lousy job at it. I almost NEVER see AMS books of relevant genre in the books I want to target. For the record I currently write WWII historical fiction. I'd make more money than royalties if I can get a dime for every  time I see steamy romance, dark romance (ie kidnap and abuse type romance), sheik romance, in the line of AMS ads for say, a fiction book about the horrors of the Holocaust.

I've noticed this too, and I think the problem for both of us is that we are in smaller sub-genres. Romance is a MASSIVE genre and, even using relevant keywords, like "historical" for a historical romance, they bleed over into smaller genres and subgenres. And romance is so popular, those books probably get a lot of clicks somewhere, and the authors have a higher budget, because you probably have to spend more to get any traction in romance with all the competition.  So, from an algo standpoint - what the 'zon probably sees is that the mainstream titles get WAY more clicks and are therefore more "successful" ads. I'm in a small sub-genre of romance. I do well when I can get placement on books in my same sub-genre. But the ads on those books are dominated by "mainstream" romance books, because the 'zon sees them as getting more clicks overall (guessing). Hopefully the algos will continue to learn and refine they way they view "success" from a standpoint of which books cross-promote well rather than just which books are getting overall more clicks.

Again, I'm just guessing here - but it makes sense that this would be the reason that romance titles  are dominating subcategories where they aren't the best match.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 12, 2017, 11:30:17 AM
Yes author names definitely do better.

My goal is to get on the first or second page of ads, not necessarily be the first in line. I like to keep my bids a penny or two below the acpc.
Thanks Gertie but I'm not following your thinking on keeping your bids below the acpc. If it took say a .10 bid (and let's say the ACPC was .09) to get impressions and clicks, and I go to .08 cents aren't I going to be shutting myself out?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 12, 2017, 11:32:17 AM
It seems to be the case that ACPC is always less than half of the CPC bid.  At least in my case.  So it would seem to make sense to increase the bid in an effort to gain more exposure.

But, so far, nobody really knows. 

It's a mystery.

Philip

Yeah, that makes more sense to me. If you lower the bid you're getting less exposure.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 12, 2017, 11:34:14 AM

Also (for Gregg), don't forget to take into account Sales and ACoS. If a keyword is selling, and your ACoS is low, then there's no reason to drop your bid. Keep it where it is or even go up a little. My theory anyway.

Okay. That makes sense too.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 12, 2017, 11:39:25 AM
I have my book titles as keywords. And I got a click and a sale through that but how does that work? They enter my book title into the Zon search engine. It brings them to my book and then they click on the sponsored ad???
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 12, 2017, 11:50:03 AM
Thanks Gertie but I'm not following your thinking on keeping your bids below the acpc. If it took say a .10 bid (and let's say the ACPC was .09) to get impressions and clicks, and I go to .08 cents aren't I going to be shutting myself out?

Not necessarily. If your goal is to be the first in line, then underbidding the acpc isn't going to work. But, I feel that being on the first page or even the second on the carousel can get you noticed. The ad I restarted on Thursday had 177 clicks. I now have 200 with two sales and the equivalent of a full book read. For me, that's pretty good.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 12, 2017, 11:50:55 AM
I have my book titles as keywords. And I got a click and a sale through that but how does that work? They enter my book title into the Zon search engine. It brings them to my book and then they click on the sponsored ad???

Maybe they saw your other books in the carousel and clicked on that.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 12, 2017, 12:29:47 PM
I have my book titles as keywords. And I got a click and a sale through that but how does that work? They enter my book title into the Zon search engine. It brings them to my book and then they click on the sponsored ad???

Remember that these ads also show in search results so it could be that they saw your ad on a search results page and clicked on it there.  Also, your titles don't look like they're so unique that the only option is your book page.  Amazon keyword matching is fuzzy not exact.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 12, 2017, 12:50:00 PM
Not necessarily. If your goal is to be the first in line, then underbidding the acpc isn't going to work. But, I feel that being on the first page or even the second on the carousel can get you noticed. The ad I restarted on Thursday had 177 clicks. I now have 200 with two sales and the equivalent of a full book read. For me, that's pretty good.



I raise my bids by a few cents to keep them on the first page. When a bid gets too high, I pause it if it doesn't pay for itself in sales. Amazon will keep raising your bids so you have to be watchful.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 12, 2017, 02:17:56 PM
I have my book titles as keywords. And I got a click and a sale through that but how does that work? They enter my book title into the Zon search engine. It brings them to my book and then they click on the sponsored ad???
Keyword ads (aka Sponsored Product ads) appear in both search results and in a row of sponsored results (the "carousel") below Also Boughts on book description pages. As an example, look at the book page for your book "The Find" and you'll see them there. It is my suspicion that overall more fiction readers are going to buy books off the book description page after having arrived there some other way than via search. Popularity Lists, Bestseller lists, also boughts, deals, amazon emails, etc. Therefore, I suspect that a substantial majority of keyword ad clicks and conversions come from people clicking on these sponsored results on book description pages.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 12, 2017, 05:49:59 PM
Not necessarily. If your goal is to be the first in line, then underbidding the acpc isn't going to work. But, I feel that being on the first page or even the second on the carousel can get you noticed. The ad I restarted on Thursday had 177 clicks. I now have 200 with two sales and the equivalent of a full book read. For me, that's pretty good.



Thanks Gertie. So do you check all your keywords to see what page they're showing up on? Could that not be extremely time consuming?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 12, 2017, 05:54:22 PM
Remember that these ads also show in search results so it could be that they saw your ad on a search results page and clicked on it there.  Also, your titles don't look like they're so unique that the only option is your book page.  Amazon keyword matching is fuzzy not exact.
Thanks Cassie. I've just been examining my stuff. I have one book with another book title for the keyword and 27 impressions and that book does not show up in the carousel. I have another book that does not have the same book title as a keyword (but it does have the author's name) and that book of mine has no impressions and no clicks and yet that book shows up on page 25 (of 31) on that book's title.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 12, 2017, 05:55:11 PM
Thanks Gertie. So do you check all your keywords to see what page they're showing up on? Could that not be extremely time consuming?
I would strongly advise against doing more than spot checking for general sense of positioning. Two different people will likely (though not always) see the book in a different spot in the search results or the carousel). Someone not logged into amazon (no buying history) will see yet again something different.  Basing decisions on only what you see logged in as yourself is missing a good fraction of the picture.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 12, 2017, 05:56:05 PM
Keyword ads (aka Sponsored Product ads) appear in both search results and in a row of sponsored results (the "carousel") below Also Boughts on book description pages. As an example, look at the book page for your book "The Find" and you'll see them there. It is my suspicion that overall more fiction readers are going to buy books off the book description page after having arrived there some other way than via search. Popularity Lists, Bestseller lists, also boughts, deals, amazon emails, etc. Therefore, I suspect that a substantial majority of keyword ad clicks and conversions come from people clicking on these sponsored results on book description pages.

Thanks Edward. Makes sense.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 12, 2017, 05:58:22 PM
I would strongly advise against doing more than spot checking for general sense of positioning. Two different people will likely (though not always) see the book in a different spot in the search results or the carousel). Someone not logged into amazon (no buying history) will see yet again something different.  Basing decisions on only what you see logged in as yourself is missing a good fraction of the picture.

Thanks but don't you mean '...strongly advise doing more...'?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 12, 2017, 06:03:39 PM
I'm pretty sure I have one of those books that's being shutdowon for lack of impressions/clicks. I'm bidding between .10 and .15 cents on maybe 100 keywords. It's only on two days and has 536 impressions and no clicks. So does Amazon tell you they're shutting you down? What's the best strategy? Just start a new campaign with the same book?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 12, 2017, 06:08:56 PM
Thanks but don't you mean '...strongly advise doing more...'?
No, I mean don't waste much time checking the positioning of your keyword ads. I might see your ad on page 4 of the carousel and you might see it on page 1. Amazon uses its algorithms to determine how to display ads. So making a decision based on where you see it would be mostly folly. Possibly for books and searches with very few bidders, there would be more consistency from reader to reader, and it might be more useful. But in that case only if you're really getting results. You have to decide whether the time spent doing so is going to get you the sales you need for it to be worth the time. Certainly once you're paying 20 cents or more per click (and likely bidding over 30), it means there are enough bidders out there that the location you see will not be all that consistent across readers.

The way you tell if a keyword is working is looking at impressions and clicks and conversions, with conversions of course being significantly delayed and possibly incomplete. If you're going to raise and lower bids, that's what it should primarily be based on. And I don't have any specific advice on when to raise or lower bids. Like everyone else, I experiment some with it. But I haven't yet seen any "system" of doing it that seems likely to be reliable, despite individuals having had some success with certain systems.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 12, 2017, 06:16:30 PM
I would strongly advise against doing more than spot checking for general sense of positioning. Two different people will likely (though not always) see the book in a different spot in the search results or the carousel). Someone not logged into amazon (no buying history) will see yet again something different.  Basing decisions on only what you see logged in as yourself is missing a good fraction of the picture.

Agreed. I'm doing okay with impressions and clicks although sales could be better. Better, always, but still way more than I was doing this time last year. Maybe my system is working?

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 12, 2017, 06:20:31 PM
Agreed. I'm doing okay with impressions and clicks although sales could be better. Better, always, but still way more than I was doing this time last year. Maybe my system is working?

I'm sort of in the same boat. Can't say I really have a "system" yet, though! Doing split testing is so difficult with AMS that it's more a case of muddling along until something works and then trying to keep it working.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 12, 2017, 06:24:39 PM
I'm sort of in the same boat. Can't say I really have a "system" yet, though! Doing split testing is so difficult with AMS that it's more a case of muddling along until something works and then trying to keep it working.

I guess I have a basic system but it needs tweaking on a daily basis. I just don't allow myself to put too much time into it. I have three ads running and I try to work on one each day.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 12, 2017, 07:02:09 PM
I guess I have a basic system but it needs tweaking on a daily basis. I just don't allow myself to put too much time into it. I have three ads running and I try to work on one each day.
I have four keyword ads running, one for each book that I control (I have some others I don't). I also have a variety of Product Display ads, but those are at low bids and have generated zero impressions thus far. I tried a lot of different ads in Feb, but now I am letting them run for longer. I will probably try adding a second ad per book soon, but many people find that this can impact performance of existing ads so I want to be careful.

I download data every day and load it into my database, but I'm still fiddling with a formula for making keyword decisions.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 12, 2017, 07:54:20 PM
I've not experienced any of my 5 book ads being suspended by amazon and the results vary wildy. I've had the slow down regards impressions, but then they've picked up again.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on March 13, 2017, 12:17:47 AM
Folks, there are a few basic concepts I'm not getting...

For example, one of my keywords with a bid maximum of 0.15 has 330 impressions and just one click costing 0.06. So I've been asking myself, why bother raising the bid on that word? I haven't come to the maximum spend per click.

Maybe I've figured it out... did my 0.06 come from deep in the Sponsored Product carousel? Do I need to raise my maximum bid (assuming this is a good keyword) to compete for a slot in the first few pages of carousel?

Likewise, some keywords with plenty of impressions but no clicks... okay, maybe the cover art, etc, sucks, but could it also mean my impressions are buried on high-numbered pages? Does someone have to actually view your advert, see it on their browser page, for it to be counted as an Impression? Or can an Impression be buried deep on the carousel and not actually seen, but still gets counted as an Impression?

Maybe I just need to read this thread from start to finish?

Thanks!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on March 13, 2017, 04:31:41 AM
I'm pretty sure I have one of those books that's being shutdowon for lack of impressions/clicks. I'm bidding between .10 and .15 cents on maybe 100 keywords. It's only on two days and has 536 impressions and no clicks. So does Amazon tell you they're shutting you down? What's the best strategy? Just start a new campaign with the same book?

1. No, Amazon won't tell you if they're shutting you down. The only way you can tell is when impressions slow/stop. In your situation, however, it's difficult to tell because you didn't say if the impressions had slowed. Did you get most (or all) of the 536 in the first day? Then perhaps so, although I think it's a bit soon for AMS to shut things down. It could be that your bids are too low and you're simply getting buried on the back pages for most of your keywords.

2.  What's the best strategy? Wish I knew. The only thing I could suggest it to raise your bids for a day (or two) to see if it makes a difference. Also, do a search (preferably as an unregistered user) on some of the keywords to see how you're positioned. It could help you to zero in on a good bid price.

3. Start a new campaign? That's what Amazon suggested. I tried it once and it bombed worse than my first one. My best result came when I waited a week before starting it again.

Overall, the wild card is the performance algorithm. AMS won't explain how it works (no surprise), so we're left guessing at what to do in order to keep a campaign effective. To me, it's more like trying to play poker with a deck of cards that constantly changes. You might be holding all four aces, but the other players have better hands - with additional aces.       
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Last Paradise on March 13, 2017, 05:11:38 AM
I have never got even 100% ROI on "Amazon Ads".
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 13, 2017, 06:30:32 AM

The way you tell if a keyword is working is looking at impressions and clicks and conversions, with conversions of course being significantly delayed and possibly incomplete. If you're going to raise and lower bids, that's what it should primarily be based on. And I don't have any specific advice on when to raise or lower bids. Like everyone else, I experiment some with it. But I haven't yet seen any "system" of doing it that seems likely to be reliable, despite individuals having had some success with certain systems.

I agree. It's difficult to have a "system" with AMS delayed reporting. That said, I've had some success with raising bids for keywords that are getting solid impressions and clicks to keep them on the first page of the carousel. I also monitor bids and pause them when they get too high for my daily budget.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 13, 2017, 07:01:17 AM
Here are some figures. Not sure what to make of them, or how they compare with your own.

                   Impressions          Clicks  % of clicks to imp        sales          % of sales to clicks.     Average Bid cost       ACOS              Keywords

Book one:     905,299               801             0.09%               87 units               10.86%                  $0.08              25.83%                    404 
 
Book two:     765,997               355             0.05%               20 units                 5.63%                  $0.06              38.36%                    687

Book three:   749,453               337             0.04%               21 units                 6.23%                  $0.07              36.84%                    476

Book four:    529,227               279             0.05%               21 units                 7.53%                  $0.06              24.88%                    471

Book five      351,449              281              0.08%               14 units                 4.98%                  $0.03              22.15%                    354

================================================================================
TOTALS      3,301,425           2,053             0.06%                184 units                 8.96%                   ????              25.00%


Note: I haven't ever stopped any of my ads and started them again as new ads, I have only paused them if I had a promo for say 1 day, and impressions have kicked off again when released back on sale.I have however, increased/reduced bids, and added or removed keywords, but basically I just now let it run and have done for some time. I understand the more data they have, the more likely they are to keep on giving impressions (to a point)

The only thing I have noticed is that if I run a free day promo and end up with sales giving me a better rank, I also seem to pick up sales on my AMS for that book, but once the rank falls back, sales are few and far between on AMS.

Also my book that has had most sales organically without ads, has picked up the most sales on AMS. So I'm thinking rank has something to do with clicks converting to sales in the reader's mind. At the moment it doesn't have a good rank and sales are slow for it on AMS, yet impressions soldier on.

I don't hold with the idea that they stop impressions forever if the don't produce clicks. Okay, they put a temp hold on it a week or so into a new ad and intermittenly after that while they assess the data, I've experienced that. I have one with over 5,000 clicks on a Stephen King book and no clicks, but I still keep getting impressions. I have many more examples like this.

The other thing I note is that book 2 & 3 aren't performing as well as book one, yet the impressions which were well down on book 1 (as much as 50% down) are fast catching up with that book. So that debunks the idea that they stop poorer performing ads, unless they only stop those with a rank bad ACOS that makes a loss to save us from ourselves.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 13, 2017, 08:17:03 AM
Great data, thanks Declan. Everything you mention I have either seen or have not seen but have not seen the opposite either. I've had two ads running for 15 days now for two books. Both books same genre (action thriller), both $4.99, both 20-25 reviews averaging 4 or more, both in Kindle Select. The same 200 keywords, all bidding at 52 cents.

One book has 147,000 impressions and  174 clicks. The other had 106,000 impressions and 71 clicks. Average CPC is around 30 cents. The first book has two sales. The second book has four plus a paperback. The first book has several thousand page reads during that time also, while the second book has only a few hundred. Including the page reads, the second book is breaking even and the first book has lost about $30.

Clearly my click-through rate is better on book one. I would say the sales+borrows per click can't be any higher than book two, though, based on observing rankings changes. So it probably does look at both click through rate and conversion rate.

It also seems likely that I need to work on my ad copy for book two.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 13, 2017, 09:17:34 AM
No, I mean don't waste much time checking the positioning of your keyword ads. I might see your ad on page 4 of the carousel and you might see it on page 1. Amazon uses its algorithms to determine how to display ads. So making a decision based on where you see it would be mostly folly. Possibly for books and searches with very few bidders, there would be more consistency from reader to reader, and it might be more useful. But in that case only if you're really getting results. You have to decide whether the time spent doing so is going to get you the sales you need for it to be worth the time. Certainly once you're paying 20 cents or more per click (and likely bidding over 30), it means there are enough bidders out there that the location you see will not be all that consistent across readers.


I used to think that too but I'm not sure it's true. Yes each site visitor might see a different set of books on the carousel based on his buying records, but as far as placement in the carousel goes, my observation is that higher bid does move the book up to p.1 or p.2. I've tested this with multiple ISPs after clearing all cache and history in the same browser and different browsers. Also, I don't just observe my own book, but a couple of other fellow authors I know who are running ads too. And I've seen positive results when I up the bids on my ad when it fell to p. 3 and later on the carousel to move them up. Coincidence? Maybe. But could be bid tweaking too.

I really have no idea how to make use of the info given on the AMS sales reports. I just don't think they accurately reflect the results based on what I see from the dashboard. Even if they say this one book is getting me clicks or no clicks, I don't find that I can rely on that info. I've tried pausing ads that appear to be click bait, but immediately see a sales dip effect. I run them again and sales resume even though the report is not showing any sales. What gives? Who knows.



Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 13, 2017, 09:29:46 AM
I used to think that too but I'm not sure it's true. Yes each site visitor might see a different set of books on the carousel based on his buying records, but as far as placement in the carousel goes, my observation is that higher bid does move the book up to p.1 or p.2. I've tested this with multiple ISPs after clearing all cache and history in the same browser and different browsers. Also, I don't just observe my own book, but a couple of other fellow authors I know who are running ads too. And I've seen positive results when I up the bids on my ad when it fell to p. 3 and later on the carousel to move them up. Coincidence? Maybe. But could be bid tweaking too.
I think maybe I wasn't clear. Absolutely raising your bid is likely to move you up the carousel. But unless you're bidding very high (relative to the popularity of the page/book), you can't just look at the carousel and make assumptions about where it will appear for other users. My main point was don't get hung up on that. It's your impressions, clicks, and sales that will tell you whether your bid needs to go up or down, not where you see the book on the carousel. You can't really learn anything definitive from looking at the carousel that you can't figure from the other data. I almost never look at the carousel unless I see unusual behavior like a spike in a keyword impressions or something.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 13, 2017, 09:32:49 AM
I think maybe I wasn't clear. Absolutely raising your bid is likely to move you up the carousel. But unless you're bidding very high (relative to the popularity of the page/book), you can't just look at the carousel and make assumptions about where it will appear for other users. My main point was don't get hung up on that. It's your impressions, clicks, and sales that will tell you whether your bid needs to go up or down, not where you see the book on the carousel. You can't really learn anything definitive from looking at the carousel that you can't figure from the other data. I almost never look at the carousel unless I see unusual behavior like a spike in a keyword impressions or something.

Edward I do know what you're saying. Problem is my experience is that I find I can't learn anything definitive from the AMS reports. What I do is in fact look at my ad's carousel placement and up the bid every time I see it falling out of p.2 of a book I want to be visible on. I'm not recommending my method to anyone else since I can't guarantee anything on it, but it's worked for me so far.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 13, 2017, 09:40:14 AM
Another thing I've been doing that is going in a different direction than what some of you guys are saying is I'm running 3 ads on the same book. Does it have any negative impact? I don't know. If there is, I haven't noticed it. One ad is specifically targeted to a very precise genre that is my exact own genre. For that one I have a higher daily maximum. The second one is for cross genre books -- readers who are looking at books that have some similarities to mine. I have a lower daily maximum for that one and as expected the resulting impressions and clicks are lower, but as far as percentage ROI, both ads are the same. 50% spend of my total sales. (Note though that I bid quite high as this book is my loss leader and my goal is sell-throughs rather than this book).

I recently began a 3rd campaign and moved all the KWS of books and authors in my specific genre which are very low in ranking (like 400K and higher). I want my book to still show up on those pages whenever those books get viewed, but I don't want them taking up one of my 1000 KW spaces and competing for spent on my main campaign. I feel like in this case the low impressions have less to do with my ad than the fact that these books overall have very low browsers and buyers, but I want to maximize my visibility and it's very easy to do since they usually have low number of books on the carousel. For this campaign I set my daily maximum to only $1 and can bid at $.15 per ad, get the advantage to the rare and occasional views, and still never reacn the daily max.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 13, 2017, 09:47:00 AM
Edward I do know what you're saying. Problem is my experience is that I find I can't learn anything definitive from the AMS reports. What I do is in fact look at my ad's carousel placement and up the bid every time I see it falling out of p.2 of a book I want to be visible on. I'm not recommending my method to anyone else since I can't guarantee anything on it, but it's worked for me so far.
Alexa - certainly I can see that doing some good. When you say it's "worked", how do you define "worked"? Are you basing that on impressions, clicks, sales, what? And when are you looking at the numbers? Unless you're checking the carousel hourly or something, won't the impressions have started dropping by the time you check the carousel and then raise your bid.

The only data you have to determine whether it "worked" is the very data I'm suggesting you should mostly use instead of checking the carousel.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 13, 2017, 10:49:59 AM
I don't look at the carousel at all.  Each time you go to a product page it's a new auction so it's not static.  It's about who else is bidding when you are and what they're bidding and that can change throughout the day.

In terms of running multiple ads, I have three running right now on the same book with virtually identical ad copy and even fairly similar keywords.  One has been running forever, one for a few months now, and one is my "winners" ad that only includes the keywords that have generated sales for me to-date.  I paused the "losers" ad that had all my no/low impression keywords just because it was getting expensive with no sales due to the low number of impressions on each keyword and therefore clicks per word.  As far as I can see, having multiple ads doesn't create issues with each one continuing to run and generate impressions/clicks/sales.  I think I have brought it down to one ad a few times, but it didn't make a noticeable difference so then I reactivated the others or started new ones.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 13, 2017, 10:50:18 AM
Alexa - certainly I can see that doing some good. When you say it's "worked", how do you define "worked"? Are you basing that on impressions, clicks, sales, what? And when are you looking at the numbers? Unless you're checking the carousel hourly or something, won't the impressions have started dropping by the time you check the carousel and then raise your bid.

The only data you have to determine whether it "worked" is the very data I'm suggesting you should mostly use instead of checking the carousel.

Put it this way, my sales begin to slow down. I then check my carousel placements on the most popular books I target for placement. Usually, it's because those books now have risen in ranking and/or the number of sponsored ads on their page has increased and my book has fallen to p.3 or 4. I up my bid on those books, my placement go back to p. 1 & 2, and sales go back up to normal rate.

I can't say there's any scientific proof that this means everyone else is seeing my ad on p. 1 or 2. I do test the placement both when I'm logged in and when I'm logged out, along with using different ISPs after clearing cache & history.

I think for sure the algo supposedly try to tailor what they show, but from my own observation, that's more when they do a overhaul and rotate books, rather than pushing a particular ad up or down the carousel. Seems to me the placement on the carousel itself is in fact determined by bidding price. For example, there are 3 authros (or an unrelated genre) who for inexplicable reasons are heavily favored by Amazon. Their books are always the first set to show up in all new releases in the books I target based on genre. I also know these ads' bidding prices are very low. I punch in the KW and set my bidding price at $.10 and always I'll be able to jump the queue above them, until other ads start to come in and push my ad down. So I'm constantly having to check and see how many new ads are populating and adjust my price from there.

Another thing that throws a curve ball is, 1/3 of the time Amazon won't show my ad on the ebook page, or my ad is buried somewhere on the ebook carousel, but I'm on p.1 for the paperback. So that makes determining what's going on even harder.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 13, 2017, 11:06:16 AM
Put it this way, my sales begin to slow down. I then check my carousel placements on the most popular books I target for placement. Usually, it's because those books now have risen in ranking and/or the number of sponsored ads on their page has increased and my book has fallen to p.3 or 4. I up my bid on those books, my placement go back to p. 1 & 2, and sales go back up to normal rate.

Do impressions and clicks go down as well, when your sales begin to slow down?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 13, 2017, 11:22:49 AM
Do impressions and clicks go down as well, when your sales begin to slow down?

Honestly, I can't tell. The KWs with highest impressions and clicks don't slow down, but a lot of times the change in carousel placements aren't even books of those KWs. For the applicable KWs themselves, I gave up tracking them because at least for me, I often don't see a correlation. My placement can be anywhere from p.1-4, but often it looks like there are only impressions in the 3 digit or not a lot of clicks. I don't really see a lot of movement in clicks and impressions except for my top 6 KWs. But this can't be right because I am making sales from the ads. That's why I do't rely on AMS reports anymore, or at least I don't know what to make of the data. I look at my data report and I see a lot of 1 sale for many KWs.

One thing I am sure of is that the AMS ads are in fact driving my sales. Last week I terminated my credit card, and completely forgot it was the card I used to pay for the AMS ads. Amazon suspended all my campaigns and notified me but I missed their email. Took me a couple of days to realize this and during that time, my sales nosedived to 0-1 sales per day. Took me another 2 days to link a new credit card and let the ads do its thing again. Now those sheik romances sell very well, but I also think they are selling well BECAUSE Amazon keeps favoring their ads.

So, for me anyway, the AMS reports really aren't helping.


ETA: Another thing is, and this is a different matter, even on KWs where I do extremely well sometimes (we're talking impressions into the 5 digits, double digit click rates plus sales), Amazon would sometimes for reasons I can't understand rotate my ad out and stop showing it on those KWs. You'd think the algo would see this book is working and continue to run it, but no they don't. Instead, suddenly a bunch of books of a totally unrelated genre with minimal bid prices would take over. (I know their bid prices, they're the same sheik romances that bid at 3-5c). Why I have no idea.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 13, 2017, 11:40:32 AM
No, I mean don't waste much time checking the positioning of your keyword ads. I might see your ad on page 4 of the carousel and you might see it on page 1. Amazon uses its algorithms to determine how to display ads. So making a decision based on where you see it would be mostly folly. Possibly for books and searches with very few bidders, there would be more consistency from reader to reader, and it might be more useful. But in that case only if you're really getting results. You have to decide whether the time spent doing so is going to get you the sales you need for it to be worth the time. Certainly once you're paying 20 cents or more per click (and likely bidding over 30), it means there are enough bidders out there that the location you see will not be all that consistent across readers.

The way you tell if a keyword is working is looking at impressions and clicks and conversions, with conversions of course being significantly delayed and possibly incomplete. If you're going to raise and lower bids, that's what it should primarily be based on. And I don't have any specific advice on when to raise or lower bids. Like everyone else, I experiment some with it. But I haven't yet seen any "system" of doing it that seems likely to be reliable, despite individuals having had some success with certain systems.

Thanks for the explanation. :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 13, 2017, 11:45:28 AM
1. No, Amazon won't tell you if they're shutting you down. The only way you can tell is when impressions slow/stop. In your situation, however, it's difficult to tell because you didn't say if the impressions had slowed. Did you get most (or all) of the 536 in the first day? Then perhaps so, although I think it's a bit soon for AMS to shut things down. It could be that your bids are too low and you're simply getting buried on the back pages for most of your keywords.

2.  What's the best strategy? Wish I knew. The only thing I could suggest it to raise your bids for a day (or two) to see if it makes a difference. Also, do a search (preferably as an unregistered user) on some of the keywords to see how you're positioned. It could help you to zero in on a good bid price.

3. Start a new campaign? That's what Amazon suggested. I tried it once and it bombed worse than my first one. My best result came when I waited a week before starting it again.

Overall, the wild card is the performance algorithm. AMS won't explain how it works (no surprise), so we're left guessing at what to do in order to keep a campaign effective. To me, it's more like trying to play poker with a deck of cards that constantly changes. You might be holding all four aces, but the other players have better hands - with additional aces.       

Thanks Bruce. I think I was panicking a bit. (I always think they're singling me out for egregious incompetence.) No, the impressions seem to be fairly consistent, just no clicks. I'm taking your advice on upping the bids and seeing what happens.

P.S. LOVE the poker with a deck of cards that constantly changes analogy.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 13, 2017, 11:50:24 AM
Here are some figures. Not sure what to make of them, or how they compare with your own.

                   Impressions          Clicks  % of clicks to imp        sales          % of sales to clicks.     Average Bid cost       ACOS              Keywords

Book one:     905,299               801             0.09%               87 units               10.86%                  $0.08              25.83%                    404 
 
Book two:     765,997               355             0.05%               20 units                 5.63%                  $0.06              38.36%                    687

Book three:   749,453               337             0.04%               21 units                 6.23%                  $0.07              36.84%                    476

Book four:    529,227               279             0.05%               21 units                 7.53%                  $0.06              24.88%                    471

Book five      351,449              281              0.08%               14 units                 4.98%                  $0.03              22.15%                    354

================================================================================
TOTALS      3,301,425           2,053             0.06%                184 units                 8.96%                   ????              25.00%


Note: I haven't ever stopped any of my ads and started them again as new ads, I have only paused them if I had a promo for say 1 day, and impressions have kicked off again when released back on sale.I have however, increased/reduced bids, and added or removed keywords, but basically I just now let it run and have done for some time. I understand the more data they have, the more likely they are to keep on giving impressions (to a point)

The only thing I have noticed is that if I run a free day promo and end up with sales giving me a better rank, I also seem to pick up sales on my AMS for that book, but once the rank falls back, sales are few and far between on AMS.

Also my book that has had most sales organically without ads, has picked up the most sales on AMS. So I'm thinking rank has something to do with clicks converting to sales in the reader's mind. At the moment it doesn't have a good rank and sales are slow for it on AMS, yet impressions soldier on.

I don't hold with the idea that they stop impressions forever if the don't produce clicks. Okay, they put a temp hold on it a week or so into a new ad and intermittenly after that while they assess the data, I've experienced that. I have one with over 5,000 clicks on a Stephen King book and no clicks, but I still keep getting impressions. I have many more examples like this.

The other thing I note is that book 2 & 3 aren't performing as well as book one, yet the impressions which were well down on book 1 (as much as 50% down) are fast catching up with that book. So that debunks the idea that they stop poorer performing ads, unless they only stop those with a rank bad ACOS that makes a loss to save us from ourselves.

Thanks Decon. The data really helps. And wow, your average bid cost is so low. Seems like if I don't bid (and I'm in thrillers too) at least .15 I get almost no action.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 13, 2017, 05:49:12 PM
Thanks Decon. The data really helps. And wow, your average bid cost is so low. Seems like if I don't bid (and I'm in thrillers too) at least .15 I get almost no action.

I don't know what to say. All I know is that I don't chase book page positions (the  carousel) as some call it. Like others have said, every time someone clicks on a book that has ads, it's a new bidding process with the algos. Some pull out as they set up new campaigns, or just get rotated out, and so I must sneak in there at times. The thing is, it took 3 months for me to get any sort of results with the same campaign and I've just sort of stuck with my bids since then, not wanting to play the bidding war. I do think that reading posts over the last 3 months, many expect too much too soon and get hurt by keep stopping campaigns that haven't had a chance to get going and devolop data at Amazon's end and then they've started new ones which doesn't give them a chance to produce, but that helps me.

Also with people constantly looking at their results and cancelling none performing keywords, as opposed to campaigns, on ones where I have bid low, then it ups my chances of a click and a sale by staying constant and those make up for my higher bids.

As for not getting impressions, I listed all Erik Von Danikan's books and similar for The Killers Amongst Us: Chimera Dawn Chronicles, my lowest impression and sales book in AMS. The reason was that my story  is in line with his theory of Ancient God's as aliens, especially Egyptian god's,though his stories are more textbooks. Think X-files for mine;/ mystery crime, so I struggle to slot it into an exact category of books for keywords as it crosses genre, hence I don't have many keywords that are an exact match. I thought I'd do well with his books, but I paused them all when I realized I wasn't getting one impression on them. Obviously, your meta data has to have a match or AMS will ignore your keyword in some instance, though how cook books get on my pages I'll never know, unless they are keyord stuffing out of genre at upload for that purpose. Sometimes it can happen if you are an exact match, but you meta data differs from the choosen book, so you get no impressions.

It really is all a mystery.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 13, 2017, 05:58:56 PM
I do think that reading posts over the last 3 months, many expect too much too soon and get hurt by keep stopping campaigns that haven't had a chance to get going and devolop data at Amazon's end and then they've started new ones which doesn't give them a chance to produce, but that helps me.

This is perhaps the most valuable observation of this entire thread. So few people have let non-performing ads run longer than 2-3 weeks that a lot of what we think is "data" is incomplete. I am very guilty of this myself and am beginning to rectify it.

That said, two of my book ads seem to convert well enough that I am more than happy to pay .20 cents per click (bidding in the 30's). So I am still torn about whether I should bid really low on keyword ads. Given that I now intend to let them run longer, I could go quite a while without results before I figure out whether my action thrillers really do require me to bid in the .30's. I know the romance folks almost all have to bid high to get results.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 13, 2017, 06:28:25 PM
Yes to staying the course. I think it took me nearly two months to decide to up the daily spend on one of my ads. It was doing okay, but nothing spectacular. Then I upped the spend and upped it again, and the book is moving a lot faster, plus it's selling the second book in the series and there is a visibly higher number of page reads that more than compensates for the higher ad cost. The book now ranks at 24k, much more visible in the Amazon store--if you believe that anything is visible at all beyond the first 100 in a genre, that is.

Interestingly, when my daily spend limit was $1 or $2, it never got used up. Since I raised it to a whopping $9, the money does sometimes get spent. When that happens I push it up a dollar (big spender!).

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 13, 2017, 06:48:32 PM
This is perhaps the most valuable observation of this entire thread. So few people have let non-performing ads run longer than 2-3 weeks that a lot of what we think is "data" is incomplete. I am very guilty of this myself and am beginning to rectify it.

That said, two of my book ads seem to convert well enough that I am more than happy to pay .20 cents per click (bidding in the 30's). So I am still torn about whether I should bid really low on keyword ads. Given that I now intend to let them run longer, I could go quite a while without results before I figure out whether my action thrillers really do require me to bid in the .30's. I know the romance folks almost all have to bid high to get results.

I really don't know the answer.

All I know is that I can't control what Amazon know and I don't, so I don't try to second guess. I only have my own data that I've posted and garnered over quite a number of months. I start by knowing I only have 70% royalty ($2) to play with for the ACOS and a small % of  of actual page reads income. I did a previous post how I calculated this after working it out as a percentage of AMS sales to non-AMS sales rather than considering them all attributed to AMS, which I would consider it like fools gold to apply all page reads.

From the data I've posted, I don't need to know what Amazon are upto, or where I sit on the pages. I can quickly work out from overall results or individual campaigns how increased bids would bite into my ACOS if I didn't increase sales and increasing bids only guarantees early pages not clicks and sales, but it ensures higher costs. Regardless, my click to buy ratio would likely stay the same (Think on that a moment). It wouldn't take much of an increase across the board to soon get to a 70% + ACOS, so I always keep that in mind rather than starting from high bid pricing to get impressions that I know will end up  producing a loss at my sale price of $2.99 as many have shown by posting their data on here, albeit from short term campaigns.

As an example, If my average bid cost is 8c (Which means bidding more in some instances), then I have a 25-1 click rate to buy, to eat up all my royalty.

If you apply that to my data on the previous page, in relation to % clicks to sales, then it's obvious I will make a profit @ an actual cost of 6 - 8c, so 15c bids are not out of the question, so long as the don't cost me that.

If however, I bid 50c and I'm charged say 25c then it translates to a 8-1 click rate to sale to eat up my royalty. So the way I look at it is that if I don't want to make a profit, I should bid 50c because I am not getting that ratio of clicks to sales for it to work. God forbid if I bid 52 cents and I was charged 50c, which would mean it would take only a ratio of 4-1 to eat up my royalty.

I'm tired so I hope I have the math right and that I am making sense. Bear in mind that I am shy of bidding higher as I didn't get the sort of results in increased sales when I increased bids as the previous post to this enjoyed to increase(or is that decrease) my click to buy ratio for the better. Also note I have no series as they are all standalones.

You can only determine your click to buy ratio with a long term campaign. For me, that ratio determines my bid price and not the pack chasing a front page. I still get sales from ad placement down the pecking order, just not as many as if I'd bid higher.

There is a contra argument to this as a strategy, but this post is too long already.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 13, 2017, 07:28:02 PM
Decon, you've inspired me to try an experiment.  Most of my ads for my fantasy book have had bids from 25 cents to 40 cents and done fairly well, but I took one I'd paused and changed all of the bids down to 10 cents a word with a low per-day spend and I'm just going to let it run and see what it does for a month or so.  Basically, see if it captures any impressions and clicks or not.  Right now it has about 38,000 impressions and 40 clicks with one sale at $6.99.  I'll see where it goes from here and report back.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 13, 2017, 08:00:51 PM
Decon, you've inspired me to try an experiment.  Most of my ads for my fantasy book have had bids from 25 cents to 40 cents and done fairly well, but I took one I'd paused and changed all of the bids down to 10 cents a word with a low per-day spend and I'm just going to let it run and see what it does for a month or so.  Basically, see if it captures any impressions and clicks or not.  Right now it has about 38,000 impressions and 40 clicks with one sale at $6.99.  I'll see where it goes from here and report back.

Thanks for that. I would be really interesting to see what your resuts are in a few months time.  Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: botolo on March 13, 2017, 08:34:26 PM
Hello all,

I love this thread and I find it extremely helpful. I have many questions I would like to ask, but for the time being I have one crucial question. How do you track the performance of your ads campaigns? Do you use a spreadsheet? Also, for keyword campaigns, do you track performance daily of each keyword or the whole campaign?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on March 14, 2017, 09:16:15 AM
Interestingly, when my daily spend limit was $1 or $2, it never got used up. Since I raised it to a whopping $9, the money does sometimes get spent. When that happens I push it up a dollar (big spender!).

That's is indeed interesting.  If that could be repeated consistently, it could provide the answer to how to scale up successful campaigns.  Couldn't be that simple though, could it, since most of what the AMS algorithm does is such a mystery.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with raising their daily spend limit?

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 14, 2017, 10:18:12 AM
That's is indeed interesting.  If that could be repeated consistently, it could provide the answer to how to scale up successful campaigns.  Couldn't be that simple though, could it, since most of what the AMS algorithm does is such a mystery.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with raising their daily spend limit?

Philip

No, but I'll be the guinea pig/canary. Two of my ads had a daily spend of $5 and one had $3, I don't remember why. But, in the interest of science, I raised the $3 to $5.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on March 14, 2017, 10:53:37 AM
No, but I'll be the guinea pig/canary. Two of my ads had a daily spend of $5 and one had $3, I don't remember why. But, in the interest of science, I raised the $3 to $5.

I'll send my guinea pigs to join your canary with two of my box sets.  I'll run the experiment for 10 days.

Apollo box set:
Current daily limit: $5.00.  Ave no. of clicks over past 10 days = 20 clicks per day. Only ever spends half the daily limit.
Daily limit now raised to $10 for next 10 days.

Kids box set:
Current daily limit: $5.00.  Ave no. of clicks over past 10 days = 88 clicks per day.  Always spends daily limit with 3 or 4 hours to spare.
Daily limit now raised to $8.00 for next 10 days.

Anyone else in for this and other group experiments from which we could hopefully draw real conclusions?


Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 14, 2017, 11:02:31 AM
No, but I'll be the guinea pig/canary. Two of my ads had a daily spend of $5 and one had $3, I don't remember why. But, in the interest of science, I raised the $3 to $5.

OMG - this would be SO MUCH EASIER to track if the 'zon would give us historical data. Keeping manual records and subtracting out the old numbers to see how you are performing now suuuuuuuxxxx.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 14, 2017, 12:38:11 PM
Okay, Philip. Ten days it is. Your average daily click rate is way over mine and I only raised my limit to $5. I'll go raise it to $10 right now. In the interests of science, of course.

It looks like reporting is finally catching up to sales. Sort of.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 14, 2017, 01:11:31 PM
I don't know what to say. All I know is that I don't chase book page positions (the  carousel) as some call it. Like others have said, every time someone clicks on a book that has ads, it's a new bidding process with the algos. Some pull out as they set up new campaigns, or just get rotated out, and so I must sneak in there at times. The thing is, it took 3 months for me to get any sort of results with the same campaign and I've just sort of stuck with my bids since then, not wanting to play the bidding war. I do think that reading posts over the last 3 months, many expect too much too soon and get hurt by keep stopping campaigns that haven't had a chance to get going and devolop data at Amazon's end and then they've started new ones which doesn't give them a chance to produce, but that helps me.

Also with people constantly looking at their results and cancelling none performing keywords, as opposed to campaigns, on ones where I have bid low, then it ups my chances of a click and a sale by staying constant and those make up for my higher bids.

As for not getting impressions, I listed all Erik Von Danikan's books and similar for The Killers Amongst Us: Chimera Dawn Chronicles, my lowest impression and sales book in AMS. The reason was that my story  is in line with his theory of Ancient God's as aliens, especially Egyptian god's,though his stories are more textbooks. Think X-files for mine;/ mystery crime, so I struggle to slot it into an exact category of books for keywords as it crosses genre, hence I don't have many keywords that are an exact match. I thought I'd do well with his books, but I paused them all when I realized I wasn't getting one impression on them. Obviously, your meta data has to have a match or AMS will ignore your keyword in some instance, though how cook books get on my pages I'll never know, unless they are keyord stuffing out of genre at upload for that purpose. Sometimes it can happen if you are an exact match, but you meta data differs from the choosen book, so you get no impressions.

It really is all a mystery.

Awesome, Decon. In my rush for results I'm ready to bail on a campaign on a daily basis. You have brought sanity back into my approach. Thanks very much!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 14, 2017, 01:15:00 PM
Yes to staying the course. I think it took me nearly two months to decide to up the daily spend on one of my ads. It was doing okay, but nothing spectacular. Then I upped the spend and upped it again, and the book is moving a lot faster, plus it's selling the second book in the series and there is a visibly higher number of page reads that more than compensates for the higher ad cost. The book now ranks at 24k, much more visible in the Amazon store--if you believe that anything is visible at all beyond the first 100 in a genre, that is.

Interestingly, when my daily spend limit was $1 or $2, it never got used up. Since I raised it to a whopping $9, the money does sometimes get spent. When that happens I push it up a dollar (big spender!).



You're really at $9/day? Doesn't that get crazy expensive fast? (I felt like I blinked at $2/day and I spent $70.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 14, 2017, 03:01:08 PM
You're really at $9/day? Doesn't that get crazy expensive fast? (I felt like I blinked at $2/day and I spent $70.)

I've had ads as high as $25 a day.  They rarely if ever spend the full ad amount in my experience.  I only ever saw mine max out around the $5 mark and then only a couple days here or there, not consistently.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 14, 2017, 05:01:38 PM
Okay, Philip. Ten days it is. Your average daily click rate is way over mine and I only raised my limit to $5. I'll go raise it to $10 right now. In the interests of science, of course.

Very cool, you guys. I won't be joining the experiment, but I'll add an "index" note at thread top to come to this Page 7 to start on "Scaling Up By Increasing Daily Budget."
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on March 14, 2017, 05:19:13 PM
A couple of observations coming from this thread.

Considering that a FB campaign or even services like Freebooksy can cost $30-50 per month that can achieve nothing, AMS strikes me as a comparatively cheap form of experimenting with promotions. Sure, you might see your AMS budget as somehow wasted when you don't get sales, but you're getting solid data as to why.

And since many authors seem to be getting good AMS results from advertising well-priced books, I wonder if a good AMS campaign can remove the (perceived) need for a 0.99 cent price point? If an advert works well, will it matter if your book is priced 0.99 or 2.99?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 14, 2017, 05:29:48 PM
A couple of observations coming from this thread.

Considering that a FB campaign or even services like Freebooksy can cost $30-50 per month that can achieve nothing, AMS strikes me as a comparatively cheap form of experimenting with promotions. Sure, you might see your AMS budget as somehow wasted when you don't get sales, but you're getting solid data as to why.

And since many authors seem to be getting good AMS results from advertising well-priced books, I wonder if a good AMS campaign can remove the (perceived) need for a 0.99 cent price point? If an advert works well, will it matter if your book is priced 0.99 or 2.99?

I think I can answer that. I'm running an ad (the one I just increased to a daily spend of $10 from $3) for my most popular series. I'm advertising the first book at 99c. The following novellas (3) were priced at $2.99. No sales. I dropped the price of those three books to 99c. I had 21 sales of book 2 from 2/25 to 3/3. Then I raised the price to $1.49. Two sales on 3/4 and no sell-thrus since then. I'm back down to 99c as of today. At this point, I'll just take what I can get. YMMV

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 14, 2017, 05:45:52 PM
I have only one ad at $9 a day. It sells the most (except for my nonfiction book) and it feeds readers to the other books, IMO. All the other ads are at $2 or $3 a day. Most are at $2 a day, and none of them run out.

I'm about to run an experiment and lower it to $8 a day, while upping another one to $6 a day. The one that's going up has gotten a lot of impressions but not many clicks and even fewer sales, so perhaps the keywords are not on target--or the cover does not appeal, or the blurb, or whatever. Before I change them, though, I want to see if money talks. I know this has been tried before, but I'm willing to give it a short run just on spend alone. The most I'll waste is $21 in the week I'll run it at that limit. I think it's worth trying.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 14, 2017, 05:58:02 PM
All of my romances and women's fiction are competing with books at 99 cents. I'm not going there. I think position is more important than price with these ads at first. I have to let people know the books exist. Once the books catch readers' attention, then, if they're interested, they look at the price. Since my romances are the usual $2.99, if price is a barrier, they can read the books in KU instead, which is free. I frankly do not want to attract a large readership of people who only are willing to pay 99 cents for a 50k novel.

The thing is, I've bought a lot of 99-cent novels from Amazon and even more that were free, and I haven't read more than a few of them. I'm much more likely to read a book I pay more for. And as an author, I want readers to commit to reading my stories, not grab them up because they're super cheap and then ignore them. 

 
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 14, 2017, 06:29:18 PM
My fantasy books I've been advertising are at $6.99 and until today weren't in KU for the last couple months so were making money without KU borrows to boost them.  My non-fiction titles are generally at $4.99 and not in KU.  My romance novel was at $4.99 and not in KU and had 12 sales on 224 clicks for the most recent ad I ran on it. But I struggle to get my romance ads to run at the prices I'm willing to pay.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on March 14, 2017, 07:35:24 PM
I've been running campaigns since Feb 3, have moved about 78 books (all at $3.98 except five paperbacks between $10 and $13). Ads have paid for themselves and left me with about $1.28 in profit per book. I have experimented with the campaigns up, down, and inside out, and concluded... I don't have a clue. Nothing I've tried in altering these campaigns seems to make any discernible and reproduce-able impact on the sale results.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 14, 2017, 07:41:17 PM
My sales dashboard shows a definite upward pattern, both KU reads and sales. It's not big money, and after I subtract the AMS ad costs, it's even less, but it is much more visibility and psychologically it is validating: The books are selling better because I am advertising them in the right venue. Other ads I've purchased in my indie career have mostly yielded either a mere dollar or two in profit, or, more typically, a loss. 

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on March 14, 2017, 08:28:34 PM
A couple of observations coming from this thread.

Considering that a FB campaign or even services like Freebooksy can cost $30-50 per month that can achieve nothing, AMS strikes me as a comparatively cheap form of experimenting with promotions. Sure, you might see your AMS budget as somehow wasted when you don't get sales, but you're getting solid data as to why.

And since many authors seem to be getting good AMS results from advertising well-priced books, I wonder if a good AMS campaign can remove the (perceived) need for a 0.99 cent price point? If an advert works well, will it matter if your book is priced 0.99 or 2.99?

Since starting with AMS ads late last year, I no longer even consider using any of the paid promo sites.  Over the past 3 years, I've used all of them (except Bookbub) multiple times and have probably spent close to $2,000 in that time.  All I've ever achieved is short term spikes in sales of discounted books and equally short term boosts in rankings.  Nothing sustainable, and sustainable sales and income is what I am seeking.  Isn't that the case for most of us?

With AMS ads, I advertise my books on an ongoing, daily basis at full price and make a consistent, if small, profit of a few hundred dollars each month.  A substantial part of that is sales of paperback books at full price - something that never happened with paid promos. And that's without really knowing what I'm doing.  As I learn more and add more books to my catalogue and to AMS ads, I am hopeful that I can achieve at least my modest goal of generating a regular monthly income (profit) of $1,000 or so by the end of this year.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 15, 2017, 06:18:21 AM
Since starting with AMS ads late last year, I no longer even consider using any of the paid promo sites.  Over the past 3 years, I've used all of them (except Bookbub) multiple times and have probably spent close to $2,000 in that time.  All I've ever achieved is short term spikes in sales of discounted books and equally short term boosts in rankings.  Nothing sustainable, and sustainable sales and income is what I am seeking.  Isn't that the case for most of us?

With AMS ads, I advertise my books on an ongoing, daily basis at full price and make a consistent, if small, profit of a few hundred dollars each month.  A substantial part of that is sales of paperback books at full price - something that never happened with paid promos. And that's without really knowing what I'm doing.  As I learn more and add more books to my catalogue and to AMS ads, I am hopeful that I can achieve at least my modest goal of generating a regular monthly income (profit) of $1,000 or so by the end of this year.

Philip

Sounds like a plan to me. I've had similar results and the best December I have ever had, but with a combo of AMS and promo sites. I think December spoiled me with profit of $600 after all ad and promo costs and I was expecting bigger things for 2017. It was like all my books were firing on all four cylinders.

Alas two and a half months on without promos and AMS hasn't cut it on it's own for me, so I've started some more promos to suppliment AMS.

Still, considering I did a post on here around 2 years ago when I was ready to hang up my keyboard after only making $5 for December, I'd say AMS has been fantastic,  even if it only produces a small profit.

Talking about strategy. I have two books planned for publication this year and both will be $4.99 from the off on AMS with higher bids. I may even try one of them at $6.99 and only use keywords of trad-published titles as a trial. I'd rather do that than experiment with what I have now. Saying that, I'll still use up as many free days to get downloads at publication as I can because I'll need reviews at that price and I only allow organic reviews having given up on ARCs. I'll alkso be setting a budget I can afford to lose with AMS to try and get momentum.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 15, 2017, 03:12:09 PM
All right, I'm starting to get some impressions and clicks but no sales. So just hold tight for a while or this a reason for concern? (My campaigns are running 11, 5, 5, 3 and 3 days respectively.) (I wish I had Decon's patience!)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 15, 2017, 04:19:48 PM
What are your numbers?  How many clicks does each ad have?  Have you noticed additional sales above your baseline since you started running the ads even if the AMS report isn't showing them yet?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 15, 2017, 04:34:34 PM
All right, I'm starting to get some impressions and clicks but no sales. So just hold tight for a while or this a reason for concern? (My campaigns are running 11, 5, 5, 3 and 3 days respectively.) (I wish I had Decon's patience!)

My goodness, that's no time at all. I'm making a small profit, but it took at least a month to get that far.

What are your numbers?  How many clicks does each ad have?  Have you noticed additional sales above your baseline since you started running the ads even if the AMS report isn't showing them yet?

Cassie's right. Don't look at your AMS dashboard for sales. Look at your KDP dashboard. AMS says it can take up to three days to register sales. I just had several sales show up after much longer than that.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on March 15, 2017, 06:21:35 PM
All right, I'm starting to get some impressions and clicks but no sales. So just hold tight for a while or this a reason for concern? (My campaigns are running 11, 5, 5, 3 and 3 days respectively.) (I wish I had Decon's patience!)
How many clicks does your longest running campaign have?  Depending on what you pay per click, I'd say you only need become concerned if:

1. you have over 40 clicks with no sales showing up in your KDP dashboard.

2. it takes more than 2,000 impressions to produce a single click.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 15, 2017, 10:51:52 PM
All right, I'm starting to get some impressions and clicks but no sales. So just hold tight for a while or this a reason for concern? (My campaigns are running 11, 5, 5, 3 and 3 days respectively.) (I wish I had Decon's patience!)

Without knowing more of your specifics, I'd hold tight on the 3-5-day campaigns and let them settle in more (minimum 7 full days). I'm surprised that an 11-day campaign doesn't have at least one sale, unless there is something preventing it (the blurb, the book price, the competitiveness of the genre, et al.). Just as a comparison, on my three campaigns, I made my first sale on Days 3 & 4. But I have inexpensive books in a relatively small genre. A lot of factors at play.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: lincolnjcole on March 16, 2017, 08:45:05 AM
My sales dashboard shows a definite upward pattern, both KU reads and sales. It's not big money, and after I subtract the AMS ad costs, it's even less, but it is much more visibility and psychologically it is validating: The books are selling better because I am advertising them in the right venue. Other ads I've purchased in my indie career have mostly yielded either a mere dollar or two in profit, or, more typically, a loss.

That's awesome. I usually see a lot of KU page reads with ads myself, but I don't always make money. I guess visibility is worth it, though.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 16, 2017, 12:13:15 PM
Did y'all get the survey from Amazon?

Please, please, please, on that last question ask them to make historical reporting available. I have several campaigns that have been running for months, and figuring out what the effectiveness is NOW is a freaking PIA. Basically, you have to keep downloading the data and then manually compare it.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: mythsnake on March 16, 2017, 12:34:23 PM
Under the keywords, what does it mean when a keyword has an actual zero under impressions rather than a dash? I've got several of those in an ad I just started this morning, and I noticed that the last time I'd looked at the keyword data before now, all of those previously had 1 impression listed for them, but now they've been zeroed.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 16, 2017, 12:44:23 PM
Did y'all get the survey from Amazon?

Please, please, please, on that last question ask them to make historical reporting available. I have several campaigns that have been running for months, and figuring out what the effectiveness is NOW is a freaking PIA. Basically, you have to keep downloading the data and then manually compare it.

Sorry, I already filled it out. I didn't think to ask for historical data probably because I've only been at this since January. I did ask for more up to date reporting and column for borrows.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 16, 2017, 01:01:27 PM
I checked here first but no one had posted about it yet. Sorry. You're correct that history would be very valuable.

I did ask for a lot of things, including separating out the print sales from the ebooks, telling us whether upping the daily spend budget results in more sales, telling us why and when they slow or stop showing our ads and what we can do to make them start up again. A bunch of stuff we're all trying to figure out blind. I emphasized that I would spend many more ad dollars if I knew what they produced. Hint, hint, Amazon.   
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 16, 2017, 01:54:05 PM
I checked here first but no one had posted about it yet. Sorry. You're correct that history would be very valuable.

I did ask for a lot of things, including separating out the print sales from the ebooks, telling us whether upping the daily spend budget results in more sales, telling us why and when they slow or stop showing our ads and what we can do to make them start up again. A bunch of stuff we're all trying to figure out blind. I emphasized that I would spend many more ad dollars if I knew what they produced. Hint, hint, Amazon.

Good suggestions.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 16, 2017, 02:16:22 PM
I checked here first but no one had posted about it yet. Sorry. You're correct that history would be very valuable.

I did ask for a lot of things, including separating out the print sales from the ebooks, telling us whether upping the daily spend budget results in more sales, telling us why and when they slow or stop showing our ads and what we can do to make them start up again. A bunch of stuff we're all trying to figure out blind. I emphasized that I would spend many more ad dollars if I knew what they produced. Hint, hint, Amazon.   

I didn't get a survey, but if I do I'll echo what you said.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 16, 2017, 02:48:26 PM
And KU pages read info!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 16, 2017, 05:43:21 PM
What are your numbers?  How many clicks does each ad have?  Have you noticed additional sales above your baseline since you started running the ads even if the AMS report isn't showing them yet?

Thanks Cassie. I'm just getting less than ten sales a day on all the books lately so there's no real baseline to compare to. I have noticed an increase in page reads on a couple of the books, though. Maybe 1k (total, not increase) a day sort of thing.

(https://www.mediafire.com/convkey/1fab/cradisrarapmu006g.jpg)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 16, 2017, 05:45:25 PM
My goodness, that's no time at all. I'm making a small profit, but it took at least a month to get that far.



Thanks Gertie. I'm getting a little more patient, and it's not like it's that expensive.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 16, 2017, 05:47:57 PM
How many clicks does your longest running campaign have?  Depending on what you pay per click, I'd say you only need become concerned if:

1. you have over 40 clicks with no sales showing up in your KDP dashboard.

2. it takes more than 2,000 impressions to produce a single click.

Philip

Thanks Phillip. By those standards I'm in the ball park.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 16, 2017, 05:50:15 PM
Without knowing more of your specifics, I'd hold tight on the 3-5-day campaigns and let them settle in more (minimum 7 full days). I'm surprised that an 11-day campaign doesn't have at least one sale, unless there is something preventing it (the blurb, the book price, the competitiveness of the genre, et al.). Just as a comparison, on my three campaigns, I made my first sale on Days 3 & 4. But I have inexpensive books in a relatively small genre. A lot of factors at play.

Thanks Harald. Yeah, the eleven day campaign has two sales. You guys are calming me down a bit. I'm hanging. :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 16, 2017, 06:21:37 PM
Thanks Cassie. I'm just getting less than ten sales a day on all the books lately so there's no real baseline to compare to. I have noticed an increase in page reads on a couple of the books, though. Maybe 1k (total, not increase) a day sort of thing.

(https://www.mediafire.com/convkey/1fab/cradisrarapmu006g.jpg)

Okay, so looking at what you posted I'd say you don't have enough impressions yet to form an opinion on the performance of any of those ads except the last one other than the fact that your impression:click ratio looks fine.  If you get to 20 clicks and no sales, that's where I'd shut it down.  I actually try to keep everything at 10 clicks to a sale or less.

That last one for Saving Baby something isn't working for you there.  Is that one buy for 73 clicks?  That's way too high IMO.  I'd look to see if you have a keyword that's generating most of those clicks but not resulting in sales and shut it down.

Others may have different thoughts, though, so maybe see what they say, too.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: SC on March 16, 2017, 06:58:02 PM
What's the guideline for how many clicks per impression we should be getting?

Does anyone else have experience doing AMS for short works? I had tried several different ways and didn't think my numbers were looking very good (and only one sale), but I'm not sure if I didn't let it go on for long enough or if maybe shorter stuff doesn't do as well with this.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 16, 2017, 07:21:35 PM
What's the guideline for how many clicks per impression we should be getting?

Does anyone else have experience doing AMS for short works? I had tried several different ways and didn't think my numbers were looking very good (and only one sale), but I'm not sure if I didn't let it go on for long enough or if maybe shorter stuff doesn't do as well with this.

I wouldn't do a short work again unless it was first in series. I tried three novelettes and one novella, which happened to be my most popular book. Without follow-thru sales, all three ads bombed. They were all 99c and I don't think you can make enough at that price point. Not only is the royalty only 35c, but they are too short to build up any kind of page reads.

The one that is the first of four books is doing fairly well.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 16, 2017, 08:00:35 PM
Okay, so looking at what you posted I'd say you don't have enough impressions yet to form an opinion on the performance of any of those ads except the last one other than the fact that your impression:click ratio looks fine.  If you get to 20 clicks and no sales, that's where I'd shut it down.  I actually try to keep everything at 10 clicks to a sale or less.

Agreeing with Cassie: I'd say you (Gregg) need at least 25,000 Imprs to judge anything. So wait on those books to catch up.

Quote
That last one for Saving Baby something isn't working for you there.  Is that one buy for 73 clicks?  That's way too high IMO.  I'd look to see if you have a keyword that's generating most of those clicks but not resulting in sales and shut it down.

Yeah, on Saving Baby, Gregg's Imprs:Clicks is fine (367:1), but his Clicks:Sales is not good (73:1 assuming that's 1 sale). Like Cassie says, look at the keywords. You may have 1-2 that are killing you (Gregg), in which case, Pause them (you cannot delete them) and put your focus on more promising keywords. Beyond that, you simply may not be making the Sale. Meaning, maybe the Product Page that needs tweaking (cover, blurb, etc.). Which may require fixing and restarting the campaign.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 16, 2017, 08:14:22 PM
What's the guideline for how many clicks per impression we should be getting?

This is not a guideline; just my stats on my main series-opening book:
A. 2-month campaign: 629 Imprs per Click; 11 Clicks per Sale
B. 1-week new campaign: 383 Imprs per Click; 11 Clicks per Sale

Quote
Does anyone else have experience doing AMS for short works? I had tried several different ways and didn't think my numbers were looking very good (and only one sale), but I'm not sure if I didn't let it go on for long enough or if maybe shorter stuff doesn't do as well with this.

That's what I'm doing (novella series), and it's working (for Book 1 of the series; I scrapped Book 2 ads when they were not performing as well). I'm in the black taking Reads into account for a $0.99 book (the others in the series are higher-priced).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on March 17, 2017, 04:44:32 AM
Sorry to say that I'm calling it quits with AMS. I know many of you have been reporting good results, and I'm really happy that it's been working for you. I, however, experienced disappointing results after several campaigns over the past few weeks.

Overall, I think I racked up pretty good numbers of impressions/clicks. A majority of my campaigns had 100-250 keywords focusing on other authors/titles in the books genre. Each campaign typically received tens of thousands of impressions and dozens of clicks. In terms of AD placement, I feel that I achieved decent, all-around visibility without getting crazy with bids.

Conversion to sales, however, was my downfall. It was nothing to get excited about: 20 sales for 600 total clicks. Yuck. I know there are a number of variables behind this (cover, blurb, price, genre, timing of ad, etc.), but I had expected to at least break even in terms of ROI. Instead, I lost money on all but one campaign.

(As a side note, I don't base my ROI on that pointless ACoS calculation. I calculate the total cost of a campaign against the total royalty earnings. While having total sales on the report is important, I think using it to calculate the success of a campaign is grossly misleading.)

So what happened? Were my books not enticing enough? Should I just be happy with the exposure?

No clear answers, but as far as exposure goes, I don't consider it worthwhile if I don't see a bump in sales after it's all over. I feel like the only thing I've clearly accomplished with AMS is to make Amazon a little bit richer.

Besides my disappointing results, I ran across some frustrating aspects to AMS:

1.  Report Data Lag. A two to three day lag on sales (and other) information is utterly ridiculous, particularly when sales is a key metric to gauging keyword performance. I keep thinking about a scene from the movie Black Hawk Down, when the convoy is desperately trying to exit a lethal gauntlet, but keep missing important turns because of a lag in communication with their controllers.

2.  The Mysterious AMS Performance Algorithm. Nothing like making AMS more interesting by throwing in an important variable that Amazon won't define, which can slow/stop your campaign if some shrouded performance benchmarks isn't met. Add in the reporting lag, and I wonder how anyone can stay ahead of it. As I've said before: it's like playing poker with a deck that's constantly changing.

Okay, long rant over. Thanks for bearing with me. Best of luck to those of you still in AMS. I might try it again someday, if they ever they fix those issues. I'll keep checking back on your reports.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 17, 2017, 05:31:51 AM
Sorry it hasn't worked out for you. I can't honestly say I know why it has done well for me other than increased visibility producing increased sales. My books with the worst covers have experienced the worst uptick, followed by my romance that's just a little too general for me to find a keyword separating it from the masses of other romances. Those results appear logical to me. My theory now is to emphasize my couple of first-in-series titles and hope people read everything else.

I've been surprised at how closely other people parse this ad method, checking impression counts hourly, or so it seems. In my case, I started much more cautiously than some, but now I think a bit of irrational exuberance has been sneaking in, causing me to bid higher and higher on my lead title. Does this increase profits? I don't know, but I am keeping a sharp eye on my daily costs as proven by what Amazon is billing me.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 17, 2017, 08:18:19 AM
Thanks Cassie. I'm just getting less than ten sales a day on all the books lately so there's no real baseline to compare to. I have noticed an increase in page reads on a couple of the books, though. Maybe 1k (total, not increase) a day sort of thing.

(https://www.mediafire.com/convkey/1fab/cradisrarapmu006g.jpg)

Book one:       875 imp per click  8 clicks, no Sales.   Bid cost    10c       retail     $3.99
Book two:     1122 imp per click 2 clicks no sales      Bid cost    15c       retail     $3.99
Book three:    562 imp per click  6 clicks no sales     Bid cost    12c       retail     $3.99
Book four:    1008 imp per click 5 click no sales        Bid cost    11c       retail     $3.99
Book five     367 imp per click   77 clicks 1 sale @ $1.99           12c       retail     $2.99

I can understand why you should be concerned because of Saving Baby, but even that has only been running 13 days. The others have some data, but it is too early to expect results which may or may not be in the pipeline when your dashboard updates.

You are more or less the same genre as me, so I’ll make some comparisons and observations
Book 5 saving baby

I'm not surprised this has a low number of impressions per click, having commented before that I thought your cover was spot on for the genre. So the fact that you are gaining clicks at a rapid rate is encouraging.

What is not encouraging is that 77 clicks has only produced 1 sale at a time when your book was $1.99 (now $2.99). So something is wrong. There are two things to consider here, and that is to double up on your keywords and to reduce your bids, but only after looking at 1st your ad blurb, then 2nd your book blurb, as something is preventing them from pressing the buy button.

I had a similar situation with Deadly Journey, but slightly different. My impression to click ratio was something like 2,000 to one click, and I reached 86 clicks with only 1 sale. The other difference was that my actual bid cost was 2c so I hadn't used up all my royalty from that 1 sale.

At 12c per bid cost with 2.00 royalty, you are on a hiding to nothing as it is as you need 16 -1 sales just to cover costs. I changed my cover, ad blurb, and my book blurb and took my average bid cost up from 2c to 6c by bidding 12 c and that book now has a 35.8 ACOS. Not great, but that still includes that initial poor performance as I didn’t start a new ad.

I think that I’m averaging 1700 impressions over my 5 books to one click, so you are doing better than me in that regard, but that is to be expected because my average bid cost is lower than yours, so I will be further down the pages. However at a guess, I make up with that by having more keywords.

You need to wait for more data on those first 4 ads and only start to worry if your click to buy ratio ends up worse than say 11-1 for the genre.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 17, 2017, 08:34:39 AM
If you get to 20 clicks and no sales, that's where I'd shut it down.  I actually try to keep everything at 10 clicks to a sale or less.

I also pause keywords at 10 clicks if they aren't performing. That said, I check the keywords after I've paused them because of the time lag in reporting. Sometimes there are sales that don't show immediately. Amazon really needs to fix the time lag.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 17, 2017, 08:44:00 AM
Gregg -

To add to what Declan said, I took a look at your book page. I think the root of your conversion problem is there. Especially for thrillers, your book page needs to punch the reader immediately. Quite frankly, I tuned out after two sentences. Now, I write action thrillers, which are slightly different than your sub-genre. But I'd lead the book description with something like: "What kind of a man would do that to a baby?"

Maybe that exact quote doesn't fit your book, but you get the idea. And you want to wrap h1 tags around the lead line in your description, to make it stand out. You can click on Alive From New York in my signature and the words "Praise for Edward G. Talbot" are wrapped in h1, just as an example of what it looks like. By "wrap h1 tags" I mean you type it into KDP like this:

Quote
<h1>What kind of a man would do that to a baby?</h1>

Some other things related to book descriptions:
-my conversion rate has improved a bit since I started leading with the three reviews/quotes about my book. Then I put my hook next (I actually have two lines to my hook and I wrap it in an h2 tag instead of h1 to get it the way it looks). Only after that do I put actual description.

-Try for two lines per paragraph in your description -no more than three.

-Do a call to action at the end (e.g. "Pick up the thrills today!")

-Your book page has one purpose (other than possibly targeting mailing list signups which is a different issue) - get someone to buy. It is not a synopsis. Certainly every sentence and probably every single word needs to be crafted with that goal. There are two sentences in particular that I would either remove or replace:
1. "She tells her father but he thinks she’s exaggerating." I'd just remove this. It's not going to hook anyone. Unless there's something with her father possibly being in on it, in which case that's what you should focus on.

2."The next day she discovers something that makes her skin crawl." This is too vague. I know you don't want to give anything away, but you need to figure out a way to say this which makes it more compelling. Since I don't know what it is, I can't really tell you how. But play around with it.

I hope this helps.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 17, 2017, 08:47:24 AM
All of my romances and women's fiction are competing with books at 99 cents. I'm not going there. I think position is more important than price with these ads at first. I have to let people know the books exist. Once the books catch readers' attention, then, if they're interested, they look at the price. Since my romances are the usual $2.99, if price is a barrier, they can read the books in KU instead, which is free. I frankly do not want to attract a large readership of people who only are willing to pay 99 cents for a 50k novel.

The thing is, I've bought a lot of 99-cent novels from Amazon and even more that were free, and I haven't read more than a few of them. I'm much more likely to read a book I pay more for. And as an author, I want readers to commit to reading my stories, not grab them up because they're super cheap and then ignore them. 

 

It's been my experience that people who look for free books are rarely willing to pay full price for a book that's $3.99 or $4.99, so it  made sense to me when I was picking my keywords to look for trad books that were in my genre and would make my books look like a bargain. Those keywords have been the most successful.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 17, 2017, 09:02:03 AM
I also pause keywords at 10 clicks if they aren't performing. That said, I check the keywords after I've paused them because of the time lag in reporting. Sometimes there are sales that don't show immediately. Amazon really needs to fix the time lag.

I shouldn't be saying this as really you could be competion and you cancelling your keyword on those terms could improve my placement, but then that would be tight of me.

A lot depends on you bid cost and if it has any ACOs on previous clicks. I personally wouldn't cancel because I don't need to at 10 clicks, because it will have only cost me around 60c.


Saying thit I might cancel but only after checking a few things. If the keyword were a title, it could be that when I seach that tiite, there were a  number of books with that title and my ad was landing an a book where there wasn't a match and not the book I had intended. That has happened.

If it's an author name, again you could find that you are not getting onto the books he writes in your genre, but a book of his where they have gone outside their grenre and so  doesn't match your story. Again, that has happened.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 17, 2017, 09:41:06 AM
Gregg - To add to what Declan said, I took a look at your book page. I think the root of your conversion problem is there. Especially for thrillers, your book page needs to punch the reader immediately. Quite frankly, I tuned out after two sentences. Now, I write action thrillers, which are slightly different than your sub-genre. But I'd lead the book description with something like: "What kind of a man would do that to a baby?

Agree with edward here. Make good use of the HTML tags you're allowed in the Book Description (and in the Edit Reviews sections). Edward uses H1 tags. I use the Bold tags ("b"). Or use both. A very easy fix in the first graph of Saving Baby is to bold the line: But something's not right. There's your tension. You need tension as close to the top of the blurb as possible. For me in Book 1 in my series, I start of with: It's September, 1609, and two worlds are about to collide. You gotta suck in readers from the get-go.

Just a suggestion.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jake Parent on March 17, 2017, 09:45:14 AM
It seems like everyone is talking about Sponsored Product ads. Is there a reason no one seems to be doing product display ads?

Generally, search ads are more effective because the person is already trying to find something similar to the product/book you are trying to sell. That's what the genius of Google was (and still where the majority of their revenue comes from).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 17, 2017, 09:46:59 AM
What's the guideline for how many clicks per impression we should be getting?

Does anyone else have experience doing AMS for short works? I had tried several different ways and didn't think my numbers were looking very good (and only one sale), but I'm not sure if I didn't let it go on for long enough or if maybe shorter stuff doesn't do as well with this.

I haven't, but I'm about to put Lunch Break Thrillers in there, which is a collection of 12 shorts @ 65,000 words $2.99 retail.  All my bids will be 3c, so I'm not expecting much,

Not sure if my cover will get past scrutiny, but if not I have an old cover that I can use. If it only enourages page reads, I'll be happy.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 17, 2017, 09:54:07 AM
Sorry to say that I'm calling it quits with AMS. [...] (As a side note, I don't base my ROI on that pointless ACoS calculation. I calculate the total cost of a campaign against the total royalty earnings. While having total sales on the report is important, I think using it to calculate the success of a campaign is grossly misleading.)

Sorry about your results, Accord64, and don't want to rub salt in wound here, but I gotta disagree with the comment above (or maybe I'm not reading it right). The ACoS column does exactly what you're talking about. Just by looking at the campaign's ACoS number, you can see in an instant if you're making or losing money in terms of "bare ROI" (not including Reads, sales bumps, organic visibility, etc.). What's misleading?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 17, 2017, 10:31:02 AM
I do use ACOS as a quick measure but just a slight quibble with it being 100% useful.  If you're selling paperbacks, too, which I do on most of my titles, it's misleading because it uses the list price of the paperback ($16.95 for my fantasy novels) in those calculations (versus the $4.25 I think it is that I make per sale).  So I have to keep that in mind when looking at ACOS since a 70% ACOS that includes paperback sales means I'm losing money.  Not an issue for people with ebooks only and who don't move between the 35% and 70% payout levels ever.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on March 17, 2017, 11:50:59 AM
Just by looking at the campaign's ACoS number, you can see in an instant if you're making or losing money in terms of "bare ROI" (not including Reads, sales bumps, organic visibility, etc.). What's misleading?

If I sold one eBook at $3.99, and spent $3.99 in total clicks for that keyword, on the surface it seems like I broke even. Not so. My real earnings on the sale is actually $2.79 (70% royalty), so I actually lost $1.20. This disparity is much larger for print book sales. This is why I think ACoS is misleading. I think the AMS report needs to compare your real earnings against total spend on each keyword.

As mentioned before, KU reads aren't on the report, probably because there's no way AMS could calculate a value until KU determines the per page payout. However, I could see total page reads that each keyword generated being worthwhile information. But I'm not in KU, so I'm not trying to figure out how calculate that into my real earnings. 

Sales bumps, organic visibility, etc., are subjective, and not what I was talking about. I was only speaking in context of how AMS was trying to make ACoS a performance metric.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: lincolnjcole on March 17, 2017, 12:35:47 PM
I also pause keywords at 10 clicks if they aren't performing. That said, I check the keywords after I've paused them because of the time lag in reporting. Sometimes there are sales that don't show immediately. Amazon really needs to fix the time lag.

Yeah when they go poorly i pause and just reevaluate
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Douglas Milewski on March 17, 2017, 12:36:35 PM
My current ad (for a $0.99 first in series title) is at 21,000 impressions, 18 clicks, 3 sales. Of that, my best keyword is 4900 impressions, 7 clicks, 2 sales. My second best is 3300, 4 clicks, 1 sale. None of the other keywords have sold yet. At this point, I paid $3.46 for $2.70 in return. I'll only turn positive if I hit a third book sale in the series, or if one of my collections sell.

As I'm not a big seller, I prefer running with fewer keywords that hit my preferred audience. My current tactic is to target the name of specific authors. I'm looking to match my work to a specific audience. 10,000 impressions produced half my clicks and no sales, so I'll be trimming down those keywords.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 17, 2017, 01:16:31 PM
I shouldn't be saying this as really you could be competion and you cancelling your keyword on those terms could improve my placement, but then that would be tight of me.

A lot depends on you bid cost and if it has any ACOs on previous clicks. I personally wouldn't cancel because I don't need to at 10 clicks, because it will have only cost me around 60c.


Saying thit I might cancel but only after checking a few things. If the keyword were a title, it could be that when I seach that tiite, there were a  number of books with that title and my ad was landing an a book where there wasn't a match and not the book I had intended. That has happened.

If it's an author name, again you could find that you are not getting onto the books he writes in your genre, but a book of his where they have gone outside their grenre and so  doesn't match your story. Again, that has happened.

Thanks, Decon. You've made good points, especially using author keywords that go to books outside my genre. I don't write in your genre, so we're not in competition. I look at the bid cost. If I've reached my profit on the book or close to it without selling any books and have 10 or more clicks, I pause the keyword.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 17, 2017, 01:18:17 PM
I do use ACOS as a quick measure but just a slight quibble with it being 100% useful.  If you're selling paperbacks, too, which I do on most of my titles, it's misleading because it uses the list price of the paperback ($16.95 for my fantasy novels) in those calculations (versus the $4.25 I think it is that I make per sale).  So I have to keep that in mind when looking at ACOS since a 70% ACOS that includes paperback sales means I'm losing money.  Not an issue for people with ebooks only and who don't move between the 35% and 70% payout levels ever.

Good point, Cassie. Yes, I'm only talking about ebooks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 17, 2017, 01:24:42 PM
If I sold one eBook at $3.99, and spent $3.99 in total clicks for that keyword, on the surface it seems like I broke even. Not so. My real earnings on the sale is actually $2.79 (70% royalty), so I actually lost $1.20. This disparity is much larger for print book sales. This is why I think ACoS is misleading. I think the AMS report needs to compare your real earnings against total spend on each keyword. ...

But that's what the ACoS column does (or pretty close; it's based on the gross sale -- "order" in Amazon terms -- and doesn't include, I think, any file handling fees). It's the Spend divided by the Sales given as a percentage, either overall or per keyword. So, talking about ebooks only, I don't think it's misleading. It's not perfect, but it's close (for me).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 17, 2017, 02:33:21 PM
I'll soon find out if short story compilations/anthologies work if they accept my cover which has a gun, but it's not pointed at anyone.

Only bidding 3 cents though. The odd paper book sale or page reads would be the best I could hope for, though I going for generic keywords with this one that are in "short" supply and reated only to short story meta data.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 17, 2017, 02:38:17 PM
Okay, so looking at what you posted I'd say you don't have enough impressions yet to form an opinion on the performance of any of those ads except the last one other than the fact that your impression:click ratio looks fine.  If you get to 20 clicks and no sales, that's where I'd shut it down.  I actually try to keep everything at 10 clicks to a sale or less.

That last one for Saving Baby something isn't working for you there.  Is that one buy for 73 clicks?  That's way too high IMO.  I'd look to see if you have a keyword that's generating most of those clicks but not resulting in sales and shut it down.

Others may have different thoughts, though, so maybe see what they say, too.

Thanks Cassie. My results were a little skewed because I had one bid at $2 instead of the intended .20 and I got six clicks at .56/click. And it was actually two sales at .99 each, not one. But yeah, I'm going to let things run a bit. The most clicks I got on a keyword was 16 and at .11/click that came to 1.76. I don't know with all the impressions (4000) maybe it's best to let it run, don't you think?

And I've been seeing a few more sales on KDP. Is that what you guys mean about the delay? The sales show up on KDP and only days later on AMS?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 17, 2017, 02:41:54 PM
I'll soon find out if short story compilations/anthologies work if they accept my cover which has a gun, but it's not pointed at anyone. (Oh, dear, make that three guns, with one on a suitcase and the other a rifle pointed at the reader) I hope they don't look too close.

 $2.99 retail. Lunch Break Thrillers.

Here's the ad copy.

12 not so short suspense stories in the thriller sub genres that make a full length book.
All crafted to make you ponder long after the story ends.

 

Only bidding 3 cents though. The odd paper book sale or page reads would be the best I could hope for, though I am going for generic keywords with this one that are in "short" supply and related only to short story meta data.

Your thoughts on keywords appreciated. I'm down to 7 at the moment lol.

Fiction short stories

Short fiction

short story anthology

Anthology

Short story books

Story book

Short thriller stories


Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 17, 2017, 02:43:45 PM
Agreeing with Cassie: I'd say you (Gregg) need at least 25,000 Imprs to judge anything. So wait on those books to catch up.

Yeah, on Saving Baby, Gregg's Imprs:Clicks is fine (367:1), but his Clicks:Sales is not good (73:1 assuming that's 1 sale). Like Cassie says, look at the keywords. You may have 1-2 that are killing you (Gregg), in which case, Pause them (you cannot delete them) and put your focus on more promising keywords. Beyond that, you simply may not be making the Sale. Meaning, maybe the Product Page that needs tweaking (cover, blurb, etc.). Which may require fixing and restarting the campaign.

Thanks Harald. It was actually two sales, though. And how do I evaluate 'more promising keywords'? I mean, to me (since I'm getting so few sales) the more promising keywords are the ones getting the clicks. And yeah, I'm going to take a look at the Product pages.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Alex Owens on March 17, 2017, 03:05:15 PM
I just wanted to chime in with my experience with AMS so far. I started one campaign for a first-in-series book on 3/10, and a second campaign two days later. (same book, different ad text and slightly different key words)

I've had a total of around 67000 impressions, with only 100 clicks... No sales according to the AMS dashboard.

BUT... I've had enough KU page reads (on the book in question and the next book in the series) that as of today, I've at least covered my expenses so far. Total spent to date is around $20, spread over two campaigns. Even if I lose a few bucks, it's been worth it so far because that book has gone from high 100's down to 20's in the overall store. This is important for a few reasons... One, I'm going to try for a BookBub shortly, and the lower ranking might help with that. Two, I'll be putting the third book in the series up in the next week or so for pre-order, and the lower ranking might help push sales to that one as well.

The way I see it, I'm paying for visibility right now and the page reads are a bonus.  I should also point out that I *think* I know why I'm getting all KU reads and no sales. I can see that this book is priced $1 - 2 higher than all of the books showing in the Also Boughts and all of the books showing in the ads right below that.  I intend to lower the price on the book to better fit the market, I just don't want to do it before I apply to Bookbub.

Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone for sharing on this thread... without the information posted here I'd probably be loosing my *ss instead of breaking even :-)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 17, 2017, 03:18:29 PM
Book one:       875 imp per click  8 clicks, no Sales.   Bid cost    10c       retail     $3.99
Book two:     1122 imp per click 2 clicks no sales      Bid cost    15c       retail     $3.99
Book three:    562 imp per click  6 clicks no sales     Bid cost    12c       retail     $3.99
Book four:    1008 imp per click 5 click no sales        Bid cost    11c       retail     $3.99
Book five     367 imp per click   77 clicks 1 sale @ $1.99           12c       retail     $2.99

I can understand why you should be concerned because of Saving Baby, but even that has only been running 13 days. The others have some data, but it is too early to expect results which may or may not be in the pipeline when your dashboard updates.

You are more or less the same genre as me, so I’ll make some comparisons and observations
Book 5 saving baby

I'm not surprised this has a low number of impressions per click, having commented before that I thought your cover was spot on for the genre. So the fact that you are gaining clicks at a rapid rate is encouraging.

What is not encouraging is that 77 clicks has only produced 1 sale at a time when your book was $1.99 (now $2.99). So something is wrong. There are two things to consider here, and that is to double up on your keywords and to reduce your bids, but only after looking at 1st your ad blurb, then 2nd your book blurb, as something is preventing them from pressing the buy button.

I had a similar situation with Deadly Journey, but slightly different. My impression to click ratio was something like 2,000 to one click, and I reached 86 clicks with only 1 sale. The other difference was that my actual bid cost was 2c so I hadn't used up all my royalty from that 1 sale.

At 12c per bid cost with 2.00 royalty, you are on a hiding to nothing as it is as you need 16 -1 sales just to cover costs. I changed my cover, ad blurb, and my book blurb and took my average bid cost up from 2c to 6c by bidding 12 c and that book now has a 35.8 ACOS. Not great, but that still includes that initial poor performance as I didn’t start a new ad.

I think that I’m averaging 1700 impressions over my 5 books to one click, so you are doing better than me in that regard, but that is to be expected because my average bid cost is lower than yours, so I will be further down the pages. However at a guess, I make up with that by having more keywords.

You need to wait for more data on those first 4 ads and only start to worry if your click to buy ratio ends up worse than say 11-1 for the genre.


Thanks a lot, Decon. I'll be patient. In the meantime, I think I can definitely increase and improve the selection of my keywords. And I am always increasing my bids because I figure if I'm not meeting the daily budget why not attempt to get more action (with the higher bids)? I would say most of my bids are in the .15->.20 range. Is this not good thinking?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 17, 2017, 03:37:25 PM
Gregg -

To add to what Declan said, I took a look at your book page. I think the root of your conversion problem is there. Especially for thrillers, your book page needs to punch the reader immediately. Quite frankly, I tuned out after two sentences. Now, I write action thrillers, which are slightly different than your sub-genre. But I'd lead the book description with something like: "What kind of a man would do that to a baby?"

Maybe that exact quote doesn't fit your book, but you get the idea. And you want to wrap h1 tags around the lead line in your description, to make it stand out. You can click on Alive From New York in my signature and the words "Praise for Edward G. Talbot" are wrapped in h1, just as an example of what it looks like. By "wrap h1 tags" I mean you type it into KDP like this:

Some other things related to book descriptions:
-my conversion rate has improved a bit since I started leading with the three reviews/quotes about my book. Then I put my hook next (I actually have two lines to my hook and I wrap it in an h2 tag instead of h1 to get it the way it looks). Only after that do I put actual description.

-Try for two lines per paragraph in your description -no more than three.

-Do a call to action at the end (e.g. "Pick up the thrills today!")

-Your book page has one purpose (other than possibly targeting mailing list signups which is a different issue) - get someone to buy. It is not a synopsis. Certainly every sentence and probably every single word needs to be crafted with that goal. There are two sentences in particular that I would either remove or replace:
1. "She tells her father but he thinks she’s exaggerating." I'd just remove this. It's not going to hook anyone. Unless there's something with her father possibly being in on it, in which case that's what you should focus on.

2."The next day she discovers something that makes her skin crawl." This is too vague. I know you don't want to give anything away, but you need to figure out a way to say this which makes it more compelling. Since I don't know what it is, I can't really tell you how. But play around with it.

I hope this helps.

Thanks Edward. And thanks for taking the time to look some of my stuff over. I appreciate it. I agree with you. My stuff definitely needs tweaking. It's not as high-concept thrilling as yours so I'm not sure <h1> tags are in order but still it can be amped up for sure.  And pruned.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 17, 2017, 03:47:26 PM
Agree with edward here. Make good use of the HTML tags you're allowed in the Book Description (and in the Edit Reviews sections). Edward uses H1 tags. I use the Bold tags ("b"). Or use both. A very easy fix in the first graph of Saving Baby is to bold the line: But something's not right. There's your tension. You need tension as close to the top of the blurb as possible. For me in Book 1 in my series, I start of with: It's September, 1609, and two worlds are about to collide. You gotta suck in readers from the get-go.

Just a suggestion.

Thanks a lot, Harald. I'm going to look over all my product pages. And I like the embolding suggestion you made. :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 17, 2017, 03:54:35 PM
Question: One of my books has most of its impressions and clicks in two title/keywords. However when I go to the carousel for those two titles my ad/book is in neither title's carousels. Which to me doesn't make sense because how am I getting clicks if I'm not in the carousels?

And one more question: Doesn't it take a lot to change a campaign? Having to redo all the keywords, re-set the bids etc. (I've been thinking of changing some of my campaigns to re-do the ad blurbs.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 17, 2017, 04:28:35 PM
...
And one more question: Doesn't it take a lot to change a campaign? Having to redo all the keywords, re-set the bids etc. (I've been thinking of changing some of my campaigns to re-do the ad blurbs.)

Just hit the blue "Copy" link at far right of the AMS Campaigns dashboard. All your keywords will still be there. Then you can change your ad blurb (+ campaign name, daily budget, etc.).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BVLawson on March 17, 2017, 04:59:40 PM
I didn't see where anyone else had posted this yet, but Mark Dawson's latest podcast masterclass is about AMS ads:

https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-56/ (https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-56/)

One this he does which is interesting is have lots of ads on the same book. And he said if he has a $100 daily budget, he might spend it on 100 different $1 ads, with different keywords. But there are other tidbits in there that may be useful to some. I'm still looking for the holy grail ...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 17, 2017, 05:10:47 PM
Question: One of my books has most of its impressions and clicks in two title/keywords. However when I go to the carousel for those two titles my ad/book is in neither title's carousels. Which to me doesn't make sense because how am I getting clicks if I'm not in the carousels?

And one more question: Doesn't it take a lot to change a campaign? Having to redo all the keywords, re-set the bids etc. (I've been thinking of changing some of my campaigns to re-do the ad blurbs.)

You have to start a whole new campaign in order to change the ad copy. But, as Harald said, you can download the keywords from your original campaign and copy & paste only those keywords you want to carry over.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cherise on March 17, 2017, 07:42:31 PM
No, I mean don't waste much time checking the positioning of your keyword ads. I might see your ad on page 4 of the carousel and you might see it on page 1. Amazon uses its algorithms to determine how to display ads. So making a decision based on where you see it would be mostly folly.



I'm convinced the auction restarts each time someone clicks to the next screen of the carousel or brings up a particular book's page. In other words, I do not think an ad's position is set. I think there is a new auction each time the page is loaded.

If I'm right, then it is indeed folly to look for one's ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 17, 2017, 09:00:45 PM


I'm convinced the auction restarts each time someone clicks to the next screen of the carousel or brings up a particular book's page. In other words, I do not think an ad's position is set. I think there is a new auction each time the page is loaded.

If I'm right, then it is indeed folly to look for one's ads.

But what if the page I come to has no carousel? Lots of times, I use a keyword and when it brings up a page, there are titles by numerous authors, and the last two to four are sponsored ads and there is no carousel. I want to be on that page; the only way to see if I am is to put that keyword into Amazon's search box. The reason to look is that I don't need to bid higher for that keyword if I am already on page one.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 18, 2017, 05:38:26 AM
I'll soon find out if short story compilations/anthologies work if they accept my cover which has a gun, but it's not pointed at anyone. (Oh, dear, make that three guns, with one on a suitcase and the other a rifle pointed at the reader) I hope they don't look too close.

 $2.99 retail. Lunch Break Thrillers.

Here's the ad copy.

12 not so short suspense stories in the thriller sub genres that make a full length book.
All crafted to make you ponder long after the story ends.

 

Only bidding 3 cents though. The odd paper book sale or page reads would be the best I could hope for, though I am going for generic keywords with this one that are in "short" supply and related only to short story meta data.

Your thoughts on keywords appreciated. I'm down to 7 at the moment lol.

Fiction short stories

Short fiction

short story anthology

Anthology

Short story books

Story book

Short thriller stories

Short story collection

Whoopee. Can't believe they accepted the cover. Still, not complaining, My compilation of shorts is now up and running with a massive total of 1 impression. I need to get to work on more keywords.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 18, 2017, 08:15:06 AM
Whoopee. Can't believe they accepted the cover. Still, not complaining, My compilation of shorts is now up and running with a massive total of 1 impression. I need to get to work on more keywords.

Congrats, Decon! Looks intriguing.

Just checked out your book detail page -- may I make a suggestion? OK :)...
-- Blurb has too much gray text. Would be improved with some bolds (or H1s) for emphasis. At least the first line and then maybe each title. See up this thread about doing that from edward and me.
-- Your first line in the blurb is not grabbing me. In fact, the second part contradicts the first. (Are they short stories or not?) My suggestion to add a little more punch there:
Lunch Break Thrillers. Twelve short stories. Time is precious!

Good luck with it and keep us up to date on AMS ads!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 18, 2017, 08:19:54 AM
I didn't see where anyone else had posted this yet, but Mark Dawson's latest podcast masterclass is about AMS ads:

https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-56/ (https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-56/)

One this he does which is interesting is have lots of ads on the same book. And he said if he has a $100 daily budget, he might spend it on 100 different $1 ads, with different keywords. But there are other tidbits in there that may be useful to some. I'm still looking for the holy grail ...

That was interesting to learn, but of course the fact that he's going to cover AMS in his newest course releasing in four days mean AMS ads in general are going to get even more flooded than they are now.  I miss those few months when everyone still thought AMS ads sucked but they were working well for me...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 18, 2017, 08:53:19 AM
I wouldn't worry about it too much. What he suggests--100 ads with a low daily spend of (I think he said $1), and different blurbs and keywords, is extremely labor intensive. Not very many people want to take as much time as it does to track down, for instance, all the authors listed in your also boughts and then all the authors listed in theirs, and so on. Even using Google Adwords, as he suggests to get category ideas, is really not going to get you much. Readers are nowhere near as creative as we think when they key in a search term.

He's also using much higher bids--admittedly, watching them like a hawk, but still--and most other authors will not be able to sustain a 75 cents or $1 bid-per-keyword situation long enough to make heads or tails of the AMS ROI. You can't sustain those bids with a mere $1 daily spend budget, so you have to have a much higher budget, the cost of which will add up scarily fast.

Mark has said he's been unable to get much scaling up on these ads, which is exactly what we have experienced. He hints Amazon is working with him to improve matters, but for now we're all in the same boat. He's shed some light on the Product Placement ads, which is welcome. Good reasons to stay away from them. I appreciate that he shares so widely.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: WriterSongwriter on March 18, 2017, 09:20:06 AM
@Decon your Lunch Break Thrillers show me this message: This title is not currently available for purchase. Am I the only one getting this message?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 18, 2017, 09:49:14 AM
Congrats, Decon! Looks intriguing.

Just checked out your book detail page -- may I make a suggestion? OK :)...
-- Blurb has too much gray text. Would be improved with some bolds (or H1s) for emphasis. At least the first line and then maybe each title. See up this thread about doing that from edward and me.
-- Your first line in the blurb is not grabbing me. In fact, the second part contradicts the first. (Are they short stories or not?) My suggestion to add a little more punch there:
Lunch Break Thrillers. Twelve short stories. Time is precious!

Good luck with it and keep us up to date on AMS ads!

Thanks, I've added some bold. Just have to wait for it to come through to the book page
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 18, 2017, 09:57:36 AM
@Decon your Lunch Break Thrillers show me this message: This title is not currently available for purchase. Am I the only one getting this message?

If you are from the UK and it's four territories then it won't display for sale, only the print book by clicking on the link in my signature.

I have a UK version using UK spellings etc and it has the same title for searches but a different assin. Even I can't view it unless I use a browser that doesn't know who I am because I am in Brazil.

Sponsored ads don't cover UK books. It's one of two I need to address as all my books used to have 2 versions, but no more. I didn't change it because at one time it was very highly ranked in the UK, Alas, no more.

Edited: Made a mess of the bold in the blurb. Now I'll have to wait for it to be live on my dashboard to rectify. I've copied the Create Space HTML which is fine,
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 18, 2017, 10:58:21 AM
... Edited: Made a mess of the bold in the blurb. Now I'll have to wait for it to be live on my dashboard to rectify....,

Product Descriptions can be quickly edited in Author Central > Books. In my experience, it only takes an hour or less for changes to be live.

Decon, I'm looking at yours now, and looks like you just need a closing Bold tag to get rid of all that bolding. It's the same as the opening tag with with a slash in front of the "b".
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 18, 2017, 11:28:06 AM
Just hit the blue "Copy" link at far right of the AMS Campaigns dashboard. All your keywords will still be there. Then you can change your ad blurb (+ campaign name, daily budget, etc.).

Ah, thanks, Harald. Very good to know. But wouldn't it be best, in order to take advantage of the AMS $100 clicks credit, to create any new campaigns before the March 31st deadline expires?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 18, 2017, 12:23:13 PM
You have to start a whole new campaign in order to change the ad copy. But, as Harald said, you can download the keywords from your original campaign and copy & paste only those keywords you want to carry over.


Thanks Gertie
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 18, 2017, 12:27:13 PM
Product Descriptions can be quickly edited in Author Central > Books. In my experience, it only takes an hour or less for changes to be live.

Yes, but I've heard that if you make a price change or keyword or content change in KDP the product description will default to whatever is in KDP, not what's in Author Central. Anybody know if this is true or not?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 18, 2017, 12:48:57 PM
Yes, but I've heard that if you make a price change or keyword or content change in KDP the product description will default to whatever is in KDP, not what's in Author Central. Anybody know if this is true or not?

Correct. That's why you need to keep a copy of your updated text(s) on hand and make whatever changes are needed.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 18, 2017, 01:00:59 PM
Ah, thanks, Harald. Very good to know. But wouldn't it be best, in order to take advantage of the AMS $100 clicks credit, to create any new campaigns before the March 31st deadline expires?

IF you can get the credit. I opened three campaigns within the time frame and I'm in Select, but they told me I'm not eligible. Apparently, the credit is only available to "certain" authors.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: StephenBrennan on March 18, 2017, 01:31:45 PM
I just wanted to chime in with my experience with AMS so far. I started one campaign for a first-in-series book on 3/10, and a second campaign two days later. (same book, different ad text and slightly different key words)

I've had a total of around 67000 impressions, with only 100 clicks... No sales according to the AMS dashboard.

BUT... I've had enough KU page reads (on the book in question and the next book in the series) that as of today, I've at least covered my expenses so far. Total spent to date is around $20, spread over two campaigns. Even if I lose a few bucks, it's been worth it so far because that book has gone from high 100's down to 20's in the overall store. This is important for a few reasons... One, I'm going to try for a BookBub shortly, and the lower ranking might help with that. Two, I'll be putting the third book in the series up in the next week or so for pre-order, and the lower ranking might help push sales to that one as well.

The way I see it, I'm paying for visibility right now and the page reads are a bonus.  I should also point out that I *think* I know why I'm getting all KU reads and no sales. I can see that this book is priced $1 - 2 higher than all of the books showing in the Also Boughts and all of the books showing in the ads right below that.  I intend to lower the price on the book to better fit the market, I just don't want to do it before I apply to Bookbub.

Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone for sharing on this thread... without the information posted here I'd probably be loosing my *ss instead of breaking even :-)

I have to ask, how wide did you have to go on keywords to get 67,000 impressions? I started my campaign 2 days before you did, and as of today I only have about 16,000 impressions with 16 clicks.

I know that's a good conversion rate, and I spent a fair bit of time targeting to get that effect, but I'm not really getting enough volume to consider this a success.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Alex Owens on March 18, 2017, 02:30:57 PM
I have to ask, how wide did you have to go on keywords to get 67,000 impressions? I started my campaign 2 days before you did, and as of today I only have about 16,000 impressions with 16 clicks.

I know that's a good conversion rate, and I spent a fair bit of time targeting to get that effect, but I'm not really getting enough volume to consider this a success.

In case it matters, my data is split between two campaigns, with one being two days newer than the other. Even so, the numbers seem consistent between the two. The newer campaign is seeing about 1/2 -2/3 of the impressions and clicks that the first campaign has.

Ad #1 has 72 keywords that I started with. I've turned off a bunch of under-performing ones though.
Ad #2 has 65 keywords, with a bunch also turned off.

I tried to drill-down my keywords to a concise set, but weirdly enough about half of my good keywords are very generic. I'd say about half of my clicks & impressions have come through words that the Zon suggested initially, like "Fiction" or "Vampires". I haven't found much luck targeting specific book titles in keywords, series titles are only marginally better. The author's names (of similar, better selling books) seem to be working far better for me.

As an example, Ad#1 has netted me over 8k impressions on the word "fiction" with with 22 clicks. That roughly 1 click for every 364 impressions. Also for this ad, an authors name with a very similar series as mine has received over 7k impressions and 10 clicks. That's 1 click for every 700 impressions. So not as "impressive" as the fiction click rate, but I can't turn that many viewers down in the niche I want to be in.

I "paused" keywords that were getting little to no impressions with no clicks, figuring that having them compete for my daily budget could potentially be holding back other, more profitable keywords.

I'll admit, I'm figuring this out on the fly though. If I see that a keyword is getting clicks, especially at a lower ratio than others, I'll increase the bid price to help boost it. If I see that a "good" keyword has an average CPC that is very close to my max bid, I'll increase my bid as well. I seem to be noticing that keywords that are performing well for me are typically showing an average CPC about 10-cents lower than my max bid. So if I see one getting a good click ratio but not much traffic, I up the bid to roughly 10-cents more than the avg. CPC and they seem to start performing even better. Does that make sense?

Overall, I have keywords with a max bit of $0.10 at the low end, all the way up to one or two with a $0.45 bid. (Those are much more competitive, but performing well for me.)

I am spending way too much time fiddling with bids and keywords than I probably should be. I'm trying to remind myself that if I change too many things at once, I won't be able to tell which of those changes caused things to go worse, or better.  :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 19, 2017, 08:33:33 AM
I have to ask, how wide did you have to go on keywords to get 67,000 impressions? I started my campaign 2 days before you did, and as of today I only have about 16,000 impressions with 16 clicks.

I know that's a good conversion rate, and I spent a fair bit of time targeting to get that effect, but I'm not really getting enough volume to consider this a success.

16 clicks from those impressions is great. You obviously have your keywords targeted at exactly the right readers of your type of books.

Clicks are far more important than the quantity of impressions. It's too early to tell if any of those will convert to sales, but if those sort of figures continue, I would expect sales and page reads to follow given time.

I'd leave it for a week to see if your impressions pick up, if not add more target keywords like the ones you have already used.

On a side note, I have one running 1 day, and I only have 169 impressions, but then I only have 30 keywords so far and it's an anthology, so I'd say you are off to a good start.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 19, 2017, 09:08:06 AM
I didn't see where anyone else had posted this yet, but Mark Dawson's latest podcast masterclass is about AMS ads:

https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-56/ (https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-56/)

One this he does which is interesting is have lots of ads on the same book. And he said if he has a $100 daily budget, he might spend it on 100 different $1 ads, with different keywords. But there are other tidbits in there that may be useful to some. I'm still looking for the holy grail ...

There was good info in this, BV. Thanks for posting it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 19, 2017, 09:21:55 AM
Correct. That's why you need to keep a copy of your updated text(s) on hand and make whatever changes are needed.

Thanks Harald. I just noticed that the changes I made to the description in KDP are in Author Central. Hmm. So you're saying make the description changes in Author Central, copy the description. Then when I make changes in KDP (price or whatever) paste the copy into KDP, right?

Update: I just got my Author Central description perfect in the "Edit HTML" but when I went to the Preview feature it took a bunch of the HTML out (eg: the <p> tags etc.) I know p tags supposedly don't work but they work great in KDP. I guess they don't work in Author Central.

Update #2 From Author Central:

Quote
To keep reviews simple, we allow only limited formatting. If you paste your review from a word processor, you might receive a message about invalid HTML tags. Instead, try pasting from a plain text editor, such as Notepad. Or click the "edit HTML" tab to trim out everything except the basic formatting tags for italics (<em> or <i>), bold (<b> or < strong >), line breaks (<br>), and lists (<ul> or <ol> and <li>).

So H1 tags won't work in Author Central, so if you want to use them you have to use KDP.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 19, 2017, 09:37:39 AM
IF you can get the credit. I opened three campaigns within the time frame and I'm in Select, but they told me I'm not eligible. Apparently, the credit is only available to "certain" authors.



Yeah, it's very confusing.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 19, 2017, 09:49:40 AM
Ok, I amped up my product display pages. Next up I'd like to re-do the blurbs on my AMS ads. So (thanks for all the great suggestions) I can copy the keywords from one ad campaign to another but

1) Can I keep both campaigns open with the same keywords (and just change bid prices)?

2) If I do that, will the campaign with the higher bids be the one that's chosen for display?

What I'm thinking is since the current campaigns were opened in March and the $100 credit registration ends March 31st that if I close the current campaigns what I've spent there won't go toward the $100 credit.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 19, 2017, 10:34:32 AM
Not sure what h1 tags are. This is an example of what I use for bold and para spacing both for KDP and Create Space. If you click on Lunch Break Thrillers in my signature (.com only) you will see how it turns out. The only other thing I would use would be <i>textgoes here</i> for italics

Note: where I haven't closed the para with </p> after the bolded sub titles, it's because they are short story titles and I wanted the blurb for that story to continue as one para, then I close it.

<p><b> Lunch Break Thrillers - Twelve not so short stories.</b></p><p> Lunch Break Thrillers is a gripping mix of suspense, mystery, disaster and murder, all interlaced with memorable characters.</p><p> Designed to intrigue and satisfy, these tales will leave you with something to ponder, long after they fade into the dark corners of your mind. </p> <p><b>The Mystery of the Crimson Robe.</b> Rookie LAPD Homicide Detective, Nancy Roberts, has a strange encounter with a figure in a crimson robe. Ridiculed by her colleagues, she has more to contend with than a silk colored garment. A story of overcoming self-doubt. </p> <p><b>Hide and Seek.</b>  Carl didn't believe in ghosts. Unless you want to count the Holy one? All that is about to change. </p>
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 19, 2017, 10:58:28 AM
Thanks Harald. I just noticed that the changes I made to the description in KDP are in Author Central. Hmm. So you're saying make the description changes in Author Central, copy the description. Then when I make changes in KDP (price or whatever) paste the copy into KDP, right? ...

Yes. Changes work in one direction but not the other. Early on, I was tweaking the book blurbs in Author Central and not realizing that the KDP blurbs remained unchanged. So if I changed price or something, the original KDP blurb was back. Now, I just do all my text wording and rewording in a separate doc and then just copy/paste into KDP as needed.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 19, 2017, 11:08:34 AM
Not sure what h1 tags are. This is an example of what I use for bold and para spacing both for KDP and Create Space. If you click on Lunch Break Thrillers in my signature (.com only) you will see how it turns out. The only other thing I would use would be <i>textgoes here</i> for italics ...

Much better! Only comment I have is that your paragraph breaks push a lot of the text below the "Read more" line, which is what people will see first without expanding the blurb. What I do is remove that first graph break after the first bold line so more text is visible in one glance. The difference in text styling (bold > regular) is enough of a visual break (for me). [you can click my "1609" book in my sig to see this]
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 19, 2017, 11:38:45 AM
Not sure what h1 tags are.

<H1></H1> Tag used to indicated Heading 1. It's how people get the REALLY BIG text in their blurbs. Personally, I think it is too big.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 19, 2017, 11:45:17 AM
Much better! Only comment I have is that your paragraph breaks push a lot of the text below the "Read more" line, which is what people will see first without expanding the blurb. What I do is remove that first graph break after the first bold line so more text is visible in one glance. The difference in text styling (bold > regular) is enough of a visual break (for me). [you can click my "1609" book in my sig to see this]

I'll try that.

Anyway I'm up and running with someone picking it up in KU and they've started reading at least completing the first story. It's down at 1,221,674 in rank, so I'll see what happens.

It's interesting that my 3c bids have got me onto a first and second page on two top author anthologies, as they were the only titles as keywords that I had at yesterday, but it's hellish hard to find book titles for keywords that are similar to my genres and style for short story collections. Still, I've managed to forage around 70 keywords.

Edited: I changed my bid to 5c so I'm now on two first pages lol. Maybye I'll change it to 4c. Don't want to be losing a penny if I don't have to.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 19, 2017, 11:50:18 AM
I took a look at my ROI the other day and I'm seeing that I'm in profit on all three of my ads. Nothing spectacular because I am a prawn. But the four book series has turned into a steady earner.

So, I'm thinking that the way to gain more visibility and increase my overall profit, is to put up more ads. I have a trilogy and two bundled trilogies that I'll be working on over the next few days.

Also, I increased another of my ads to a $10 daily spend and the ad got off its butt to bring in some page reads. My spend increased by 27c.

When I set up the next campaign, I'm going to try again for the $100 credit.



Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 19, 2017, 02:31:16 PM
Not sure what h1 tags are. This is an example of what I use for bold and para spacing both for KDP and Create Space. If you click on Lunch Break Thrillers in my signature (.com only) you will see how it turns out. The only other thing I would use would be <i>textgoes here</i> for italics

Note: where I haven't closed the para with </p> after the bolded sub titles, it's because they are short story titles and I wanted the blurb for that story to continue as one para, then I close it.

<p><b> Lunch Break Thrillers - Twelve not so short stories.</b></p><p> Lunch Break Thrillers is a gripping mix of suspense, mystery, disaster and murder, all interlaced with memorable characters.</p><p> Designed to intrigue and satisfy, these tales will leave you with something to ponder, long after they fade into the dark corners of your mind. </p> <p><b>The Mystery of the Crimson Robe.</b> Rookie LAPD Homicide Detective, Nancy Roberts, has a strange encounter with a figure in a crimson robe. Ridiculed by her colleagues, she has more to contend with than a silk colored garment. A story of overcoming self-doubt. </p> <p><b>Hide and Seek.</b>  Carl didn't believe in ghosts. Unless you want to count the Holy one? All that is about to change. </p>

Decon, you can do a lot in KDP with HTML tags. There's h1 and h2 tags and italic tags, non-breaking space tags and paragraph tags. This is what's in KDP for my book (in sig) THE FIND:

<p>What can a mother do when she has no money and a dangerously sick kid?</p><p><b>She can make a mistake</b>.</p><p>In a moment of desperation, cleaning lady Phoebe Jackson tries to pawn the diamond-bejeweled Rolex she found in a mobster's locker. Turns out the watch is a fake, but the mobster isn't--<b>and he's on to her</b>.</p><p> </p><h2>What readers are saying about <i>The Find</i>:</h2><p> </p><p>'<b>Amazing</b>. I literally could not put this book down. I started reading it before bed and ended up <b>staying up all night</b> to read it.' bygollyitshollyg</p><p>'... once I started reading The Find, I absolutely <b>COULD. NOT. PUT. IT. DOWN!</b>' Amazon customer</p><p>'This book has it all.' Read Along with Sue Book Review Blog</p><p>'This book got me from the first line, made me cry more than once, and <b>kept me glued</b> till the very end.' Lily Belle</p><p>'I could never predict what was going to happen.' T. Mav</p><p>'...interesting, exciting, <b>gripping</b>...' Julie</p><p>'Gregg Bell's writing pulls you in and you just have to finish it.' Maureen's Books Book Review Blog</p><p>'Great read...<b>intriguing and innovative</b>.' Reading Shy with Aly Book Review Blog</p><p>'Masterful story written with suspense that holds on to you until the very end.' Room with Books Book Review Blog</p><p>'Managed to keep me so interested that I <b>read it straight through.</b> Have not done that in a while.' Amazon customer</p><p>'Suspenseful, romantic, mystery, it has it all, I literally could not put it down.' Martha Flowers</p><p>'Excellent crime thriller...left wondering right till the end.' Kindle Customer</p><p>'This is a suspense novel and <b>you will be on edge all the time</b>. One of the best books I have read in a long time.' Yvonne P Butler</p>

You'll notice the h2 tags are noticeably bigger than the <b> tags make it. The <i> tags are nice for titles. The <p>&nbsp;</p> configuration allows you to add extra space if you want to.

Here are two places to test how your stuff will look:

https://ablurb.github.io/

The only difference is in KDP the yellow of the h tags will be black.

And  here's another place:

http://www.csgnetwork.com/htmlcodetest.html

You still have to be careful but using those places helps me a lot.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 19, 2017, 02:34:25 PM
Yes. Changes work in one direction but not the other. Early on, I was tweaking the book blurbs in Author Central and not realizing that the KDP blurbs remained unchanged. So if I changed price or something, the original KDP blurb was back. Now, I just do all my text wording and rewording in a separate doc and then just copy/paste into KDP as needed.

Okay, but in an earlier post you were touting how fast making the changes in Author Central was. Am I misunderstanding?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: dorihoxa on March 19, 2017, 04:10:24 PM
I've had 96K impressions and 144 clicks. That's good, right? But the profit isn't there (or I just don't know what I'm doing). Can someone tell me if this is good or bad?

Thank you.

(https://s7.postimg.org/qwo785z7v/Screen_Shot_2017_03_20_at_12_08_34_AM.png) (https://postimg.org/image/ofcg0wfbb/)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: edwardgtalbot on March 19, 2017, 04:17:13 PM
I've had 96K impressions and 144 clicks. That's good, right? But the profit isn't there (or I just don't know what I'm doing). Can someone tell me if this is good or bad?

Thank you.

(https://s7.postimg.org/qwo785z7v/Screen_Shot_2017_03_20_at_12_08_34_AM.png) (https://postimg.org/image/ofcg0wfbb/)
Good click/impression rate and good cost per click if it's a popular genre. But you have a major conversion problem. That's assuming you don't have KU page reads and/or other books in the series. As a comparison, on my best two books/ads, I get a sale at $2.99 or $3.99 once every 9 clicks and I'm paying about.18-.19 per click.

Most likely problem is your book description. I think maybe earlier in this thread I gave Gregg Bell some suggestions and you could look for that to get some ideas. But people are clicking and then deciding not to buy. Other possible issues:

-Your cover is inadequate or doesn't match your genre.
-You have a review rating under 3.6 or so, and/or a number of recent bad reviews
-You ad text is compelling but it doesn't really bear close enough resemblance to what the book promises.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Colin Bundschu on March 19, 2017, 04:21:05 PM
Does someone have a link to this mythical $100 in free AMS credit?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: dorihoxa on March 19, 2017, 04:52:09 PM
Good click/impression rate and good cost per click if it's a popular genre. But you have a major conversion problem. That's assuming you don't have KU page reads and/or other books in the series. As a comparison, on my best two books/ads, I get a sale at $2.99 or $3.99 once every 9 clicks and I'm paying about.18-.19 per click.

Most likely problem is your book description. I think maybe earlier in this thread I gave Gregg Bell some suggestions and you could look for that to get some ideas. But people are clicking and then deciding not to buy. Other possible issues:

-Your cover is inadequate or doesn't match your genre.
-You have a review rating under 3.6 or so, and/or a number of recent bad reviews
-You ad text is compelling but it doesn't really bear close enough resemblance to what the book promises.

Thanks so much for the reply. My book is in KU (PNR/UF) and the series has two more books (released). My avg rating is 4.0 with 54 reviews. I don't think the cover is the problem so I guess that leaves the ad text. I quoted a reviewer then added another really short sentence about the book. Looks like I have to change that. Thanks again. I'll definitely look for the suggestions you gave to Gregg.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 19, 2017, 04:58:03 PM
Does someone have a link to this mythical $100 in free AMS credit?

I don't have a link. I just wrote to KDP about it and they told me it was only offered to certain authors. I'm going to try again.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 19, 2017, 05:15:34 PM
Okay, but in an earlier post you were touting how fast making the changes in Author Central was. Am I misunderstanding?

I'm just saying: If you make a book description change in Author Central, make sure you have a copy of that so when/if you make your next KDP change, you pop that in. Then everything's up to date. (FYI: I have entire Google Doc pages with all my basic book info, AMS ad info, etc. I work from there.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 19, 2017, 05:47:10 PM
Does someone have a link to this mythical $100 in free AMS credit?

As far as I know you just sign up here. (scroll down for the fine print)

https://ams.amazon.com/ (https://ams.amazon.com/)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 19, 2017, 05:47:51 PM
I'm just saying: If you make a book description change in Author Central, make sure you have a copy of that so when/if you make your next KDP change, you pop that in. Then everything's up to date. (FYI: I have entire Google Doc pages with all my basic book info, AMS ad info, etc. I work from there.)

Thanks Harald. Gotcha.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 19, 2017, 06:30:57 PM
I've had 96K impressions and 144 clicks. That's good, right? But the profit isn't there (or I just don't know what I'm doing). Can someone tell me if this is good or bad?

Thank you.

(https://s7.postimg.org/qwo785z7v/Screen_Shot_2017_03_20_at_12_08_34_AM.png) (https://postimg.org/image/ofcg0wfbb/)

You've spent  $22 to get $4.95 in sales (or $3.46 in royalty if the book is at 70% royalty).

Unless you've picked up a ton of KU reads that don't report or you spent the whole $22 in the last couple of days and sales reporting hasn't caught up, it's not good.

You need to either massively lower your bids, tweak keywords to find the right audience, or there is a huge problem with your blurb/sample once they click through.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 19, 2017, 06:37:17 PM
Okay I opened up new campaigns on my books, doing the copy thing you guys told me about. I did it to put new blurbs in. So I have basically two sets of identical campaigns now. (I haven't paused or terminated any of the old campaigns yet.) I have added some keywords to the new campaigns but yeah, they're basically the same campaigns. I was thinking that it might be  wise to keep the first set of campaigns going so that they qualify for the $100 credit. (I don't actually know if pausing or terminating them would disqualify them for the credit.) So if I decided to keep these two basically identical sets of campaigns going simultaneously and I want AMS to use the newer set because of the new blurbs would reducing the bids (and deleting a lot of the keywords even) make AMS more likely to feature my campaigns that have the new blurbs?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 19, 2017, 07:19:09 PM
Thanks so much for the reply. My book is in KU (PNR/UF) and the series has two more books (released). My avg rating is 4.0 with 54 reviews. I don't think the cover is the problem so I guess that leaves the ad text. I quoted a reviewer then added another really short sentence about the book. Looks like I have to change that. Thanks again. I'll definitely look for the suggestions you gave to Gregg.

I think that you likely have your answer right there. One sentence wouldn't cut it for me as a blurb and readers can go and look up your reviews if that's what they use as part of their buying process. Many will accept that with 54 reviews at an average 4 star it means that  it should be okay, so I'd do away with the review in the blurb.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 19, 2017, 07:23:32 PM
As far as I know you just sign up here. (scroll down for the fine print)

https://ams.amazon.com/ (https://ams.amazon.com/)

Here are the terms so someone like me isn't eligible:

*Terms and Conditions of the Amazon Marketing Services $100 Click Credit Promotion.

For Amazon vendors that register for a new Amazon Marketing Services account from January 1st, 2017, through March 31st, 2017, Amazon will apply a promotional credit of $100 to that advertiser's Amazon Marketing Services account. Any unused promotional credit will expire 90 days following registration.

1. Advertisers must maintain an Amazon Marketing Services account in good standing with Amazon, subject to the terms of the Amazon Marketing Services Agreement.
2. Advertisers must provide a valid payment method to receive the promotional credit.
3. This offer and the promotional credit are non-transferable, not for resale, and not redeemable for cash.
4. This offer is void where prohibited and in the event of fraud, mistake, or any failure to satisfy any terms of the offer.
5. Amazon reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate or modify this offer at any time.
6. Limit one promotional credit per Amazon Marketing Services account.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Colin Bundschu on March 19, 2017, 09:30:39 PM
As far as I know you just sign up here. (scroll down for the fine print)

https://ams.amazon.com/ (https://ams.amazon.com/)

Huh. I don't see anything.

Also it looks like you are getting roughly 150 clicks per 100,000 views? That seems much lower than what I am getting. I just started, but I am getting about threefold the click rate:
(https://s2.postimg.org/6gjq2gmfd/Capture.png)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RobCornell on March 20, 2017, 03:23:18 AM
Here are the terms so someone like me isn't eligible:

*Terms and Conditions of the Amazon Marketing Services $100 Click Credit Promotion.

For Amazon vendors that register for a new Amazon Marketing Services account from January 1st, 2017, through March 31st, 2017, Amazon will apply a promotional credit of $100 to that advertiser's Amazon Marketing Services account. Any unused promotional credit will expire 90 days following registration.

1. Advertisers must maintain an Amazon Marketing Services account in good standing with Amazon, subject to the terms of the Amazon Marketing Services Agreement.
2. Advertisers must provide a valid payment method to receive the promotional credit.
3. This offer and the promotional credit are non-transferable, not for resale, and not redeemable for cash.
4. This offer is void where prohibited and in the event of fraud, mistake, or any failure to satisfy any terms of the offer.
5. Amazon reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate or modify this offer at any time.
6. Limit one promotional credit per Amazon Marketing Services account.

Yeah, I got my credit. Told myself it was finally time to get into AMS. Let time slip by as I focused on other things (story of my life). And the dang credit expired. You snooze you lose, I guess. :P
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on March 20, 2017, 06:33:24 AM
I didn't get the $100 credit either even though I signed up within the time frame. They told me it was only for select users. Who are these select users? The promotion is very misleading.

Also my ads would start showing data within a day after I started them but now I just started one and it isn't showing any data after three days. Anyone else having this problem? Something has changed and I don't know what it is.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: FlowerShift on March 20, 2017, 06:58:16 AM
I didn't get the $100 credit either even though I signed up within the time frame. They told me it was only for select users. Who are these select users? The promotion is very misleading.

Also my ads would start showing data within a day after I started them but now I just started one and it isn't showing any data after three days. Anyone else having this problem? Something has changed and I don't know what it is.

I contacted them too and this is what they told me:

"Please note that this Click Credit promotion is only available to vendors and Amazon Advantage users are recognized as vendors, but not to KDP authors, unless they also have an Amazon Advantage account."

A credit would've been great :/

I started a couple of days ago and data is showing, although this data obviously isn't current or live.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: dorihoxa on March 20, 2017, 07:04:19 AM
You've spent  $22 to get $4.95 in sales (or $3.46 in royalty if the book is at 70% royalty).

Unless you've picked up a ton of KU reads that don't report or you spent the whole $22 in the last couple of days and sales reporting hasn't caught up, it's not good.

You need to either massively lower your bids, tweak keywords to find the right audience, or there is a huge problem with your blurb/sample once they click through.

Apparently  :( I've already changed the ad text and some
Keywords to see what happens. Guess I'll just keep tweaking until i get there. Thank you.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Findaway on March 20, 2017, 07:56:05 AM

Also my ads would start showing data within a day after I started them but now I just started one and it isn't showing any data after three days. Anyone else having this problem? Something has changed and I don't know what it is.

This happened to me too. I began a campaign 4 days ago (my first), and I haven't had a single impression. I added a lot of keywords, and almost all of my bids are 25-30 cents. I emailed support to verify that I'd set the campaign up correctly. Their response was that my keywords might not be relevant and/or my bids are too low. Wouldn't a lower bid at least place me at the end of the line?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 20, 2017, 07:58:00 AM
I didn't get the $100 credit either even though I signed up within the time frame. They told me it was only for select users. Who are these select users? The promotion is very misleading.

Also my ads would start showing data within a day after I started them but now I just started one and it isn't showing any data after three days. Anyone else having this problem? Something has changed and I don't know what it is.

I started about twelve ads in the last few days experimenting with Mark Dawson's low-spend multiple ad approach and about half of them have impressions and half of them have nothing.  Sometimes an ad just doesn't run.  Try upping your keyword bids to see if that changes things.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 20, 2017, 07:59:39 AM
This happened to me too. I began a campaign 4 days ago (my first), and I haven't had a single impression. I added a lot of keywords, and almost all of my bids are 25-30 cents. I emailed support to verify that I'd set the campaign up correctly. Their response was that my keywords might not be relevant and/or my bids are too low. Wouldn't a lower bid at least place me at the end of the line?

We cross-posted.  Depends on the word and your relevance.  I've had keywords related to authors who you'd think would have plenty of demand so plenty of opportunity for even low bids to hit their pages and have zero impressions.  Every once in a while Amazon just decides that a keyword is not a good fit for that particular book and you can't get on that page.  Or there are so many people using that keyword that a low bid will get you nowhere.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning--Question
Post by: APeter on March 20, 2017, 11:35:48 AM
I've been running AMS ads on and off since October. At the present, I have two sponsored ads running for two different books, but only one of the books is in KU. Yesterday, I observed something very unusual--at least for me. One of the words (a book title) on my keywords list for the KU book spiked overnight. It went from ~2,000 impressions to 37,000 impressions. I immediately thought of what I've heard some people refer to as click farms, and I paused the key word. But the clicks had remained at 4. And as of earlier today, they're still at 4.

Has anyone else experienced something similar to this? And any idea as to what caused it? I could contact Amazon help, but since I'm not out any money--nor are they--I doubt it would help.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 20, 2017, 11:44:34 AM
I've been running AMS ads on and off since October. At the present, I have two sponsored ads running for two different books, but only one of the books is in KU. Yesterday, I observed something very unusual--at least for me. One of the words (a book title) on my keywords list for the KU book spiked overnight. It went from ~2,000 impressions to 37,000 impressions. I immediately thought of what I've heard some people refer to as click farms, and I paused the key word. But the clicks had remained at 4. And as of earlier today, they're still at 4.

Has anyone else experienced something similar to this? And any idea as to what caused it? I could contact Amazon help, but since I'm not out any money--nor are they--I doubt it would help.

The fact that your impressions spiked isn't related to click farms.  That would be if your clicks per impression suddenly shot up, which I had happen once and am not sure what caused it but I shut it down.

Amazon controls the number of impressions you get.  Did you look to see if another book with a similar title to that keyword just released or perhaps was in the news or had a big promo hit?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 20, 2017, 11:58:17 AM
This happened to me too. I began a campaign 4 days ago (my first), and I haven't had a single impression. I added a lot of keywords, and almost all of my bids are 25-30 cents. I emailed support to verify that I'd set the campaign up correctly. Their response was that my keywords might not be relevant and/or my bids are too low. Wouldn't a lower bid at least place me at the end of the line?

Have we considered the impact of Amazon running that $100 in clicks promo?

I'm wondering if a lot of new accounts on-boarded recently - and with the $100 in free clicks, a lot of people wouldn't be as worried about immediate ROI.

I've noticed a slow-down since the first of the year. I guess I'm wondering if it is the normal slow-down a lot of people here talk about over time or if the field has been particularly crowded lately. I know I haven't gotten as much initial spike on new campaigns I had come to expect, either.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 20, 2017, 12:08:15 PM
Have we considered the impact of Amazon running that $100 in clicks promo?

I'm wondering if a lot of new accounts on-boarded recently - and with the $100 in free clicks, a lot of people wouldn't be as worried about immediate ROI.

I've noticed a slow-down since the first of the year. I guess I'm wondering if it is the normal slow-down a lot of people here talk about over time or if the field has been particularly crowded lately. I know I haven't gotten as much initial spike on new campaigns I had come to expect, either.

Considering how restrictive the requirements are to qualify for the $100, I wouldn't be worried that the market will be flooded.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: APeter on March 20, 2017, 12:13:49 PM
The fact that your impressions spiked isn't related to click farms.  That would be if your clicks per impression suddenly shot up, which I had happen once and am not sure what caused it but I shut it down.

Amazon controls the number of impressions you get.  Did you look to see if another book with a similar title to that keyword just released or perhaps was in the news or had a big promo hit?

Thanks, Cassie.

I wasn't sure what it mean, and I was leery of offending the great Zon. :o
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 20, 2017, 02:14:23 PM
Huh. I don't see anything.

Also it looks like you are getting roughly 150 clicks per 100,000 views? That seems much lower than what I am getting. I just started, but I am getting about threefold the click rate:
(https://s2.postimg.org/6gjq2gmfd/Capture.png)

Sorry, Colin, but I don't know what you're referring to by you see nothing.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gregg Bell on March 20, 2017, 02:29:44 PM
Wanting better blurbs I opened up a new set of campaigns on all five of my books in AMS. I opened the new campaigns just yesterday (3/20/17). So I now have two sets of campaigns running with nearly identical keywords. I would like AMS of course to feature the keywords with the new blurbs. To complicate things I'm starting to see some sales on the old set of campaigns. When I set up the new campaigns my initial reaction was to terminate the first set entirely but now I'm not so sure it's a good idea. Of course I can keep both sets running but if I want the new set featured should I increase the bids there and reduce the bids on the old set of campaigns? Any suggestions?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning--Question
Post by: Decon on March 20, 2017, 07:24:46 PM
I've been running AMS ads on and off since October. At the present, I have two sponsored ads running for two different books, but only one of the books is in KU. Yesterday, I observed something very unusual--at least for me. One of the words (a book title) on my keywords list for the KU book spiked overnight. It went from ~2,000 impressions to 37,000 impressions. I immediately thought of what I've heard some people refer to as click farms, and I paused the key word. But the clicks had remained at 4. And as of earlier today, they're still at 4.

Has anyone else experienced something similar to this? And any idea as to what caused it? I could contact Amazon help, but since I'm not out any money--nor are they--I doubt it would help.

Yeah, I had 50,000 impressions on one keyword very quickly. Saying that, the keyword was for a new release that ended up a best seller and at the time I was one of three on the 1st page. Like you I didn't get many clicks as I guessed everyone was landing on the page to buy their book. I left it alone as the only ones with control over impressions is Amazon, and if they saw fit to put me on there 50,000 times, who am I to complain when it is what we are trying to acheive. I can understand your concern at the time though as I was initially concerned. We just came to a different conclusion. It soon dropped after everyone piled into it as a keyword, now I can't get on any of the damned pages.

After that I've stalked new releases that I thought would take off and I noticed something weird. Sometimes they would only have three books on the first page for around a week and yet I couldn't get on the page, so gave up after that with new releases

I would worry about it if it were clicks. I've often thought that it could be open to abuse if someone had an axe to grind against the author. Not in the sense that the clicks would gain an advantage to the author, on the contrary, it could end up costing the author a fortune. I just hope that if that happened then Amazon would have the data to find the culprit and give a credit.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: APeter on March 21, 2017, 08:29:35 AM
Yeah, I had 50,000 impressions on one keyword very quickly. Saying that, the keyword was for a new release that ended up a best seller and at the time I was one of three on the 1st page. Like you I didn't get many clicks as I guessed everyone was landing on the page to buy their book. I left it alone as the only ones with control over impressions is Amazon, and if they saw fit to put me on there 50,000 times, who am I to complain when it is what we are trying to acheive. I can understand your concern at the time though as I was initially concerned. We just came to a different conclusion. It soon dropped after everyone piled into it as a keyword, now I can't get on any of the damned pages.

After that I've stalked new releases that I thought would take off and I noticed something weird. Sometimes they would only have three books on the first page for around a week and yet I couldn't get on the page, so gave up after that with new releases

I would worry about it if it were clicks. I've often thought that it could be open to abuse if someone had an axe to grind against the author. Not in the sense that the clicks would gain an advantage to the author, on the contrary, it could end up costing the author a fortune. I just hope that if that happened then Amazon would have the data to find the culprit and give a credit.

I still find it amazing that I could pick up 35K impressions without collecting even one click. It wasn't a new book either, so maybe the author ran a promo.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 21, 2017, 01:56:41 PM
I don't know if there's anything to learn here but this is a recent improvement for me this past week. If there's any method to the madness, I'm not seeing it but I'll share it if it'll help anyone, and if anyone can figure out what caused the improvement, all the better.

I've been running my campaigns since August. Up until 3 weeks ago, I had 2 campaigns running on the same book. One I target books and authors that are right on genre, the other are cross-over genres. I did this primarily to not use up the 1000 KW spaces, and to have one campaign that is more laser focus. The Main On target campaign, I set spend limit at $6, and the other one $2. 3 weeks ago I started a third campaign with $1 spend limit. My goal was to move all the KWs from the Main Campaign for books that rank in in pit bottoms to what I'll call the Secondary Genre Targetted campaign. So I got this:

1. Main Genre Targetted Campaign -- Books that sell well, rank at least below 100K at $6 spend limit
2. X-genre Campaign -- not directly on genre but good possibility of interesting some readers, at $2 spend limit
3. Secondary Genre Targetted Campaign -- Same genre books that rank 200+K to Millions, at $1 spend limit.

For the Secondary Campaign, I figured that I could get my book visibility in case of a strand reader here and there, but it wouldn't cost me anything because the click rates would be low, due to low traffic to those pages.

Things went well for months but for inexplicable reason, sales began to decline. I periodically tweak KWs, upping or lowering prices depending on the Sponsored Ads situation on the KWs books; also adding new KWs. For some reason, sales were still kind of falling. Not dire, but falling.

Then last Thursday, I ran a 99c ENT promo which jumped my sales. During the ENT promo, I paused all the ads. When the ENT promo was over, I only restarted the Main Genre Targetted Campaign, but this time upping the spend limit to $10.

Why I did this? I have an author friend in the exact same genre. Our results should be very similar, but I noticed that she was able to keep her sales high. I know she put in a higher spend limit than I do (I'm pretty sure it's $10), so I wanted to experiment a bit. She said all she does are AMS ads and tweet, and I take her word for it.

Since then, I've been able to maintain the sales in the low 5 digits. (Ok that might be considered failure to some of you but for my genre and what I do, that's pretty good.) In any case, the point is, the changes of upping the spend limit and runing only one campaign appear to be helping. At first I attributed it to being an ENT tail, but I'm not so sure about that. ENT was great, but my last few promos didn't give me a sticky tail like this. I think what ENT did was that it sparked the algorithm, and from there on, with the combination of the changes in my campaign, sales for now are sticking. In fact, slightly higher than my best AMS ads performance before all this happens.

I feel a bit worried that I left all the KWS from the Secondary Campaign and X-genre Campaign un-used. But things are working for now so why fix what's not broken.

I don't know what to make of this but thought I'd share anyway. I just listened to Mark Dawson's podcast on AMS ads. He's recommending the "brute force" option, which is to keep the spend limit low ($1) on each campaign and run many campaigns. His reason for it is that Amazon refuses to spend all your money when you set a high spend limit (and that is true). But I think I'd have to disagree with him there. My own observation is that Amazon only show your ad to a small audience when your spend limit is $1. And this is something I observed even back in Sept, before I upped the spend limit to $6. I have hunch that Amazon show your ad to more pages when you have a higher spend limit, and the best thing is, they won't use up your spend limit anyway so you don't actually spend $10/day.  That said, if your budget doesn't allow a potential $10/day, it can be iffy and scary.

My conclusion at this point: it's all voodoo.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 21, 2017, 02:27:29 PM
Interesting results, Alexa.

Yeah, I played a bit with Dawson's approach by setting up a dozen different ads, each one focused on a particular author and all their titles and with bids of either $1 or $2.  And...most of those ads did nothing at all.  No impressions or less than a thousand after three or four days which I don't consider good results.  I've upped the bids to see if that changes things, but I don't think it will.

Meanwhile my two main ads for this book just keep sort of limping along.  I have 1.8 million impressions on one of them and 743K impressions on the other.  I tweak which keywords are active, raise and lower the bids per keyword, raise and lower the spend for the whole ad, add keywords to one of the ads when I see new authors with relevant covers, etc. so at this point I can't tell you anything about those ads other than that they are still my powerhouse ads for this.  One running since May, one since December.

I killed my attempt to use just my "winning" keywords in an ad because that cost me $11 with no sales that I can attribute to it yet.  I also killed my attempt to replicate Decon's low-spend approach.  I'm trying an ad on book 2 starting today that will use all my winners from book 1 as well as any where I had a good click to impression ratio for book 1 but not enough impressions to generate a sale.  We'll see how that goes.

It feels like my ads are sluggish right now, but sometimes I think that and then look at the actual numbers and realize I'm wrong.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Kelliher on March 23, 2017, 07:04:06 AM
I think I've seen people mention this before, but I definitely think my AMS ads are competing with each other. I had 2 ads running for a few days, each maxed out with 1k keywords, but totally different keywords. They were bringing in lots of impressions. I then copies both of them, so had 2 pairs of ads with the same keywords and the same bids, but different ad copy. With all 4 active, 2 completely stalled for the last 2 days in terms of impressions. Has anyone else found this?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 23, 2017, 07:17:49 AM
I think I've seen people mention this before, but I definitely think my AMS ads are competing with each other. I had 2 ads running for a few days, each maxed out with 1k keywords, but totally different keywords. They were bringing in lots of impressions. I then copies both of them, so had 2 pairs of ads with the same keywords and the same bids, but different ad copy. With all 4 active, 2 completely stalled for the last 2 days in terms of impressions. Has anyone else found this?

At this point I have no choice but to believe this is the case. My rank is absolutely sticking and sales are better than when I had 2 ads running concurrently. Ok so Mark is now going to be telling everyone taking his course to run mulitple ads at $1 to force Amazon to spend the cash. Now I can't say for sure that he's not correct, but I am looking at my results and whatever voodoo Amazon is practicing, keeping one ad seems to yield more sales and KU reads for me. I'm going to stick with this for a while and see how it goes.

Cassie did you get my PM? Also, maybe you can try doing what I did, pause the AMS ads and run a normal promo like ENT and jump the algorithm, then run the AMS ads again. See if that might bring things back to life. I think my ENT promo did prompt the Amazon algo to refresh or something.

Doesn't have to be ENT of course. I'm sure one of the other big reliable promo sites will do the same. The trick is to jump the algo. And do it at 99c, not free promo. You want to stay on the Kindle Paid list.

And my gut feeling is that upping the daily spend limit to $10 helped, for whatever reason. And as far as I know I had not reach the daily limit on any day. Even my total spend only seem to have increased slightly. From spend to sales ratio of 51% to 53%.

YMMV.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JaclynDolamore on March 23, 2017, 07:18:43 AM
I think I've seen people mention this before, but I definitely think my AMS ads are competing with each other. I had 2 ads running for a few days, each maxed out with 1k keywords, but totally different keywords. They were bringing in lots of impressions. I then copies both of them, so had 2 pairs of ads with the same keywords and the same bids, but different ad copy. With all 4 active, 2 completely stalled for the last 2 days in terms of impressions. Has anyone else found this?

It seems like when you create a new ad, that one will appear everywhere when it's new and shiny. Then the algos settled and both will run. At least, I think that's what happened with mine.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Kelliher on March 23, 2017, 07:45:21 AM
It seems like when you create a new ad, that one will appear everywhere when it's new and shiny. Then the algos settled and both will run. At least, I think that's what happened with mine.

Well mine was weird. When I copied the ads over and started the new ones, it was actually one of the older ads that kept bringing in impressions and one of the newer. Then the copies of them (one old and one new) stalled completely.

I have 2 ads with 1000 author names and 2 with 1000 book titles. Now, and one of each stalled, leading me to believe the keywords are cancelling each other out.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 23, 2017, 02:32:30 PM
Well mine was weird. When I copied the ads over and started the new ones, it was actually one of the older ads that kept bringing in impressions and one of the newer. Then the copies of them (one old and one new) stalled completely.

I have 2 ads with 1000 author names and 2 with 1000 book titles. Now, and one of each stalled, leading me to believe the keywords are cancelling each other out.

What I wonder is, if you have 2 different books in 2 different campaigns, are you still competing with yourself?

I've seen one pretty high selling dark erotica author running all 3 books in one series. I've dabbled with putting in later books in my series in short campaigns. I couldn't tell anything from the data because presumably even if a buying reader clicked on the ad for the later book, he/she would still end up buying Book 1 first.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 23, 2017, 02:44:16 PM
Cassie did you get my PM? Also, maybe you can try doing what I did, pause the AMS ads and run a normal promo like ENT and jump the algorithm, then run the AMS ads again. See if that might bring things back to life. I think my ENT promo did prompt the Amazon algo to refresh or something.


Oops.  Just saw it.  Thank you.

One of my issues is that I'm trying to hold off on discounted promo of the novels until the third one is out so people can just buy their way through the whole series in one big swoop.  Hopefully that'll happen by May.  And then I'm going to do a big 99 cent promo on book 1 and see if I can really push things to a new level, so will definitely try that then.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 23, 2017, 03:11:55 PM
... I've seen one pretty high selling dark erotica author running all 3 books in one series. I've dabbled with putting in later books in my series in short campaigns. I couldn't tell anything from the data because presumably even if a buying reader clicked on the ad for the later book, he/she would still end up buying Book 1 first.

I have a growing series (3 short books up out of 4), and I tried this, too, running ads for Book 1 and 2 simultaneously. I gave up on Book 2 at 30 days as its ACoS grew too large (losing money) while Book 1 was getting better and better. So I'm currently focusing on ads for Book 1 and hoping/counting on sell/read-through to the other books in the series. Of course, for me, it's obvious which is Book 1, 2, 3 by the titles ("1609" - "1612" - "1625"), and there's the added incentive of Book 1 being only $0.99 and the others more. So it "feels" more natural for me to advertise Book 1, and let the others respond to the organic factors, promos, etc. Which doesn't mean I won't experiment with ads for others in series in future, but that's my current position.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on March 23, 2017, 05:37:59 PM
Would appreciate some thoughts on this...

I've got one campaign for a historical war/romance book (WW2 1944) which seems to be getting some results. 26,000 impressions, 34 clicks and about 4 sales with an ACoS 47%

But my other two campaigns are a challenge. Next book is a 99 cent loss-leader to a 4-book series (Novellas) and a real mish-mash of paranormal, detective, crime and lots of black humour. The cross-genre has always made these books hard to promote, but I've always thought they'd appeal to an edgier "cozy" reader (I realise that hard-core cozy will reject it). So I created a campaign aimed at cozy authors/readers and after eight days I have just 2200 impressions, 5 clicks and no sales. Which suggests to me that, no matter what I think of the book's appeal, the algo's are deciding "It ain't cozy, so no impressions for you". Book is "Dead Wrong" under the penname Logan May.

Do you think the algo's can be that precise in determining these things?

Third campaign is a different challenge again. This is another 99 cent loss-leader to a six book series, and it's classic horror. 60K impressions for 31 clicks and one sale. It's got just one review, but I recently released as an audiobook and it has great reviews there, so story-wise it's okay. The thing is, horror is a very well-defined genre, comparatively small and relatively easy to target for AMS ads. But this ad is failing. So I guess I've got to look at cover design and blurb? Or do you think the obvious, popular keywords must be really competitive and require high bids? Book is "Death Wish" under my name G.M.Hague.

Cheers for any advice.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 24, 2017, 05:38:53 AM
The click rate to impressions is good, but 5 clicks is too early to expect a sale. Nearer 10-15 would be more the mark to expect until you have more long term data. From that you can work out if your bid costs will make a profit once sales come in.

All you are suffering from is the same as me with one book I have that crosses genre. Amazon just won't place it on a book page that doesn't match the meta data. You would need to get such as Cosy Mystery in your upload keywords for them to accept a match, but then you don't want to be fooling readers.

Yes, I think algo's can be that precice. That's what algo's are meant to be for targetting purposes.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Kelliher on March 24, 2017, 07:47:43 AM
Got a rare direct response from Amazon, which basically confirms it's impossible to test ad copy against your own ads, since they effectively cancel each other out if you're using the same keywords:

Received a rarely-definitive answer from KDP support re: ads competing with each other:

[10:31] 
"Ads do indeed compete with each other. You see, if you the advertiser, create the same ad campaigns, these ads will compete against each other and other scheduled ads created by the competitor. Now, due to the fact that these ads share the same keywords and bids this is the reason why your impressions are higher on one ad than the other."
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 24, 2017, 08:28:43 AM
Got a rare direct response from Amazon, which basically confirms it's impossible to test ad copy against your own ads, since they effectively cancel each other out if you're using the same keywords:

Received a rarely-definitive answer from KDP support re: ads competing with each other:

[10:31] 
"Ads do indeed compete with each other. You see, if you the advertiser, create the same ad campaigns, these ads will compete against each other and other scheduled ads created by the competitor. Now, due to the fact that these ads share the same keywords and bids this is the reason why your impressions are higher on one ad than the other."

I think this depends on your definition of "compete."  I know someone else here posted that they had spoken with an Amazon rep who basically said that a book can not compete with itself in terms of bid. So, for example, if you two ads for the same book with the same keywords - you won't be charged a higher cpc for Ad1 based on the fact that Ad2 has a competing bid.

It would make sense, though, that they wouldn't show the same book multiple times in the same sponsor location based on the fact that there are different campaigns for it. I always thought (hoped) that they would rotate them and show the better performing campaign more often. I know you can set up Adwords to do things like this... but there are so many ways AMS is lagging in those types of features.

So, I'm not sure how definitive this actually is. I think they are basically saying that if your book appears in the sponsored ads for another book, it's only going to appear in the slider once no matter how many campaigns you have set up. And if you are appearing in a limited number of places, its going to limit how many of your campaigns can show ads at once.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Kelliher on March 24, 2017, 09:02:34 AM
I think this depends on your definition of "compete."  I know someone else here posted that they had spoken with an Amazon rep who basically said that a book can not compete with itself in terms of bid. So, for example, if you two ads for the same book with the same keywords - you won't be charged a higher cpc for Ad1 based on the fact that Ad2 has a competing bid.

It would make sense, though, that they wouldn't show the same book multiple times in the same sponsor location based on the fact that there are different campaigns for it. I always thought (hoped) that they would rotate them and show the better performing campaign more often. I know you can set up Adwords to do things like this... but there are so many ways AMS is lagging in those types of features.

So, I'm not sure how definitive this actually is. I think they are basically saying that if your book appears in the sponsored ads for another book, it's only going to appear in the slider once no matter how many campaigns you have set up. And if you are appearing in a limited number of places, its going to limit how many of your campaigns can show ads at once.

I would agree with that. I didn't take it to mean my bids are increasing, but I had two ads with different copy targeted at the same keywords at the same bids, and one of the ads was showing 1700 impressions in the same time the other was showing 60,000 ... so clearly, they do not rotate the ads but rather give priority to one of them, which defeats the whole purpose of testing ad copy.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 24, 2017, 09:18:32 AM
I would agree with that. I didn't take it to mean my bids are increasing, but I had two ads with different copy targeted at the same keywords at the same bids, and one of the ads was showing 1700 impressions in the same time the other was showing 60,000 ... so clearly, they do not rotate the ads but rather give priority to one of them, which defeats the whole purpose of testing ad copy.

I wonder how they pick which one to show, though? Best performing? Newest? Random? I mean, if they are picking best performing, they are doing the work for you. Newest or random, not so much.

I feel your frustration because their reporting is so crap and we know so little about their criteria for showing ads other than bid. But it isn't a complete loss. I'm comparing my click/impression ratio, my ACoS, my click/sale on the different ads to see which ones are performing better in those respects. More impressions is great and possibly helps build brand, but is useless unless impressions translate to clicks translate to sales. So I want to know what ad copy is giving me the best percentage of sales at the best rate.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 24, 2017, 09:20:33 AM
I would agree with that. I didn't take it to mean my bids are increasing, but I had two ads with different copy targeted at the same keywords at the same bids, and one of the ads was showing 1700 impressions in the same time the other was showing 60,000 ... so clearly, they do not rotate the ads but rather give priority to one of them, which defeats the whole purpose of testing ad copy.

Interesting. I'm trying a different way to test my ad blurb: sequential rather than simultaneous. It's not perfect, but it's something. I'll be posting a 7-day summary soon.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Kelliher on March 24, 2017, 10:17:09 AM
I wonder how they pick which one to show, though? Best performing? Newest? Random? I mean, if they are picking best performing, they are doing the work for you. Newest or random, not so much.

I feel your frustration because their reporting is so crap and we know so little about their criteria for showing ads other than bid. But it isn't a complete loss. I'm comparing my click/impression ratio, my ACoS, my click/sale on the different ads to see which ones are performing better in those respects. More impressions is great and possibly helps build brand, but is useless unless impressions translate to clicks translate to sales. So I want to know what ad copy is giving me the best percentage of sales at the best rate.

The only way to measure best-performing is via clicks and sales. Amazon directly controls the impressions. If they push one, it gets more impressions. That's just how it works. Better ad copy has nothing to do with impressions. It has to do with clicks. For impressions, the only thing that matters is keywords/bids. If they're only pushing one of the two ads because they're targeting the same keywords with the same bids, there's literally no way to know which ad copy is better. It's an extremely flawed way of doing things.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 24, 2017, 10:33:42 AM
If they're only pushing one of the two ads because they're targeting the same keywords with the same bids, there's literally no way to know which ad copy is better. It's an extremely flawed way of doing things.

I disagree (a little). As long as you are getting impressions on both (no matter if one is getting more) you can get ratios of impressions/clicks/sales. It's the ratio I look at. If I'm getting a significantly higher/lower ratio of sales from one ad  than another, I adjust from there.  Of course you are right, though. If you can't get enough impressions on both for a decent sampling, the data is useless.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Kelliher on March 24, 2017, 12:01:56 PM
I disagree (a little). As long as you are getting impressions on both (no matter if one is getting more) you can get ratios of impressions/clicks/sales. It's the ratio I look at. If I'm getting a significantly higher/lower ratio of sales from one ad  than another, I adjust from there.  Of course you are right, though. If you can't get enough impressions on both for a decent sampling, the data is useless.

Yes but my central premise and problem is that I was NOT getting impressions on both. They literally froze one of the ads and were only pushing the other, so it racked up 1700 impressions (which is a tiny number) and then froze, while the other shot up to 70k in like 3 days.

So you're not getting impressions on both. Therefore, you literally cannot compare impressions to clicks. That's a tiny number of impressions and not nearly enough to judge the effect of ad copy.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 24, 2017, 12:34:11 PM
They literally froze one of the ads and were only pushing the other, so it racked up 1700 impressions (which is a tiny number) and then froze, while the other shot up to 70k in like 3 days.


Ugh - I've had them be way off in terms of impressions, but never had one freeze completely like that.  Yeah, that would throw a wrench in things.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Craig Andrews on March 24, 2017, 01:02:22 PM
Yes but my central premise and problem is that I was NOT getting impressions on both. They literally froze one of the ads and were only pushing the other, so it racked up 1700 impressions (which is a tiny number) and then froze, while the other shot up to 70k in like 3 days.

So you're not getting impressions on both. Therefore, you literally cannot compare impressions to clicks. That's a tiny number of impressions and not nearly enough to judge the effect of ad copy.

It does make A/B testing more difficult, but can't you achieve the same thing by running one ad for a week, pause it, then run the other and see which performs better?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 24, 2017, 01:53:12 PM
It does make A/B testing more difficult, but can't you achieve the same thing by running one ad for a week, pause it, then run the other and see which performs better?

That's exactly what I'm doing. It's not precisely the same because things can change from one week to the next, but I'm almost done with a 2-week test of this. Will be reporting here in next few days.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on March 24, 2017, 04:33:51 PM
But you guys, why would you run 2 ads of the same book with the same KWs???

I ran a ads with different KWs and even then, it seems the ads competed with each other. I'm now running only one ad and sales had held up better than when I had 2 ads. I keep waiting for the ball to drop like it's too good to be true but so far it's still going, so I'm going to stay the course for now, even thoug the KWs on the other ad are left behind in the dust....
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 24, 2017, 04:48:50 PM
But you guys, why would you run 2 ads of the same book with the same KWs???

To test two different ad copy blurbs. Same keywords, same budget, same book.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on March 25, 2017, 07:50:29 AM
Does anyone/are we allowed to use "kindle unlimited" as a keyword? Like "kindle unlimited mystery"?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 25, 2017, 08:58:12 AM
Does anyone/are we allowed to use "kindle unlimited" as a keyword? Like "kindle unlimited mystery"?

I've used the word "unlimited" and gotten 84K impressions, 50 clicks and 3 sales. Presumably, if someone types the word in a search, e.g, kindle unlimited, sky unlimited, unlimited borrows, etc., the ad will show.

I've also seen kindle unlimited used in the ad copy and used it in a just approved ad.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on March 25, 2017, 09:22:57 AM
Thanks, Gertie! :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 25, 2017, 10:45:39 AM
If you try using kindle in your keywords they won''t accept it.  I was trying to do an ad with the search results for my top authors and some of their results were "Author X Kindle books" so I put that in and got a message that kindle was a reserved term.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jacob Stanley on March 25, 2017, 10:48:36 AM
Yes but my central premise and problem is that I was NOT getting impressions on both. They literally froze one of the ads and were only pushing the other, so it racked up 1700 impressions (which is a tiny number) and then froze, while the other shot up to 70k in like 3 days.

So you're not getting impressions on both. Therefore, you literally cannot compare impressions to clicks. That's a tiny number of impressions and not nearly enough to judge the effect of ad copy.

I have also found that the ads behave strangely when I have two running for the same book, even when I use different keywords. Sometimes both basically stall out. Other times one takes off and the other dies. Which is unfortunate because I would love to tailor my ad copy for different groups of author-names and run three or four different ads.

Honestly, the ads just do strange and unpredictable things all the time. I have one keyword that was getting me approximately 1 click for every 500 impressions over a period of about a month. It ended up with about 13 clicks from 5500 impressions or something like that.
 
Now, I'm using the same keyword in a new ad for the same book, with the same ad copy and bid. The ad's been running for about a week. The keyword is getting plenty of impressions but I haven't got a single click yet. Maybe that's just a fluke. Maybe I'll get a bunch of clicks real close together and it'll even out, but right now the keyword seems like it's suddenly become a dud.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Sebourn on March 25, 2017, 10:58:01 AM
Just thought I'd throw this out there:

My AMS ad has spent the last month ringing up pages read on my KENP graph.  Blue lines all over the place.  Obviously, I was very happy.

But the last four days, with two weeks or so left on my ad time, this has come to a halt.  Not a slow down, a halt. 

Does anybody have any thoughts about this?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jacob Stanley on March 25, 2017, 11:26:44 AM
Just thought I'd throw this out there:

My AMS ad has spent the last month ringing up pages read on my KENP graph.  Blue lines all over the place.  Obviously, I was very happy.

But the last four days, with two weeks or so left on my ad time, this has come to a halt.  Not a slow down, a halt. 

Does anybody have any thoughts about this?

The only thought I have is that the EXACT same thing has happened to me (although, now that I'm rereading your post, the time-period doesn't line up exactly with yours.)

I was getting page-reads all month during February, and very steady borrows on my series starter. The series read-through rate was making the ad very profitable even though the book is a 99 cent loss-leader. The page-reads continued into the start of this month, and then they just stopped, like somebody flicked an OFF switch. I've had a few nibbles, but most days there've been 0 pages.

To be exact, March 7th was my last day of normal and (somewhat) steady page-reads. Since then my KU traffic has all but dried up.

I'm very frustrated about it, and I have no idea what caused it since my ad continues to get clicks at about the same rate as before. Is Amazon just not showing the ad to KU subscribers or something?

EDIT: Although, to be fair, sales have also been worse over this time period. My clicks overall are roughly same or better (other than a few pesky keywords) but I'm not getting nearly as many conversions.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on March 25, 2017, 12:07:52 PM
My KU pages have suddenly dropped too. Like from an average of more than 3k daily to 200 yesterday and 17 pages today.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 25, 2017, 01:25:44 PM
... I was getting page-reads all month during February, and very steady borrows on my series starter. The series read-through rate was making the ad very profitable even though the book is a 99 cent loss-leader. The page-reads continued into the start of this month, and then they just stopped, like somebody flicked an OFF switch. I've had a few nibbles, but most days there've been 0 pages. ...

While the page reads on my .99 series starter novella have been going up and down the last 30 days, the average daily (~100) is pretty solid (and that's with an ad running). No consistent drop-off the last several days.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jacob Stanley on March 25, 2017, 02:05:22 PM
I just did the math on mine. My page reads are down by 86% since March 8th compared to what they were between Feb 1 and March 7th. Nothing's changed as far as I know on my end... No new blurb, no price change.. Nothing. 

Edit: this includes all my books, but I don't get any traffic at all from anywhere except for AMS. I have one main series right now. Last month I focused on advertising the first book, and made all my profit on the read-through. Sometimes I get sales because AMS boosts my ranking or leads to other organic traffic, so they don't all show up on my stats, but if I turn off AMS everything dries up in a hurry.

My ad is still getting clicks at a comparable rate, but sales and ESPECIALLY borrows have dried up, and that's led to worse ranking, which means fewer organic sales, and etc... It's like somebody turned the engine off on the car while it was still rolling.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 25, 2017, 02:16:59 PM
Sales and page reads from 3/16 through today are almost exactly 1/3 of what they were from 3/1 through 3/15. Those are just those that I have AMS ads for.

There are still six days to go before the end of the month (she says optimistically).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 25, 2017, 04:29:10 PM
I've had a definate downward trend on my graph for borrows over this last week, culminating in my first two zero page read days in many months. Sales have also dropped off this past week. That's with 6 books in AMS.

I've had only one sale every other day to boot this past week. Not sure why there is this trend, but it's like staring into the abys.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jacob Stanley on March 25, 2017, 04:47:21 PM
I've had a definate downward trend on my graph for borrows over this last week, culminating in my first two zero page read days in many months. Sales have also dropped off this past week. That's with 6 books in AMS.

I'vehad only one sale every other day to boot this past week. Not sure why there is this trend, but it's like staring into the abys.

If it hadn't been for a random paperback sale on my box-set, my earnings on this pen name would be down by 96% since the 7th (in comparison to the previous good stretch starting around Feb 1st.)

Even counting the paperback sale, it's down 84%. Definitely seems like I've hit some kind of steep cliff all the sudden. But to be fair, I'm currently at the level where I feel like I'm doing great if I can average one sale/borrow per day. So when things drop even a little for me, it basically goes to zero.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 25, 2017, 04:48:00 PM
Looking at February and March last year, February (being a shorter month) outsold March by about 25%. I'm just looking at the $ amounts from .com.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on March 25, 2017, 04:53:19 PM
If it hadn't been for a random paperback sale on my box-set, my earnings on this pen name would be down by 96% since the 7th (in comparison to the previous good stretch starting around Feb 1st.)

Even counting the paperback sale, it's down 84%. Definitely seems like I've hit some kind of steep cliff all the sudden. But to be fair, I'm currently at the level where I feel like I'm doing great if I can average a sale/borrow a day over the course of a month. So when things drop even a little for me, it basically goes to zero.

Can't complain about book sales. I've had 4 paper book sales so far. Just my eBooks that are down.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jacob Stanley on March 25, 2017, 04:56:18 PM
Looking at February and March last year, February (being a shorter month) outsold March by about 25%. I'm just looking at the $ amounts from .com.

I took a quick look at mine for last year and March was triple February for me, but my sales were so meager back then that they aren't even worth scrutinizing, and I did a big free run in march, with freebooksy I think, so that distorted things.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RobCornell on March 25, 2017, 05:00:47 PM
The month of March for me has sucked compared to past months all on its own. I just dipped my toe into AMS yesterday, so there's no correlation there. I've heard from others that Mach has seen a downturn for them, too. I think there might be other outside factors behind this, and little to do with AMS ad performance.

Maybe. ;)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Laura Rae Amos on March 26, 2017, 07:36:06 PM
Does anyone know if these ads are meant to die off after a certain period? I started my current ad in December. It took a few weeks to get going, but performed pretty well in January and part of Feburary. Then it just kind of died. Impressions slowed to a crawl and the clicks and sales slowed along with them (since nobody was seeing my ad, I presume). I had ~130k impressions from mid-December to mid-February, but then March has only gotten me about 9k more. It never even came close to reaching my daily spend, which was $5. I don't think I ever spent a whole dollar in a day. 

The click through and sales were doing fine—not great, but fine, making profit—then it just kind of died.

Is there a way to revive it? Or am I supposed to start a fresh one?

My bids are mostly around 0.20, by the way. My average click cost is 0.11.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 26, 2017, 07:39:03 PM
Does anyone know if these ads are meant to die off after a certain period? I started my current ad in December. It took a few weeks to get going, but performed pretty well in January and part of Feburary. Then it just kind of died. Impressions slowed to a crawl and the clicks and sales slowed along with them (since nobody was seeing my ad, I presume). I had ~130k impressions from mid-December to mid-February, but then March has only gotten me about 9k more. It never even came close to reaching my daily spend, which was $5. I don't think I ever spent a whole dollar in a day. 

The click through and sales were doing fine—not great, but fine, making profit—then it just kind of died.

Is there a way to revive it? Or am I supposed to start a fresh one?

My bids are mostly around 0.20, by the way. My average click cost is 0.11.

I had one that slowed way down. I paused it for about five days and added some keywords. It's picked up again. It's something to try anyway.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on March 27, 2017, 02:14:23 AM
Just thought I'd throw this out there:

My AMS ad has spent the last month ringing up pages read on my KENP graph.  Blue lines all over the place.  Obviously, I was very happy.

But the last four days, with two weeks or so left on my ad time, this has come to a halt.  Not a slow down, a halt. 

Does anybody have any thoughts about this?

Same for me. I wonder if it's Amazon tweaking algo's or doing something that's affecting reports. I don't think it's an AMS thing...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on March 28, 2017, 03:39:53 PM
Having a couple of free days between projects, I've been catching up on stuff and AMS ads are on the list, so I settled down for a mammoth session reading this whole thread. Phew! Lots of reading, lots of great discussion, one general conclusion - the ads are a huge mystery, and no one really understands how they work or how best to get them working in a generic formulaic way. It seems to be a matter of tweak and experiment and tweak some more. I started using them back in May (I have one ad that's run continuously since then), and it's definitely got harder to make a profit.

Some general observations from almost a year of experimenting:

1) If you can get enough impressions, you get clicks, and if you get enough clicks, you get sales. Combined with paperbacks, audio and KU, even a low-level campaign can be cost effective.

2) 99c books get more sales but lower profit. (Well, duh! But visibility is good too.)

3) New campaigns do really well at first before settling down. I don't quite know how to take advantage of that, but it's interesting.

4) It's a long game. Because of the day-to-day variations and the horrible lag on sales, it takes weeks before you can assess a campaign properly and months before there's enough data on individual keywords to make judgements.

5) Knowing what to bid is hideously difficult.

6) It seems to be impossible to scale a performing ad up.

I've worked out my own system for managing the ads which strikes a balance between driving me mad with constant monitoring and adjusting hundreds of keyword bids at a time, and cost effectiveness. Here's what I do:

1) I start each campaign by bidding 16c, 21c or 26c on all keywords (400 for the Regencies, 600 for the fantasies), depending on whether I want to be conservative, or push the boat out a bit. Why those numbers? Because most people will likely bid round numbers, so I aim to be 1c more. :) That seems to be enough to get things moving for my genres.

2) I monitor the dashboard and note numbers every few days, but I do my full assessment only once a month. For each campaign, I calculate CPC, ACOS, conversion rate and cost per click *for that month*. Then I decide whether to leave the campaign as it is, tweak the keyword bids, or terminate. The tweaking is the part I find most problematic, especially for long-running ads. How do you know whether that great ACOS on a keyword actually dates back months? I'd really like monthly data for the keywords, but I'm not prepared to put in the amount of work necessary to track it myself. From time to time I add new keywords, mainly authors, taken from my also-boughts and the HNR lists.

I'm currently engaged in what's likely to be an expensive experiment - ramping up a low-key campaign on a pre-order ahead of launch, to see if throwing money at it has any effect. So far, it's been spectacularly unsuccessful, as the rank has fallen from 42K to around 160K.  :D I'll report my findings in due course.

Thanks to everyone who's contributed to this thread - some great information here. I hope I can contribute a little bit. This is what Kboards is so good at.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jake Parent on March 28, 2017, 06:54:09 PM
Fantastic stuff.

I've heard many Amazon sellers (not just authors) express frustration at a precipitous drop off of ad performance after a period of initial success. It makes me think that Amazon has to privilege new campaigns so as to get people hooked.

I've also noticed that the system seems to punish campaigns that I've gotten greedy on. Even one's that were racking 12+ sales a day at $10 stopped almost entirely when I tried to increase the budget to $20. It's hard to understand why they wouldn't want more money to run a well performing ad more often, but it's consistent enough that now I'm scared to go over $10.

Anyone else have that problem?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 28, 2017, 07:52:58 PM
The tweaking is the part I find most problematic, especially for long-running ads. How do you know whether that great ACOS on a keyword actually dates back months? I'd really like monthly data for the keywords, but I'm not prepared to put in the amount of work necessary to track it myself. From time to time I add new keywords, mainly authors, taken from my also-boughts and the HNR lists.

You can download a report on the keywords in a specific ad.  Open the add and click the download button there.  If you do this once a month then you can see what those keywords have done for that month.  You'll have to calculate the numbers yourself, but in Excel it's pretty easy to do.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on March 28, 2017, 10:31:08 PM
You can download a report on the keywords in a specific ad.  Open the add and click the download button there.  If you do this once a month then you can see what those keywords have done for that month.  You'll have to calculate the numbers yourself, but in Excel it's pretty easy to do.

Excel? Easy???  :o Not to me, lol!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on March 29, 2017, 03:59:23 AM
I've also noticed that the system seems to punish campaigns that I've gotten greedy on. Even one's that were racking 12+ sales a day at $10 stopped almost entirely when I tried to increase the budget to $20. It's hard to understand why they wouldn't want more money to run a well performing ad more often, but it's consistent enough that now I'm scared to go over $10.

Anyone else have that problem?

I've heard of very few scaling-up success stories. There was a topic running on that subject a month or two back. And yes, I once doubled my daily limit from $5 to $10 after a promising start. Ad performance decreased after that. However, I found if I started my daily limit at $10, ad performance was consistently better.

But I stopped altogether because my ads hardly ever turned a positive ROI. I got tired of feeding a slot machine that never paid out.  ;D
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RobCornell on March 29, 2017, 05:28:32 AM
Okay, so I've been tweaking as well. I've only been at this a week, so my observations are useless, but I do have a dumb question: When it comes to keywords, I've noticed most examples have them all lowercase. Do you think capitalization has any effect? I would assume not, but I prefer not to assume anything. :P
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 29, 2017, 05:34:34 AM
Okay, so I've been tweaking as well. I've only been at this a week, so my observations are useless, but I do have a dumb question: When it comes to keywords, I've noticed most examples have them all lowercase. Do you think capitalization has any effect? I would assume not, but I prefer not to assume anything. :P

All keywords are converted to lower case.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 29, 2017, 05:58:35 AM
It seems to be a matter of tweak and experiment and tweak some more.

It's a long game. Because of the day-to-day variations and the horrible lag on sales, it takes weeks before you can assess a campaign properly and months before there's enough data on individual keywords to make judgements.

Knowing what to bid is hideously difficult.

The tweaking is the part I find most problematic, especially for long-running ads.


I find that I'm constantly tweaking effective keywords, which takes a huge chunk of time. If I don't tweak, my books either fall off the carousel or are so far back that no one sees them. Most people don't go beyond page 2 or 3, if that far.

Whether or not your books are in KU may be a factor in how well they do in relation to your keywords. I have a hunch that potential readers who subscribe to KU won't be as willing to purchase books that aren't in KU. This would definitely be important in selecting your keywords. My books aren't in KU, and I've seen this in the performance of my keywords, especially with popular KU titles.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RobCornell on March 29, 2017, 06:04:22 AM
All keywords are converted to lower case.

Haha. Yeah. I just figured that out. *SMH*
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 29, 2017, 11:46:24 AM
I find that I'm constantly tweaking effective keywords, which takes a huge chunk of time. If I don't tweak, my books either fall off the carousel or are so far back that no one sees them. Most people don't go beyond page 2 or 3, if that far.

Whether or not your books are in KU may be a factor in how well they do in relation to your keywords. I have a hunch that potential readers who subscribe to KU won't be as willing to purchase books that aren't in KU. This would definitely be important in selecting your keywords. My books aren't in KU, and I've seen this in the performance of my keywords, especially with popular KU titles.

I see that some people put "kindle unlimited" in their ad copy. So I did that and also added audiobook. It's only been a couple of days and I'm getting loads of impressions and clicks but only one sale so far. No page reads for that ad either. 96K+ impressions and 46 clicks. This is a book that usually sells well when I do a promo. Patience, patience, patience. And some more tweaking.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 29, 2017, 12:58:20 PM
It's seemed wonky for me the past three days.  Seeing activity on the ads and rankings that looked good but no sales reported and almost no pages read showing up. And then just now I had three full reads of book 1 hit the dashboard so hoping whatever it was has shaken itself out.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 29, 2017, 01:20:55 PM
It's seemed wonky for me the past three days.  Seeing activity on the ads and rankings that looked good but no sales reported and almost no pages read showing up. And then just now I had three full reads of book 1 hit the dashboard so hoping whatever it was has shaken itself out.

Page reads have been way down the last three days, but I've had a few sales. It seems I never get page reads and sales on the same day. It's either one or the other.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: EC Sheedy on March 29, 2017, 04:31:47 PM
I find that I'm constantly tweaking effective keywords, which takes a huge chunk of time. If I don't tweak, my books either fall off the carousel or are so far back that no one sees them.

Probably a dumber than dumb question but how exactly do you judge what makes an effective keyword? Number of impressions? Number of clicks? Or number of sales?

And is it wise to pause a keyword that has tons of impressions, a decent number of clicks (1 per 750 impressions), but zero sales? (This after a month long ad.)

Keyword selection and click bidding--probably the basics for a successful ad--make my brain hurt.

Gratitude for this thread!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 29, 2017, 04:53:02 PM
Probably a dumber than dumb question but how exactly do you judge what makes an effective keyword? Number of impressions? Number of clicks? Or number of sales?

And is it wise to pause a keyword that has tons of impressions, a decent number of clicks (1 per 750 impressions), but zero sales? (This after a month long ad.)

Keyword selection and click bidding--probably the basics for a successful ad--make my brain hurt.

Gratitude for this thread!

I can only speak for what I do; others may treat keywords differently. If there have been close to 20 clicks on a keyword and no sales, I pause it. At that point it's fairly clear that the keyword isn't working for the book; it isn't drawing readers who want to buy it. I used to pause a keyword after 10 clicks and no sales, but discovered that this was a mistake. When I later saw that there were sales I wasn't aware of due to AMS delayed reporting, I reactivated the keywords. The most effective keywords are the ones that have the most clicks and sales. Hope this helps.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Guy Riessen on March 29, 2017, 05:02:22 PM
I can only speak for what I do; others may treat keywords differently. If there have been close to 20 clicks on a keyword and no sales, I pause it. At that point it's fairly clear that the keyword isn't working for the book; it isn't drawing readers who want to buy it. I used to pause a keyword after 10 clicks and no sales, but discovered that this was a mistake. When I later saw that there were sales I wasn't aware of due to AMS delayed reporting, I reactivated the keywords. The most effective keywords are the ones that have the most clicks and sales. Hope this helps.

Hmmm, if you're getting lots of clicks though, can't that lead to unassociated KU page reads? Well, assuming your book is in KU anyway. Because of the variable lag in reporting there's not real direct way to link page reads to ad clicks. Or am I misunderstanding how it works? I'm new to this and am not a KU reader--so I'm not clear on the process. Couldn't a KU member click on the ad, then click on what's the "Read Now for Free in KU" button?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 29, 2017, 05:13:05 PM
In my experience if a keyword is hitting the target I'll get both sales and reads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 29, 2017, 05:20:08 PM
Hmmm, if you're getting lots of clicks though, can't that lead to unassociated KU page reads? Well, assuming your book is in KU anyway. Because of the variable lag in reporting there's not real direct way to link page reads to ad clicks. Or am I misunderstanding how it works? I'm new to this and am not a KU reader--so I'm not clear on the process. Couldn't a KU member click on the ad, then click on what's the "Read Now for Free in KU" button?
I'm not in KU.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 29, 2017, 05:30:41 PM
Hmmm, if you're getting lots of clicks though, can't that lead to unassociated KU page reads? Well, assuming your book is in KU anyway. Because of the variable lag in reporting there's not real direct way to link page reads to ad clicks. Or am I misunderstanding how it works? I'm new to this and am not a KU reader--so I'm not clear on the process. Couldn't a KU member click on the ad, then click on what's the "Read Now for Free in KU" button?

Yes, of course, which is why the ACOS on the dashboard isn't as useful as it could be. I go by my KDP dashboard for both sales and page reads. It's unlikely that there will be organic sales/reads outside of AMS so I can assume any sales/reads on my dashboard come from the ads I have running. I do have other sales from time to time, but I'm concentrating mainly on AMS ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jacob Stanley on March 29, 2017, 07:31:54 PM
Probably a dumber than dumb question but how exactly do you judge what makes an effective keyword? Number of impressions? Number of clicks? Or number of sales?

And is it wise to pause a keyword that has tons of impressions, a decent number of clicks (1 per 750 impressions), but zero sales? (This after a month long ad.)

Keyword selection and click bidding--probably the basics for a successful ad--make my brain hurt.

Gratitude for this thread!

In response to the bolded: If I'm using an author name as a keyword, and I'm getting lots of clicks but no sales, I usually keep the ad going if its an indie author with books in KU.

This may or may not be a good way to approach things, but I know that KU readers have a lower threshold for trying things out than people who buy, so it doesn't seem odd to me that there would be borrows on books that get few or no sales.

Of course, it also depends on how much I'm paying for the clicks and exposure. When I have to bid really high to get a decent number of impressions on a keyword, I'm more likely to drop it if sales never materialize. And I also pay a lot of attention to the ratio of clicks to impressions. If the keyword is taking several thousand impressions to get a click (2000 is my cutoff number lately, and I prefer it if they're around 1000 or less) then that suggests a lack of interest, and it's more likely that I'm not getting KU reads.

So basically I've started to become more interested in the impression/click ratio than ACOS, at least for keywords derived from books and authors in the indie community.

I'm probably losing some money by approaching it this way, but I'm okay with that up to a point. Right now, maximizing exposure is substantially more important to me than maximizing profits.

Also, when I started paying more attention to impression/click ratio, it definitely seemed like my ads started performing better overall, but I made a lot of other subtle changes to my approach around the same time, so it's hard to be sure which one made the biggest difference.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Laura Rae Amos on March 30, 2017, 11:27:16 AM
1) I start each campaign by bidding 16c, 21c or 26c on all keywords (400 for the Regencies, 600 for the fantasies), depending on whether I want to be conservative, or push the boat out a bit. Why those numbers? Because most people will likely bid round numbers, so I aim to be 1c more. :) That seems to be enough to get things moving for my genres.

Clever! Thank you for mentioning this! I have certainly been one of those other people who bid only round numbers (until now!). :D
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: WriterSongwriter on March 30, 2017, 11:41:13 AM
I'm trying AMS ads and with a lag of more than a week KU reads are starting to go up. I had expected this sooner. I have also noticed that when I stop my campaign the ranking of the book dies. There is no sticky-ness what so ever.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 30, 2017, 11:41:46 AM
I can only speak for what I do; others may treat keywords differently. If there have been close to 20 clicks on a keyword and no sales, I pause it. At that point it's fairly clear that the keyword isn't working for the book; it isn't drawing readers who want to buy it....

Or, you're not closing the sale because of something on the product detail page. You've already intrigued them with your cover-title-ad copy so they're interested. But something is stopping them when they get to the book page. Could be the price (too expensive). Or maybe the book blurb doesn't deliver on the 150-character ad copy. Or the Look Inside is turning them off. Or the reviews. Or...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: ParkerAvrile on March 30, 2017, 12:33:49 PM
Guys. You know the images are not showing in preview and perhaps your ad is not showing at all to be clicked? Because that's what's going on with mine. Go preview what your ad looks like and make sure you actually have an ad showing. Seems to be glitching since Tuesday  maybe?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 30, 2017, 01:38:42 PM
The preview your ad option wasn't working for me for probably four months but then started working for a while.  I got out of the habit of using it because of that.  Didn't seem to affect my ad performance at all.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on March 30, 2017, 03:35:41 PM
I've been periodically perusing this thread, but it has grown so much since I last visited that I got lost and forgot to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.

I have an odd question though, and I apologize if the topic is buried somewhere here (and if it is, a page number would be great).  The question is about running an ad for a non-first-in-series book.  Many of us write series in which books are not serialized, and each can be read as a standalone.  With that being the case, has anyone run an ad for Book 2 or 3 or whatever?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: mythsnake on March 30, 2017, 03:52:50 PM
I had an ad running for the second book in my SF romance series, and it did really poorly (though I suspect it had more going against it than it just being book 2, and yes, it's a stand alone). I would have preferred to run an ad for book one, but AMS said no dice to the cover, so I ran book 2 instead. I'm in the process of changing the covers and branding across the whole series, and hopefully I'll be able to get past the AMS censors this time.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 30, 2017, 04:29:38 PM
I've been periodically perusing this thread, but it has grown so much since I last visited that I got lost and forgot to leave a trail of breadcrumbs....

Just added this to Guideposts in Message #1 on Page 1 :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Hardesty on March 30, 2017, 04:34:42 PM
AMS isn't doing much for my sales but I, too, see a jump in reads I suspect driven by AMS.  If those reads were books sold, I could put money down on a new pair of roller skates.  Which makes me wonder - Has anyone tried leaving a first book in series in Select to use reads as loss leader PR but kept all subsequent books in a series out of Select to encourage sales in place of reads or am I a complete idiot as the two readerships barely overlap?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on March 30, 2017, 04:37:15 PM
Just added this to Guideposts in Message #1 on Page 1 :)

Ha, thanks.  I can't be the only one thinking of this.  (Can I???)  [No, I see that mythsnake did it already.]

Anyway, I'm thinking of doing this for one of my series...  thought it might get a little more oomph if I chose one of the later books.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on March 30, 2017, 04:48:28 PM
Ha, thanks.  I can't be the only one thinking of this.  (Can I???)  [No, I see that mythsnake did it already.]

Anyway, I'm thinking of doing this for one of my series...  thought it might get a little more oomph if I chose one of the later books.

If the prequel ad I'm running doesn't show some sales/reads soon, I'm skipping that one and going straight to advertising the second book in the trilogy.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on March 30, 2017, 05:30:56 PM
I've been periodically perusing this thread, but it has grown so much since I last visited that I got lost and forgot to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.

I have an odd question though, and I apologize if the topic is buried somewhere here (and if it is, a page number would be great).  The question is about running an ad for a non-first-in-series book.  Many of us write series in which books are not serialized, and each can be read as a standalone.  With that being the case, has anyone run an ad for Book 2 or 3 or whatever?

Yes. I advertise all my titles. My ads for second-in-series titles supposedly don't earn out. AMS insists they're unprofitable. One has an ACoS of 194.31%. But their sales have gone way up, and the one that's in KU has thousands of page reads it wasn't getting before. It's perfectly possible that all those were sell-through from the first books in the series. But 100k impressions for under $25 is a very nice deal, IMO, so I keep running the ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: The Bass Bagwhan on March 30, 2017, 06:20:21 PM
AMS isn't doing much for my sales but I, too, see a jump in reads I suspect driven by AMS.  If those reads were books sold, I could put money down on a new pair of roller skates.  Which makes me wonder - Has anyone tried leaving a first book in series in Select to use reads as loss leader PR but kept all subsequent books in a series out of Select to encourage sales in place of reads or am I a complete idiot as the two readerships barely overlap?
I can see this backfiring on you, Steven. Someone who discovers your books through KU might be annoyed that subsequent titles are not also available. Plus, as you point out, through KU you're reaching an audience that browses through Amazon. I don't see how that translates across to different platforms.
Unless I'm missing something. Good luck with it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on March 30, 2017, 06:49:57 PM
Or, you're not closing the sale because of something on the product detail page. You've already intrigued them with your cover-title-ad copy so they're interested. But something is stopping them when they get to the book page. Could be the price (too expensive). Or maybe the book blurb doesn't deliver on the 150-character ad copy. Or the Look Inside is turning them off. Or the reviews. Or...
I looked and this is what I found: the books that had 14+ clicks and no sales had subject matter that was different from the book that I was promoting. People who were curious because of the cover-title-ad copy clicked. I had maybe 6 or 7 keywords scattered through five different books that had keywords for book titles that either weren't in the same genre as my books or had entirely different subject matter. I threw the keywords in to see what would happen. There have been times when I've been surprised, when keywords that I didn't think would work turned out to be effective. It's trial and error. There are some keywords that I haven't been able to get impressions on that I'm sure would do well even though I've raised my bids. Go figure.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: mythsnake on March 30, 2017, 08:23:12 PM
I've only got one ad right now, since killing my SF romance ad, and that particular ad is really doing quite well. It's for my epic fantasy trilogy omnibus, sells for $7.99 and is in KU, and while I've only sold one copy outright, the KU reads have been going gangbusters. I really thought that the lack of reviews and its initial sales rank in the 2 millions would keep people away, but in fact it hasn't. And what's even better is that a full read of the omnibus nets a bigger payout than a sale by about a buck, so while my ACos is pretty terrible (around 150%), according to BookReport, I've made back my ad expenses and am turning a nifty little profit with 1-2 borrows a day. I'm only ten days into this ad, but so far I'm impressed by what it's done for this particular book. I'm still small potatoes; a 3 figure month is a big deal for me, so the fact that I've been making about ten dollars a day in reads for the last week is seriously exciting for me. Now if only I can get my SF romance series some of that mojo.

Hadn't considered doing ads for the individual books in the trilogy, but since they have actual reviews, maybe they'd do even better than the omnibus.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on March 31, 2017, 02:07:01 AM
With that being the case, has anyone run an ad for Book 2 or 3 or whatever?

I've run ads for all of mine at different times. Some do better than others, but there's no overall downturn for second and subsequent books. In fact for the Regencies, which are a clearly numbered series, every ad has done well for a while (most of them they go off the boil eventually).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RobCornell on March 31, 2017, 09:25:53 AM
I swore I read somewhere up-thread about what a good ratio of impressions/clicks or length of time and clicks or something like that. But since I'm having no luck finding it, I'll ask a specific question:

I have an ad running with 132 keywords, almost entirely made up of relevant author names. I started this on 3/27. I have 4,743 impressions, only 7 clicks, and so far no sales reported. (I'm also, so far, not seeing any movement on page reads.) Is this as bad as I think it is? :P Too soon to tell?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on March 31, 2017, 11:03:34 AM
I swore I read somewhere up-thread about what a good ratio of impressions/clicks or length of time and clicks or something like that. But since I'm having no luck finding it, I'll ask a specific question:

I have an ad running with 132 keywords, almost entirely made up of relevant author names. I started this on 3/27. I have 4,743 impressions, only 7 clicks, and so far no sales reported. (I'm also, so far, not seeing any movement on page reads.) Is this as bad as I think it is? :P Too soon to tell?

IMO - the click/impression ratio isn't hideous. It's too soon to tell about sales. They would be starting to show up yesterday or today at earliest (so depending when you got those first clicks...). I'm not in KU, so I can't comment on that. You've only had 7 clicks. I assume it will take at LEAST that many to get a sale. I would wait until you are about three days out after hitting 15-20 clicks before starting to panic. At that point, you should be seeing sales and/or page reads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on March 31, 2017, 11:06:17 AM
Your issue is a low number of impressions.  I look for at least one click per 1,000 impressions and ideally like to have two clicks per thousand and you're in that range.  And I usually like to see one sale per 10 clicks minimum. (This is at a price of $4.99 - $6.99 for non-KU titles, others who price lower may have different ratios they look for and when you're in KU it can get skewed because of borrows).  So, in that scenario it's either a slow-burn ad or you need to up your bids or add keywords to get more impressions.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 31, 2017, 11:13:04 AM
So here's my 7-day sequential test comparing two ad copy blurbs for my short, $0.99, KU series opener ("1609"). Both campaigns ran for 7 days (one after the other) before being paused. Then I waited another 7 days (on each) for any lagging metrics to show up. Both are exactly the same (same keywords, same budgets, same cover, same title) BUT with different ad copy texts. So, an A/B test of sorts on ad copy effectiveness.

Here's the summary:

(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/AMStest_ABblurbs_1609reboots7day_1000x_65q.jpg)

And here are the two ad copy blurbs:
A. It's Sept, 1609, and two worlds are about to collide. Historical fiction. Based on true events. First book in the Series about the birth of NYC. = x144 chrs (6 left)
B. It's Sept, 1609, and two worlds are about to collide. First historical fiction series written about birth of NYC from beginning. Based on true events. = x150 chrs (0 left)

Test Observations:

* Is it valid to compare two campaigns sequentially vs. simultaneously? Well, it's been reported here that when doing simultaneous ads for the same book, Amazon will pick a winner and push the other one down based on criteria that no one seems to know. So another way to test one variable is to try it this way (sequentially).

* Notice that the Impressions of both are close, and the Clicks are identical! (with Spend almost the same) But the Sales and the ACoS tell a different story.

* I assumed that "B" would outperform "A", but I was wrong. Although the numbers are very small, the outcome has one campaign outperforming the other. But were there other factors involved? Like maybe something in the AMS system (or the world) that could have been happening during the "B" run that wasn't in the "A"? Who knows.

* What about KU Reads? It's hard to know which reads came from the AMS ads, but looking at my KENP Reads chart for this book, "A" and "B" are roughly the same over 7 days, although both are higher than the preceding period with no ads running.

What do you think? Is it a fair test? Can you see why (in the ad copy) "A" did better than "B"? Can you suggest an alternative "C" version I could try? :)

I welcome your thoughts.

EDIT: NOTE: My bids are very low on these two: $0.02-$0.05. I reversed my strategy from the prior campaign (Row #4 in chart), where I had come in higher and gradually reduced the bids. This time, I came in low and will raise bids slowly once I restart the campaign(s).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on March 31, 2017, 02:09:52 PM
I know a lot of people run long-term ads:  weeks at a time, if not indefinitely.  Is there a point at which the cost outweighs the benefit?  I usually run my ads (with a $ per day cap) to 4 or 5 days, usually over a weekend, when I  assume a lot of people browse for books, or some other period that I think is optimal.  Am I crazy to limit myself that way?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on March 31, 2017, 03:04:08 PM
I know a lot of people run long-term ads:  weeks at a time, if not indefinitely.  Is there a point at which the cost outweighs the benefit?  I usually run my ads (with a $ per day cap) to 4 or 5 days, usually over a weekend, when I  assume a lot of people browse for books, or some other period that I think is optimal.  Am I crazy to limit myself that way?

Yes. You're crazy :) [kidding] If the ads are working, why stop them? On the other hand, if they're not working after AT LEAST 7-10 days, then things may need changing: bids, pausing, copy... Look at my chart above and see the 3rd campaign down from the top: it was just not working and costing too much after 30 days of running. So I hit the pause button on that one.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on April 01, 2017, 05:31:43 AM
I just launched a campaign and WOW. Within the first hour I had tens of thousands of impressions spread over all my keywords. My ads consistently showed on page one of every keyword (1000). Then it got better. Dozens of clicks appeared with an aCPC of two cents!

Two hours later, sales started showing up on the report. Yeah, you read correctly, sales in under two days. The best part? One sale per click! Incredible! Then I looked at my ACoS and it simply read TILT.

Then I looked to the lower right-hand corner of my screen and noticed the date.  ;D

   
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 01, 2017, 07:09:03 AM
The moment you said sales "showed" immediately, I remembered what day it was.  ::)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on April 02, 2017, 02:09:29 AM
I asked KDP why my recent campaigns had no impressions despite running for 4 days.  Turned out the hashtag (#) in my campaign title had fouled up the system.

Anyway, they also sent me the following, potentially informative, reply which could help us understand the system a little better:

Quote
CPC bid Ad Frequency capping:

We cap the amount of times that a user will see an ad, also we take into account whether this user has seen the ad but not clicked on it.

For example, if the same users searches 3 times on a day for 'pedi' and never clicks on the scroll ad, we determine that this ad is not very useful to this user and therefore next time we will serve another brand ad

Campaign budget pacing:

If the brand has selected the option of 'Allow Amazon to spread budget smoothly' or if our system predicts that we will reach out budget by the end of the campaign (based on the predicted amount of clicks and CPC), we will spread the budget, which means that if there are 1000 available impressions on 1 day, we will serve the ad maybe on only 500 occasions (and in the rest, if we have another ad for that keyword, we will show that one) to make sure we are spreading the budget until the last day that it was specified.

Irrelevant ads:

Highly irrelevant ads will perform poorly and once the auction market has some level of competition the natural preference for Higher CTR ads in the Auction market has the effect of pushing out irrelevant ads (irrelevant ads have low CTR and when two ads compete the Bid values are scaled according to their CTRs so for a Low CTR add to beat a high CTR add it must bid more by a larger and larger margin in order to the placement).

If an irrelevant ad does get a lot of clicks then it is in fact demonstrating relevance (people are clicking on it).

If anyone here could break down and paraphrase the above to make it understandable, I would be so appreciative.

Thanks,

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on April 02, 2017, 03:50:51 AM
Here's my take on it (for what, if anything, it's worth).

Capping
You get three tries on a reader to get him/her to click your ad. After that, forget it.

Pacing
Even if you win the ad auction, you may not get the slot you won if Amazon decides to hold you back, for later.

Irrelevant ads
Amazon will only run really bonehead ads if they don't have anything else.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 02, 2017, 05:17:41 AM
If anyone here could break down and paraphrase the above to make it understandable, I would be so appreciative.

Thanks,

Philip

My take on it:

Capping: They try not to show the same ad to people over and over again.  But that three tries is an example and I know I've seen ads on my own books more times than that, so there is a cap, but they didn't tell you what it is.

Budget Pacing: That's relevant to the type of ad most folks on here aren't using.  You can choose to spend it all right away or pace it out over the time period for the ad.  If you space it out, they spread the spend.

Irrelevant Ads: They take your bid and multiply it by some sort of factor based on your click to impressions ratio.  Lots of clicks means you get a higher multiplier.  So if you bid 10 cents and someone else bids 50 cents but they have a low click rate on that particular word then your 10 cent bid could beat their 50 cent bid due to that weighting.  As the market gets more competitive and folks with better targeting and ads enter the market the odds of a low conversion keyword working diminish unless you want to pay a fortune to overcome that multiplier.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on April 02, 2017, 06:19:09 AM
So here's my 7-day sequential test comparing two ad copy blurbs for my short, $0.99, KU series opener ("1609"). Both campaigns ran for 7 days (one after the other) before being paused. Then I waited another 7 days (on each) for any lagging metrics to show up. Both are exactly the same (same keywords, same budgets, same cover, same title) BUT with different ad copy texts. So, an A/B test of sorts on ad copy effectiveness.

I think the blurb for A is better. Could that make all the difference?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 02, 2017, 06:41:17 AM
I think the blurb for A is better. Could that make all the difference?

It certainly could. Thanks for this input. I've just gone live with a new "C" version that is a slight tweak on the "A" blurb. We'll see!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: TAClark on April 03, 2017, 10:06:18 AM
I’ve been lurking on this forum for a while now, and I’ve learned a ton from the many excellent discussions. But this thread has been outstanding, and I felt like I had to comment.

I found this thread a few days ago, and have been studying it with great interest.  I have had a Product Display Ad for one of my books for almost a year, and it had become kind of a running joke in my house.  In all that time, I have had 49 clicks and a total of 3 sales.  At least it didn’t cost me much.

I was not aware of the difference between the Product Display and the Sponsored Product ads. After reading through this entire thread, I took what I thought were the best suggestions and put together an ad for one of my books that had really slipped into the doldrums.  It has sold only 17 copies in the past 90 days, and was down in the 400k zone.  I was getting some KU downloads and reads, but nothing consistent.

My ad was approved and went live yesterday morning, and by noon, I had my first click (on the keyword ‘book,’ an Amazon suggestion.  Could that be any more generic?).  Not long after that, a sale popped up on my KDP dashboard.  Coincidence?  Maybe, but by the end of the day, I had 6 clicks and 3 sales.

Whatever happened, I hope it keeps on happening.  This morning the book was around 89k rank, a number it had not seen for a while.
I want to thank everybody who has taken the time to share this information.  I would have given up in frustration a long time ago if not for the valuable information and advice on this forum.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 03, 2017, 10:12:07 AM
... Whatever happened, I hope it keeps on happening.  This morning the book was around 89k rank, a number it had not seen for a while. I want to thank everybody who has taken the time to share this information.  I would have given up in frustration a long time ago if not for the valuable information and advice on this forum.

Congrats, TAClark. Let us know how things are going, especially after 7-10 days. And see if your KU reads are higher from the start of the ad.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 03, 2017, 10:38:19 AM
I ran a sponsored product ad from 11/02 till 3/20, and terminated that ad after 3,666,633 impressions and 2,483 clicks. It seemed I was getting less activity, so I thought it was time to get a fresh start. To be honest, I've never done much better than +/- breaking even, but the ad got me KU reads in addition to sales, and kept my book from sinking into obscurity.

Right before terminating the original ad, I created two new ads. AD #1 I basically cloned the original, minus some of the keywords. AD #2 has different ad copy, so they aren't identical, and most keywords are different. Currently, I'm underwater, worse than before, but hopefully that will change.

After analyzing my data, it appears I was getting about 24,000 impressions per day with my original ad, (although I think it was slowing around the time I decided to create the new ads) and now, with both ads combined, I'm only getting about 12,500. I have no idea why the disparity, unless there are a lot more users these days and Amazon needs to spread the love around. A few days ago I upped my daily budget from $3.00 and $5.00 to $5.00 and $10.00, but I have a feeling it's not going to make much difference.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 03, 2017, 11:06:11 AM
I ran a sponsored product ad from 11/02 till 3/20, and terminated that ad after 3,666,633 impressions and 2,483 clicks. It seemed I was getting less activity, so I thought it was time to get a fresh start. To be honest, I've never done much better than +/- breaking even, but the ad got me KU reads in addition to sales, and kept my book from sinking into obscurity.

Right before terminating the original ad, I created two new ads. AD #1 I basically cloned the original, minus some of the keywords. AD #2 has different ad copy, so they aren't identical, and most keywords are different. Currently, I'm underwater, worse than before, but hopefully that will change.

After analyzing my data, it appears I was getting about 24,000 impressions per day with my original ad, (although I think it was slowing around the time I decided to create the new ads) and now, with both ads combined, I'm only getting about 12,500. I have no idea why the disparity, unless there are a lot more users these days and Amazon needs to spread the love around. A few days ago I upped my daily budget from $3.00 and $5.00 to $5.00 and $10.00, but I have a feeling it's not going to make much difference.

Running two ads concurrently on the same books has proven to be counterproductive. I think you'll find some info on that in the last couple of pages. If you're looking to do A/B testing, you need to run the ads sequentially. Pause one, then activate the other to see if there's any difference in performance.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Wired on April 03, 2017, 11:10:53 AM
I ran a sponsored product ad from 11/02 till 3/20, and terminated that ad after 3,666,633 impressions and 2,483 clicks.

How much were you bidding?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 03, 2017, 11:19:57 AM
Whatever happened, I hope it keeps on happening.  This morning the book was around 89k rank, a number it had not seen for a while.
I want to thank everybody who has taken the time to share this information.  I would have given up in frustration a long time ago if not for the valuable information and advice on this forum.


Congrats!  Hope it keeps going.

Also, Kay...I saw a complete slowdown in my ads for my fantasy titles the last three days.  Running just one didn't help, pausing and restarting didn't help, adjusting bids didn't help.  I finally stopped all of the ads and put through a new one.  We'll see if that works.  If not, well that really sucks.  AMS seem to be the only way I can sell books on Amazon these days.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 03, 2017, 11:47:22 AM
How much were you bidding?

With few exceptions, 0.25 across the board, and most of the time I didn't hit the max bids and generally paid .15-.18 at the most. I've also noticed recently that most of my impressions are being generated during hours I wouldn't consider prime time. Perhaps because I'm not a big name author. Yet. 
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JaclynDolamore on April 04, 2017, 06:21:33 AM
My ad spend has really slowed the past week or so. One day AMS only spent $3 of my budget. It was up to $20 a day for a while there. I started a new ad, upped some bids and added about 200 fresh new keywords and it has made no difference. I wonder if it is due to increased competition or if they simply decide to rotate out a book after it's been advertised a lot for months?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on April 04, 2017, 06:33:58 AM
My ad spend has really slowed the past week or so. One day AMS only spent $3 of my budget. It was up to $20 a day for a while there. I started a new ad, upped some bids and added about 200 fresh new keywords and it has made no difference. I wonder if it is due to increased competition or if they simply decide to rotate out a book after it's been advertised a lot for months?

Yeah, and as others are saying, I'm experiencing a dramatic slowdown in impressions across all 6 books. I'm letting it ride for now to see if it picks up, but it's holding your nerve when that translates into low page reads and sales. In 10 days,  I've had no AMS eBook sales, just 3 paper book sales and page reads have fallen off a cliff when I look at my graph.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on April 04, 2017, 06:47:50 AM
Glad it's not just me. Same story: slowdown in page reads and sales. I tweaked my most expensive ad a week ago and last night tweaked it again, thinking my original tweaks were the cause of the dip.

All those keywords are a lot to keep track of, which is why I lean toward pausing the irrelevant, low-sales-producing ones, and upping the bids as necessary on the ones that seem to actually sell books. Of course I never know which ads might be selling page reads instead, so I still might be shooting myself in the foot by pausing some apparently nonproducing keywords. This stuff can drive you crazy.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 04, 2017, 08:07:52 AM
Glad it's not just me. Same story: slowdown in page reads and sales. I tweaked my most expensive ad a week ago and last night tweaked it again, thinking my original tweaks were the cause of the dip.

All those keywords are a lot to keep track of, which is why I lean toward pausing the irrelevant, low-sales-producing ones, and upping the bids as necessary on the ones that seem to actually sell books. Of course I never know which ads might be selling page reads instead, so I still might be shooting myself in the foot by pausing some apparently nonproducing keywords. This stuff can drive you crazy.

I can think of three instances when I paused a non-productive keyword, only to have a sale appear a day or two later that was generated by that keyword. Weird! If only it worked all the time. I'd pause another fifty!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: mythsnake on April 04, 2017, 08:20:43 AM
My really good epic fantasy omnibus ad suddenly died over the last couple of days; I was turning a profit of about $30 on it when suddenly Amazon stopped showing and while I'm still getting page reads, it had turned into a trickle and my sales rank wasn't showing any new borrows. I was sitting at about 123K impressions and almost 100 clicks and two sales. Decided to copy and resubmit last night, so we'll see if that gets it going again.

On the other hand, I started up a SF romance one yesterday and it did gangbusters on the clicks and impressions yesterday, hitting its ten dollar spend limit and netting over 100k impressions, 70 odd clicks, three full-price sales, and about three full reads worth of page reads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Arches on April 04, 2017, 08:27:19 AM
I've been following this thread with great interest from the beginning, and I've learned an amazing amount about sponsored ads. Thank you to everyone who's contributed so far.
I've also learned an amazing amount about how little we know about how these ads work. I've see many frustrated posts because the ads seem to stop working, particularly recently, but there have to be thousands of these ads active at one time. A few anecdotal reports of trouble may not be representative of the program.
I have two ads running that could no doubt be improved if I knew what would work, but I'm extremely reluctant to just make changes and hope for the best. It seems like the safest thing to do is to try and find more relevant keywords rather than change bids or pause keywords. Does anyone have a better idea?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 04, 2017, 10:37:41 AM
I can't speak for anyone else but after a while it starts to get incredibly challenging to find more keywords that are relevant.  I do try adding new ones, but the core authors that are the best match were the ones I identified early on.  Of course, maybe I don't cast that net wide enough.  I decided this month to do a trial subscription in KU and read some of the books in my also-boughts for my fantasy novel and...those books are not a lot like mine.  I write coming of age fantasy set in an alternate world and I have tough-as-nails paranormal romance in my also-boughts or high-heat paranormal.  So maybe I limit myself by not casting the net wider or maybe that's a sign that I really haven't found my audience yet and am just picking up people who are willing to venture out of their norm a bit.

I think the reason for the slowdown for some of us old-timers (relative, I've had ads on most of my books running since July) is because we aren't marketing gurus and there've been a flood of new users coming into AMS.  Between a few new courses I'm seeing hit (Mark Dawson's and the ebookbestsellersecrets one someone posted) and Amazon offering $100 in free clicks to new users, there have to be a lot of new books being advertised.  And, Amazon being savvy about these things is likely giving precedence to those newer titles.  Some of the really successful folks who have this dialed in probably aren't seeing the slow down even if they've been at this a while, but some of us that were doing well because people were ignoring AMS for a long while there are going to take a hit.

If/when your ads slow down then see what works for you to get them going again.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 04, 2017, 12:44:22 PM
That $100 of free clicks is for Amazon Advantage members only. That's what "ebookbestsellers" said when I listened to it last night.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JaclynDolamore on April 04, 2017, 12:58:52 PM
Yeah, good point about all the courses, Cassie. It's possible the system is just flooded. Or also possible that since my book has been out since July and advertised since August, Amazon doesn't want to give it as much love anymore even though all my ads are successful. It will be interesting to see how ads for The Vampire's Doll do, since that will be my first new Book 1 since July. I'm honestly not sure what else I can do right now to make the ads work better. I've already tried quite a lot of things. I probably just have to accept that the AMS money train of last year has slowed to more of a money cart, like every advertising method eventually does!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 04, 2017, 01:32:24 PM
That $100 of free clicks is for Amazon Advantage members only. That's what "ebookbestsellers" said when I listened to it last night.

If I go to ams.amazon.com they advertise $100 in free clicks.  Right below that it says "Amazon Marketing Services is currently available to Amazon vendors and KDP authors."

That's a different site than Amazon Advantage that for me was advertising $50 in free clicks when I looked at it the other day. https://www.amazon.com/gp/seller-account/mm-product-page.html/ref=azus_soa_seeall_aa_minC?topic=200329780

The $100 in free clicks is only for new users, though.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: KelliWolfe on April 04, 2017, 02:21:09 PM
"Sponsored products related to this item... Page 1 of 30"

That looks pretty flooded. My first question is whether they're calling it an impression when your ad is put on that list, or whether someone actually has to scroll to the page in there that your ad is on for it to count as an impression. My second question is whether readers are bothering to scroll through that list of ads at all, when from what I can see the majority of books appearing there aren't remotely relevant to the book the product page belongs to.

I'll scroll through Also Boughts because they're relevant. When I look down and the Sponsored products are a mishmash in completely different genres than the book I'm looking at it doesn't really make me want to investigate further. Unless your book is in that first page of ads, I'll never see it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Dan Phalen on April 04, 2017, 03:21:48 PM
Just got off Mark Dawson's webinar on AMS ads. He pointed out the lag between reported results and sales being measured in weeks, and recommended letting ads run at least a month before measuring keywords vs sales. YMMV.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 04, 2017, 05:34:15 PM
Just got off Mark Dawson's webinar on AMS ads. He pointed out the lag between reported results and sales being measured in weeks, and recommended letting ads run at least a month before measuring keywords vs sales. YMMV.

For me it's days not weeks. I've tested this with what happens when I start and then stop a campaign. But like you say, "YMMV"!

EDIT: just checked my new campaign, and I got my first sale today on Day 3 (or it was recorded as a sale on Day 3 :). That seems to be my average on my campaigns.  Same on the back end when I pause campaigns.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on April 04, 2017, 05:55:24 PM
I've finally paused 4 of my ads and I'm reverting to KU free promos while I reconsider what to do next with AMS, if anything.

Two of them had reached 40% which I always said would be my cut off as I am stuck with 30% withholding tax on royalties, so that's my break even. the other two I'm stopping while I'm ahead. The page reads have not been worth taking into account this last 10 days that I think could boost just as well with free promos.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 04, 2017, 06:49:29 PM
For me it's days not weeks. I've tested this with what happens when I start and then stop a campaign. But like you say, "YMMV"!

EDIT: just checked my new campaign, and I got my first sale today on Day 3 (or it was recorded as a sale on Day 3 :). That seems to be my average on my campaigns.  Same on the back end when I pause campaigns.

You (generic 'you') should be able to tell from your KDP dashboard--or even sales rank-- that the book has an increase in activity, no?  That should give an indication in a matter of hours, not days.  It's not ad-specific data, obviously, but it should indicate sales.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 04, 2017, 08:41:53 PM
You (generic 'you') should be able to tell from your KDP dashboard--or even sales rank-- that the book has an increase in activity, no?  That should give an indication in a matter of hours, not days.  It's not ad-specific data, obviously, but it should indicate sales.

To clarify, I/we are talking about the lag in reporting by AMS. That is in days (or some are saying weeks). KDP dashboard can be pretty fast, but it does not indicate if sales are from AMS or organic or promos or whatever. And Sales Rank (for me) is a lagging indicator, usually at least a day behind. But AMS is AMS only. There are other benefits to AMS beyond pure Sales, but at least you can be sure that an AMS sale is due to your AMS ad without any other noise. Keeping in mind that there can (are) reporting delays for the different AMS metrics.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 05, 2017, 06:02:01 AM
I woke up this morning to three paperback sales on two books I'd paused ads on for a couple weeks and then just recently restarted a few days ago.  My new fantasy  novel ad has 4,000 impressions and 5 clicks after one day and I did see page reads and a rank boost indicating at least one of those borrowed the book.  I have a new release coming up and will be interested to see how that one performs comparatively.  I suspect it'll do better than the ones I've been advertising long-term.

Jena H - I track rank changes, because sometimes you get a borrow but not immediate page reads, as well as sales.  I also do watch my page reads, but that can be a lagging indicator as anyone who has taken a book out of KU knows.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 05, 2017, 08:36:18 AM
To clarify, I/we are talking about the lag in reporting by AMS. That is in days (or some are saying weeks). KDP dashboard can be pretty fast, but it does not indicate if sales are from AMS or organic or promos or whatever. And Sales Rank (for me) is a lagging indicator, usually at least a day behind. But AMS is AMS only. There are other benefits to AMS beyond pure Sales, but at least you can be sure that an AMS sale is due to your AMS ad without any other noise. Keeping in mind that there can (are) reporting delays for the different AMS metrics.

That is true, but I still go by KDP sales dashboard. That's because organic sales absolutely dried up in January except for those I started on AMS. I did a few other ads, but they were mostly for freebies and were either not advertised on AMS or I paused the ads for a week. KDP is still the best indicator for me. (YMMV)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Christopher Bunn on April 05, 2017, 12:38:45 PM
My first question is whether they're calling it an impression when your ad is put on that list, or whether someone actually has to scroll to the page in there that your ad is on for it to count as an impression.

I have yet to see anyone answer this question definitively. I've seen people answer one way or the other, but never with an authoritative source.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 05, 2017, 01:29:02 PM
I have yet to see anyone answer this question definitively. I've seen people answer one way or the other, but never with an authoritative source.

I listened to Mark Dawson's webinar yesterday. That question was asked and he said that he didn't know. My understanding is that Mark has been working with Amazon on AMS and if anyone should know, it's him.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Christopher Bunn on April 05, 2017, 03:18:28 PM
I listened to Mark Dawson's webinar yesterday. That question was asked and he said that he didn't know. My understanding is that Mark has been working with Amazon on AMS and if anyone should know, it's him.

Yeah, I heard him say that too. Like you said, if anyone should know... I'm puzzled, though, why Amazon hasn't been clear on that question. I bet a lot of people have been bugging them about it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 05, 2017, 06:02:21 PM
Yeah, I heard him say that too. Like you said, if anyone should know... I'm puzzled, though, why Amazon hasn't been clear on that question. I bet a lot of people have been bugging them about it.

Could it be that even Amazon can't figure out their own strategies?  ::)

The only reason I can think is that the answer is not clear cut. Under certain circumstances where an ad is performing up to their standard, impressions are eyes on. Good clicks, good sell-thru. For underperforming ads, they don't care whether it actually gets seen at all. Us prawns just think we're getting lots of eyes on and blame it on bad cover, bad blurb, etc.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on April 05, 2017, 06:12:41 PM
I don't know why but my Paperback sales have absolutely flatlined since beginning of last week. AMS ads had done well to prompt my PB sales until now.  Not sure what's going on.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: KelliWolfe on April 05, 2017, 06:26:42 PM
Could it be that even Amazon can't figure out their own strategies?  ::)

The only reason I can think is that the answer is not clear cut. Under certain circumstances where an ad is performing up to their standard, impressions are eyes on. Good clicks, good sell-thru. For underperforming ads, they don't care whether it actually gets seen at all. Us prawns just think we're getting lots of eyes on and blame it on bad cover, bad blurb, etc.
Or they know that if the people paying for impressions were to find out the truth - that Amazon is counting an ad simply being somewhere in that 30 page scrolling list as an impression - that it would cause angst. Possibly even discontent.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 05, 2017, 06:27:33 PM
Or they know that if the people paying for impressions were to find out the truth - that Amazon is counting an ad simply being somewhere in that 30 page scrolling list as an impression - that it would cause angst. Possibly even discontent.

Who would be paying for impressions?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: KelliWolfe on April 05, 2017, 07:00:10 PM
Sorry, I misspoke. We pay directly for clicks. But part of the value of the ad is in getting the cover of your book in front of more eyeballs - whether they click on the ad or not. If they see the ad a few times it may encourage them to buy your book down the road if they see it in someone else's also-bought list or something. It's an intangible that needs to be factored into the value of the ad spend. Kind of like how we have to do with KU page reads, which we currently have no hard metrics for.

So if I am getting a lot of impressions, paying for clicks might be worth it to me even if I'm not seeing sales directly attributed to those clicks because it's extra visibility. But if those impressions aren't actually people looking at the ad, then the value to me of those impressions falls off a cliff. And of course their usefulness as a metric of determining how effective your ad is at getting people to click on it becomes worthless.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 05, 2017, 07:04:05 PM
Sorry, I misspoke. We pay directly for clicks. But part of the value of the ad is in getting the cover of your book in front of more eyeballs - whether they click on the ad or not. If they see the ad a few times it may encourage them to buy your book down the road if they see it in someone else's also-bought list or something. It's an intangible that needs to be factored into the value of the ad spend. Kind of like how we have to do with KU page reads, which we currently have no hard metrics for.

So if I am getting a lot of impressions, paying for clicks might be worth it to me even if I'm not seeing sales directly attributed to those clicks because it's extra visibility. But if those impressions aren't actually people looking at the ad, then the value to me of those impressions falls off a cliff. And of course their usefulness as a metric of determining how effective your ad is at getting people to click on it becomes worthless.

Absolutely true.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BVLawson on April 06, 2017, 05:26:37 AM
Alexa - I've noticed the same thing! My AMS ads seemed to make March my very best paperback month ever, and so far this month - zero. I have some of the same ads, but I've also added more, so it's not just a "stale" factor at work.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: MH Johnson on April 06, 2017, 06:53:25 AM
That market visibility, the idea that a potential customer is more likely to buy/borrow after multiple exposures is true in my personal experience. I've picked up more than one book from my fellow K-Board authors just because I liked their insights and wanted to get a sense of the writer behind the mind :) - I'm a KU member though (tight budget like so many of us) so though I may not buy my fellow writer's books after looking at the covers in their footnote, I certainly KU borrow the books, so advertising may be helping a lot on the KU end, but less in the cash purchase end. (Which could well be because the people most likely to be avid readers, or try new books on a whim, are those to whom cost is less of a prohibitive factor, such as with KU readers).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on April 06, 2017, 12:24:10 PM
I don't know why but I always have to bid higher now than I used to. Maybe because alot of authors are getting that $100 in free clicks? I wish I could have gotten the promotion but they keep telling me they aren't adding any new authors at this time. I think that is a lie but whatever.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: My Dog's Servant on April 06, 2017, 02:10:51 PM
I've only recently gotten into AMS and am tinkering (without astounding results but also without losing a fortune) with my first ads. And I've recently begun slowly working my way through this thread, with many thanks to all who have shared their experiences.

I have some questions, though. The basic concept of the things was easy to grasp, but I'm a notorious "but how does it work?" type, and I haven't been able to find an explanation for what I'll call the "structure" of the thing. Not the computational algorithms that run it, but more the "sequence" of what happens.

It appears to work this way:

Once author A has set up an ad on AMS, it goes into a sort of "pool" of ads.

When "A Reader" enters a book search term or terms on Google or Amazon, those respective platforms churn through their records of past searches with those or similar terms (keywords) and produce a list of entries for "A Reader's" consideration. Google will produce a page or more of entries, only some of which may lead directly to an Amazon book page.

For searches on its platform, Amazon will produce its own list of authors and books that match--or at least come close to matching--the search terms. Each entry will lead to a specific book or, possibly, an author page. SOME of the entries on that list will have landed there because the author is paying Amazon to show it there. Plus, the individual links to books will lead to a product page that will (probably) have the "Sponsored" carousel halfway down the page. So two opportunities for a sponsored book to be seen.

For those sponsored books to show up on the initial Amazon list, or, next step, on the specific product page, they must have won an "auction" for that screen real estate. Before the "auction" actually happens, though, Amazon must have sorted through its pool of ads and fished out those that include search terms (keywords) that match or are at least close to the search terms "A Reader" entered when she started her search. Then, once it has, say, 100 [or 1000 or 10000] ads with keywords that match or come close to matching "A Reader's" search terms, Amazon conducts an "auction" among those 100 ads and selects those that offer to pay Amazon the most for that "sponsored product" real estate. If Amazon's algorithms have decided that the product page will have a carousel with 100 sponsored ads, then, yay, all 100 ads are shown, with those that pay the most and/or are the most relevant being shown first. If Amazon says there's room for only 20 sponsored products, then the "auction" will still weigh the ad's bid per click (Amazon's cut) and relevance, but will chose only 20 of the 100 ads to show. [With the caveat that sometimes none of that applies because, you know, magic. Or gremlins. Or something.]

So here's my question....I'm assuming those auctions, both for the list display and the carousel display on the product page, are conducted EVERY SINGLE TIME someone clicks on a link or enters a search term. IOW, there is no, "this is fixed for the next ten minutes" guidance so those ads are just sitting there, authorized to appear the next time someone clicks on that link. The selection of potentially relevant ads and the auction conducted among them happens in the nano seconds while Amazon is preparing the display.  Is that correct? 

It also implies that the Google search doesn't really do anything to get an ad up....but the author still wants to know their search terms because that's how Google gets A Reader to Amazon, and that's what Amazon looks at when it's preparing the disply..

I confess, I can't see that this makes any difference to how you actually run (or fumble with) an ad, but I really did want to be sure I understood the process. [My approach to life has always been, never settle for simple when you can make it a whole lot more complex and confusing!]

Thanks!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: nikkykaye on April 06, 2017, 04:50:41 PM
I'm trying to read and re-read all these AMS threads, as I've just started experimenting with it.

What I'm still trying to figure out is what's considered a good CPC. Is it under your bid for that keyword? Or is it less than your potential royalty on that book? Or is it something else altogether (I've heard < $0.20 is best)?

For example, I began a sponsored ad for a book yesterday, and within about 24hrs I had about 45k impressions and 90-odd clicks. And no sales, but as I understand sales can take a few days to show up?

How long do people usually wait to see how a campaign is working, or to finesse keywords and bids? I'm already analyzing which keywords are getting the most impressions/CPC and stuff like that, but as far as I can tell, I'm definitely not making any money on this so far. ;)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 06, 2017, 06:10:52 PM
I'm trying to read and re-read all these AMS threads, as I've just started experimenting with it.

What I'm still trying to figure out is what's considered a good CPC. Is it under your bid for that keyword? Or is it less than your potential royalty on that book? Or is it something else altogether (I've heard < $0.20 is best)?

For example, I began a sponsored ad for a book yesterday, and within about 24hrs I had about 45k impressions and 90-odd clicks. And no sales, but as I understand sales can take a few days to show up?

How long do people usually wait to see how a campaign is working, or to finesse keywords and bids? I'm already analyzing which keywords are getting the most impressions/CPC and stuff like that, but as far as I can tell, I'm definitely not making any money on this so far. ;)

These are good questions and sometimes it seems as if the answers keep morphing on us.   I'm not one who's (probably) ever going to run an ad for more than 7-10 days, but it seems that you have to run it at least that long to see  what kind of impact your ad is having.  So basically you're running an ad "blindly" for at least four days until results come in.  And for the record, I find that time lag to be a bunch of hooey.  (Unless the info is tallied on adding machines in a smoky room by nearsighted men wearing green eyeshades.)   ???
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 06, 2017, 07:04:42 PM
I'm trying to read and re-read all these AMS threads, as I've just started experimenting with it.

What I'm still trying to figure out is what's considered a good CPC. Is it under your bid for that keyword? Or is it less than your potential royalty on that book? Or is it something else altogether (I've heard < $0.20 is best)?

For example, I began a sponsored ad for a book yesterday, and within about 24hrs I had about 45k impressions and 90-odd clicks. And no sales, but as I understand sales can take a few days to show up?

How long do people usually wait to see how a campaign is working, or to finesse keywords and bids? I'm already analyzing which keywords are getting the most impressions/CPC and stuff like that, but as far as I can tell, I'm definitely not making any money on this so far. ;)

I watch my kdp dashboard to get an idea of sales.

How much you bid depends on how much competition there is in your genre. I'm in romance so I bid pretty high. I've bid as high as 50c, but even so, I might win the auction with only 20c so that's all I'll pay. Sort of like ebay. You can adjust your bids up and down as needed.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: WriterSongwriter on April 08, 2017, 05:50:55 AM
Are AMS ads losing their shine or is it just me?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 08, 2017, 06:43:22 AM
Mine definitely are. Trying to decide what to do right now since that was driving a lot of my sales over the last few months. I'm still getting good impression-to-click ratios but sales just aren't happening and borrows are far less than they were on the two titles I have in KU.  Of course, I've also been unable to access Createspace since yesterday morning so I'm missing part of the picture right now.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 08, 2017, 06:57:07 AM
Are AMS ads losing their shine or is it just me?

Could it just be a temporary thing, like maybe a pre-Easter / Spring Break lull?  People travelling or gearing up for a holiday or time away might not be buying as much.  ((... she said hopefully...))
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 08, 2017, 07:06:39 AM
I wish, but I suspect in my case it's something else because I'm seeing rank decay as well.

I finally managed to log into Createspace (anyone else getting a time out error, search for the site and go in that way). I had two books I'd paused ads on for a while and had restarted recently.  Both of those have a couple of paperback sales since I restarted them this week. So I'm pausing some other ads that had slowed to a crawl and will restart those after a couple weeks and see if they start to perform again.

I suspect it's AMS maturing and Amazon focusing on new and shiny like they love to do, which means as a long-term, low effort ad strategy the ads won't work for the large majority except those who do really really well and somehow get sticky with their ads. Otherwise it'll be ads for books that are new to the program that will perform best.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on April 08, 2017, 07:55:38 AM
Or they know that if the people paying for impressions were to find out the truth - that Amazon is counting an ad simply being somewhere in that 30 page scrolling list as an impression - that it would cause angst. Possibly even discontent.

I don't know definitively either (want to make that clear up front) - but for most platforms the impression is only counted when the image loads. That's how it is tracked, by the image loading. Now, the image could load and be under the fold on a page where the customer never scrolls down, but it is visible on the page. I'm assuming (perhaps wrongly) that if you are not on the viewable portion of the carousel, you are not getting an impression.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JaclynDolamore on April 08, 2017, 08:25:42 AM
My ads have been really tanking this month too. It's been a downward slide ever since they opened to everyone, but they still kept my rank propped above 10k. In the past week or so I slid from hitting 10k here and there to being in the 20s. Well, at least I'll have a new shiny release in less than a week and will get a new round of ads going, maybe that will help.

On impressions, though...I've had multiple ads, some running since September when Amazon ads were way less competitive. My impressions to click ratio has remained INCREDIBLY consistent since day 1. If an impression was counted even if it's on page 20 and never appears, then this shouldn't be the case, right? Because back in September, fewer ad pages had 20 pages of ads. So I think impressions are true impressions.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on April 08, 2017, 08:30:19 AM
I just had a keyword that only cost me one cent. How can that be I thought that the lowest you could bid was two cents? The max bid I had for that was seven cents.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 08, 2017, 08:36:44 AM
I just had a keyword that only cost me one cent. How can that be I thought that the lowest you could bid was two cents? The max bid I had for that was seven cents.

It happens. I've also had Sales with 0 Clicks; figure that one out.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven Hardesty on April 08, 2017, 12:36:50 PM
Side question:  Can't seem to make my AMS campaign page "preview ads" work consistently. ::)  Do I need to sacrifice a goat or is there a magic button on the page I can't see?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Abderian on April 08, 2017, 04:26:51 PM
Side question:  Can't seem to make my AMS campaign page "preview ads" work consistently. ::)  Do I need to sacrifice a goat or is there a magic button on the page I can't see?

Mine hasn't been working for a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 08, 2017, 05:45:03 PM
Side question:  Can't seem to make my AMS campaign page "preview ads" work consistently. ::)  Do I need to sacrifice a goat or is there a magic button on the page I can't see?

Mine hasn't been working for a couple of weeks.

Yeah I've never been able to preview an ad.  Might have to do with ad blocker or the browser we use??
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 08, 2017, 05:56:16 PM
PREVIEW YOUR AD - I've never seen a way to do it beyond screen grabbing the "Preview your ad" right under the Custom Text box when creating the campaign. It's a live preview, filling in as you add the text into the box. The trick is to grab that screen BEFORE moving to the next step and publishing the ad. After that, it's gone AFAIK. Unless you can find one of your ads on someone else's page. Then grab that one.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: K.B. Rose on April 08, 2017, 09:33:34 PM
It happens. I've also had Sales with 0 Clicks; figure that one out.

I have, too. Not really sure how that works...

My ad's been doing okay since I put it up on 2/25, I'm moderately pleased, but it seems I've gotten to that point where it's stalled. The impressions have barely gone up the past few days, and my sales and page reads have gone way down. For anyone who has experienced this, do you recommend waiting it out or starting a new ad?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Nicholas Erik on April 08, 2017, 10:05:00 PM
Side question:  Can't seem to make my AMS campaign page "preview ads" work consistently. ::)  Do I need to sacrifice a goat or is there a magic button on the page I can't see?

It's AdBlock. If you disable it for AMS and refresh, the preview function should begin working properly again.

Nick
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 09, 2017, 05:44:33 AM
So I think my "new and shiny" theory is holding up. New book launch. Started an AMS ad yesterday. 34,000 impression on it as of this morning and rank changes that show borrows.  Interestingly, though, no sales after 25 clicks even though it's at 99 cents for launch.  It is a romance and they do tend to skew towards KU borrows and this is a relatively unknown name and book with no reviews, so that could explain it.  Or...Amazon has tweaked things to push KU books in front of KU subscribers which explains the lack of sales across the small number of books I have in KU and running these ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 09, 2017, 05:59:27 AM
I have, too. Not really sure how that works...

My ad's been doing okay since I put it up on 2/25, I'm moderately pleased, but it seems I've gotten to that point where it's stalled. The impressions have barely gone up the past few days, and my sales and page reads have gone way down. For anyone who has experienced this, do you recommend waiting it out or starting a new ad?

When that happened to me, I paused the ad, added a couple of dozen new keywords and started it up again after five days. It's back up to speed now.

I'm trying something different for another one that's stalled. I started a new ad with completely different ad copy and all new keywords. I did re-use the old keywords that had produced sales and I'm running both simultaneously. So far, the new one is doing fine and the old one has picked up a few more clicks. I think I'll pause the old one for a few days and add keywords like I did for the other ad.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 09, 2017, 06:21:43 AM
This might be apropos of nothing but....   I don't usually look at sponsored ads (regular ad-block user) but since I'm running an ad and using certain author names, I have ad-block turned off for now.  I just looked up a book from one of the authors whose name I use as keyword, and rather than there being "1 of 4" page of sponsored ads, or even "1 of 8 (or 10" pages, it says there are 112 pages of sponsored ads.  112!!!    :o    :o    :o   Isn't that a lot?  My ad was on page four, but wouldn't it stink to be on page 100?  Why does Amazon even bother with that many ads linked to a page?  I thought that's what the auction was for, to limit it.  (Or wait, $$ maybe I $$ can gue$$ what the an$wer to that que$tion i$.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: KelliWolfe on April 09, 2017, 10:11:00 AM
Jena, this is why I've been wondering how Amazon is actually counting their impressions. If they're counting it when your ad is on page 112 of that list, it's kind of meaningless.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: K.B. Rose on April 09, 2017, 10:47:35 AM
Jena, this is why I've been wondering how Amazon is actually counting their impressions. If they're counting it when your ad is on page 112 of that list, it's kind of meaningless.

It was my understanding that impressions are only counted when your ad is actually loaded on someone's screen. So unless a person looks through all 112 pages it wouldn't count as an impression. I don't know why they would have so many pages of ads, though. Seems kind of meaningless either way.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: KelliWolfe on April 09, 2017, 11:03:46 AM
That would make sense, but it isn't documented that way anywhere that I can find and Amazon is apparently not giving clear responses to the people who have asked them directly.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Anarchist on April 09, 2017, 11:14:13 AM
That would make sense, but it isn't documented that way anywhere that I can find and Amazon is apparently not giving clear responses to the people who have asked them directly.

Amazon KDP defines (https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/A29SDHM2KNHV0N) impressions as follows:

"The number of times your ad was displayed."

I interpret that in the literal sense. If an ad is on page 15, and the viewer never makes it to page 15, the ad is not displayed. It is thus not counted as an impression.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: josielitton on April 09, 2017, 12:13:09 PM
Amazon KDP defines (https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/A29SDHM2KNHV0N) impressions as follows:

"The number of times your ad was displayed."

I interpret that in the literal sense. If an ad is on page 15, and the viewer never makes it to page 15, the ad is not displayed. It is thus not counted as an impression.

Currently, a digital ad can be counted as displayed when it is served in response to a request from a user's browser. Any reasonable person might very well think that means the viewer can see the ad but in fact it doesn't necessarily. Any number of factors can block it from view--especially in this context if the viewer has to scroll in order to make it visible--which is why for the past few years there's been a growing movement to switch to "viewable" rather than displayed ads as an industry standard when counting impressions. I have no idea if AMS is complying with this and I can't find anywhere that spells it out but the use of "displayed" in Amazon's definition rather than "viewed" isn't reassuring.

BTW, "viewable" is far from perfect--it just means at least 50% of an ads pixels are viewable for at least one second. A low bar but still better than merely "displayed".
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Anarchist on April 09, 2017, 12:32:53 PM
Currently, a digital ad can be counted as displayed when it is served in response to a request from a user's browser. Any reasonable person might very well think that means the viewer can see the ad but in fact it doesn't necessarily. Any number of factors can block it from view--especially in this context if the viewer has to scroll in order to make it visible--which is why for the past few years there's been a growing movement to switch to "viewable" rather than displayed ads as an industry standard when counting impressions. I have no idea if AMS is complying with this and I can't find anywhere that spells it out but the use of "displayed" in Amazon's definition rather than "viewed" isn't reassuring.

BTW, "viewable" is far from perfect--it just means at least 50% of an ads pixels are viewable for at least one second. A low bar but still better than merely "displayed".

You're absolutely right.

I know both Google and Facebook have moved to viewable over the last few years. I was assuming Amazon had done so, as well. But that may not be the case at all.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: josielitton on April 09, 2017, 01:52:05 PM
You're absolutely right.

I know both Google and Facebook have moved to viewable over the last few years. I was assuming Amazon had done so, as well. But that may not be the case at all.

Do you know if the viewable standard on Facebook is the default or just an option? I've always gone CPC so I'm not up on that. As for Amazon, I love the Zon but if there's one thing I've learned it's to never assume anything. I just did Mark Dawson's webinar on AMS and was struck by how often he referred to it as essentially being in beta. Sounds like there are still a lot of details to work out, the kind that can make or break the success of a campaign.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Anarchist on April 09, 2017, 02:29:12 PM
Do you know if the viewable standard on Facebook is the default or just an option? I've always gone CPC so I'm not up on that. As for Amazon, I love the Zon but if there's one thing I've learned it's to never assume anything. I just did Mark Dawson's webinar on AMS and was struck by how often he referred to it as essentially being in beta. Sounds like there are still a lot of details to work out, the kind that can make or break the success of a campaign.

From what I understand, it's currently the default. I infer that from the following, found on this page (https://www.facebook.com/business/news/viewed-impressions):

Quote
How Facebook counts viewed impressions

We measure an ad impression the moment an ad enters the screen of a desktop browser or mobile app. If an ad doesn't enter the screen, we don't count it as an ad impression.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Abderian on April 09, 2017, 06:25:00 PM
It's AdBlock. If you disable it for AMS and refresh, the preview function should begin working properly again.

Nick

Thanks, Nick. That did the trick.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: TromboneAl on April 09, 2017, 06:36:37 PM
My current strategy is to have campaigns with low bids, resulting in good ACoS, but low sales. I'll worry about scaling up later (or not at all).

(http://i.imgur.com/fCXwynV.jpg)

I'll eventually do this for all eight of my books, and make a few dollars extra per week, for the fun of it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: josielitton on April 09, 2017, 07:54:48 PM
From what I understand, it's currently the default. I infer that from the following, found on this page (https://www.facebook.com/business/news/viewed-impressions):

Good to know, thanks. Now if we could just find something similar for Amazon.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 11, 2017, 09:29:52 PM
Here's a new test report: 7+-day sequential test comparing THREE ad copy blurbs for my short, $0.99, Kindle KU series opener ("1609"). The first two campaigns (v1 & v2) ran for 7 days (one after the other) before being paused; then I waited another 7 days (on each) for any lagging metrics to show up. Both v1 and v2 are exactly the same (same keywords, same budgets, same cover, same title) BUT with different ad copy texts. THEN I started a new v3 with a slightly tweaked ad copy blurb and a few more keywords added (none of those have resulted in Sales yet). Rather then pausing this latest one, I screen-grabbed the Campaigns chart (below) at the end of Day 10, which allowed the week's lagging Sales metrics to catch up (I've determined that my Sales lag is about 2 days). This version is still running.

Here's the summary of all three tests:

(http://haraldjohnson.com/images/AMStest_ABblurbs_1609reboot3_10day_1000x_65q.jpg)

Test Observations:
* The tests are not exactly the same as I didn't pause the latest one, but I have hopes for it and want to keep it running. I feel it's close enough in elapsed time.

* As before with the two prior tests, the Impressions are close, but the Clicks are way down on v3 (with the Spend also down); something in the AMS world? The ACoS of v1 and v3 are close, with both beating v2. So I won't be restarting v2.

* As before, I copied v2 to make v3, and my bids are similarly LOW (that's why you see an cCPC of $0.02).

* KU Reads are roughly the same (maybe down a little), so both v1 and v3 are clearly in the black, with v2 marginally so (with the KU reads). Keep in mind that this is a $0.99 series-opener novella (100 pages).

* EDIT: 572 Impressions per Click; 9.8 Clicks per Sale (about average for me)

I plan to continue running v3 to see what happens over a longer term. I'll be adjusting bids and keywords with the hope of keeping the ACoS low and trying to beat the longer-running campaign (52.20%) I ran for the same book back in January (row #5 on chart).

Comments welcome.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 12, 2017, 04:16:57 AM
I have two campaigns running, and I'm only getting one click per 1600 impressions. I didn't realize that was substandard until I read a few other people's stats. I'll be running an ad for book book soon, and I hope that one gets a better response.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 12, 2017, 08:19:18 AM
I have two campaigns running, and I'm only getting one click per 1600 impressions. I didn't realize that was substandard until I read a few other people's stats. I'll be running an ad for book book soon, and I hope that one gets a better response.

I tend to run well under 1,000 Imprs per Click (see my added line in post just above) but I don't worry much about that. Lots of factors there, especially keywords and bids and daily budget. More important to me is Clicks per Sale, which tells me if my ad is connecting to my book detail page and closing the sale.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: mythsnake on April 12, 2017, 08:27:06 AM
So did AMS change something in their review process? Duplicated a couple ads to restart them today and noticed that when I submitted the first, I got a notice claiming it could take up to 15 minutes for my ad to go live and start to accumulate impressions. I kind a laughed about that, because in my experience, it takes about 24hrs for an ad to be approved--even duplicated ones--but wouldn't you know, the approval came through within 15 minutes on both ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on April 12, 2017, 08:36:17 AM
Sounds good now if we could only get real-time reporting.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 12, 2017, 08:56:09 AM
I got that notice on a couple of new ads, but it took about twelve hours for them to be approved.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 12, 2017, 01:01:44 PM
I got that notice on a couple of new ads, but it took about twelve hours for them to be approved.

Same here.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 13, 2017, 07:25:15 AM
Huh. I just had an ad approved in six minutes on a book I wasn't even sure they would let through because of its title.  (You Have A Date, Don't F It Up in my signature line.)  Maybe they've moved to automated checks of titles and if they pass that they're approved immediately?  Whatever happened, glad it did.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: WriterSongwriter on April 15, 2017, 02:23:24 AM
AMS must have become quite popular, as I'm now paying 4x the cost per click I was paying only 4 weeks ago.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: kenbritz on April 15, 2017, 04:31:54 AM
Very likely due to Mark Dawson's webinars on Amazon Ads as a forerunner to his more detailed Ads for Authors course.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 15, 2017, 07:52:04 AM
Very likely due to Mark Dawson's webinars on Amazon Ads as a forerunner to his more detailed Ads for Authors course.

Only about 500 of us attended the webinar and a lot of the attendees like me already had ads up and running. I don't think that's enough to make a difference among the tens and maybe even hundreds of thousands of authors using AMS.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on April 15, 2017, 08:38:02 AM
Five hundred before people dropped out, as they noted. People find these ads utterly confusing. Actually, I'm baffled, too, but as long as they work, I'm in.

There has been a definite dip this month, but then again I got random bursts of sales of a particular title, and I can't account for those at all.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 15, 2017, 09:53:21 AM
Five hundred before people dropped out, as they noted. People find these ads utterly confusing. Actually, I'm baffled, too, but as long as they work, I'm in.

There has been a definite dip this month, but then again I got random bursts of sales of a particular title, and I can't account for those at all.

Definite dip or even drop off. Page reads are circling the bowl.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: KelliWolfe on April 15, 2017, 04:13:20 PM
They're utterly confusing because Amazon, as usual, doesn't let their right hand know what their left hand is doing, much less the poor authors. The system is poorly documented and the reports are inadequate to explain what's actually going on, especially when you throw KU into the mix. We've all seen ads that were performing well tank overnight and stop getting impressions. Why? There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, and I have better things to do that constantly monitor a bunch of ad campaigns every day to make sure they haven't dropped off a cliff for no apparent reason. It's ridiculous, as is the 114 pages of sponsored ads below the also-boughts, as is the lack of relevance of most of the ads. There's absolutely no difference in what's going on there than in the blatant miscategorization going on - people are throwing in keywords that don't have anything to do with their book in hopes of getting extra views.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 15, 2017, 05:48:46 PM
Five hundred before people dropped out, as they noted. People find these ads utterly confusing. Actually, I'm baffled, too, but as long as they work, I'm in.

There has been a definite dip this month, but then again I got random bursts of sales of a particular title, and I can't account for those at all.

It's been a long day for me, and I'm a little fuzzy in the noggin.  Are we saying that while everybody and his Aunt Tilly seem to be running AMS ads, people find these ads confusing?  Confusing in what way, exactly?  I find the setup of AMS ads to be MUCH simpler than the atrocity that is a Facebook ad; basically all one has to do for AMS is pick some keywords and write a brief, brief ad text.  If something else is what's confusing, what is it?  I hate to miss out on a good confusion.   (Hey, I'm halfway there already....)  8)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on April 15, 2017, 05:59:29 PM
Posting the ads is not the problem.  :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 15, 2017, 06:23:51 PM
It's been a long day for me, and I'm a little fuzzy in the noggin.  Are we saying that while everybody and his Aunt Tilly seem to be running AMS ads, people find these ads confusing?  Confusing in what way, exactly?  I find the setup of AMS ads to be MUCH simpler than the atrocity that is a Facebook ad; basically all one has to do for AMS is pick some keywords and write a brief, brief ad text.  If something else is what's confusing, what is it?  I hate to miss out on a good confusion.   (Hey, I'm halfway there already....)  8)

Posting the ads is not the problem.  :)

It's not the setup as Lorain says. It's the monitoring and the tweaking. We need more info and up-to-date info.

E.G. Don't let your ACOS go above 70% because that's the royalty rate, but (from MD) you can go to 80% or 85% if you're getting sell thru and/or page reads that are not counted on the dashboard. Print book sales are counted, but only the one being advertised, not the other books in the series. Then add in sales from audio books. So, what is a true, viable ACOS? I might have an ACOS as high as 300%, but when I check my KDP dashboard for sell-thru and page reads, then go to ACX to check audio sales, I'm actually making money.

Frustrating and time consuming for the confused section of AMS authors.


Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 15, 2017, 06:38:35 PM
It's not the setup as Lorain says. It's the monitoring and the tweaking. We need more info and up-to-date info.

E.G. Don't let your ACOS go above 70% because that's the royalty rate, but (from MD) you can go to 80% or 85% if you're getting sell thru and/or page reads that are not counted on the dashboard. Print book sales are counted, but only the one being advertised, not the other books in the series. Then add in sales from audio books. So, what is a true, viable ACOS? I might have an ACOS as high as 300%, but when I check my KDP dashboard for sell-thru and page reads, then go to ACX to check audio sales, I'm actually making money.

Frustrating and time consuming for the confused section of AMS authors.

Thanks for clarifying; that's what I figured the issue was.  I don't have a problem with this because A) I don't run ads for longer than a week at a time, and B) I basically just "set it and forget it."  No tweaking or constant checking/obsessing over a keyword here or a bid there.  As you mention, that can be very time consuming if you allow it to be, and for me it's just easier not to 'stress and obsess' over it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: kenbritz on April 16, 2017, 03:21:31 AM
Only about 500 of us attended the webinar and a lot of the attendees like me already had ads up and running. I don't think that's enough to make a difference among the tens and maybe even hundreds of thousands of authors using AMS.

1. Unquoted by me, but the previous post was a comment about 4x cost per ad click. I should've been clearer in that regard.
2. 500 or so people adding 1000 keyword adds would certainly drive the cost of an ad up by a few pennies. There were two webinars and a reasonable number of people who viewed the webinars after the live stream.
3. Knowing how many attendees to the webinar and not the number of AMS users does not invalidate the logic. If any number of users compete for the same keyword(s) in a genre, it will drive the CPC up some amount. While 4x increase is doubtful, it is dependent on the starting point. Driving from .01 to .04 CPC? Yes. from .20 to .80 CPC? Not as likely.
4. It seems like the most accurate way to measure ROI is on the monthly basis; (total royalties - ad spend)/ad spend. On the one hand, it's barbaric to use 30 day numbers for accuracy from a company that can send you something at the click of a button; on the other hand it feels like a frontier, where the rules are a bit looser. Saddle up!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: My Dog's Servant on April 16, 2017, 03:40:07 AM
In case anyone's stupid enough to wonder....

About two weeks ago I thought I'd test Amazon's suggested keywords. Since it can be a lot of work to identify 1000 (or even a few hundred) kw that might work, I figured...why not?

Well, here's why not:  After a little less than two weeks, that particular ad, driven only by Amazon-suggested kw, has had all of 1065 impressions, 4 clicks (my best CTR, I admit--the other ads are more around 1000 per), for a total spend of $0.33 on a $4/day ad....and zero sales.

Ah, well. Back to the magic kw machine.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 16, 2017, 06:44:25 AM
...About two weeks ago I thought I'd test Amazon's suggested keywords. Since it can be a lot of work to identify 1000 (or even a few hundred) kw that might work, I figured...why not?
Well, here's why not:  After a little less than two weeks, that particular ad, driven only by Amazon-suggested kw, has had all of 1065 impressions, 4 clicks (my best CTR, I admit--the other ads are more around 1000 per), for a total spend of $0.33 on a $4/day ad....and zero sales....

On the other hand, in my new two-week ad test, a full third of my sales are from the Amazon-suggested keywords. Different strokes.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on April 16, 2017, 09:40:49 AM
So this past 3 weeks I've been so busy with my Kindle Scout campaign, I had absolutely no time to play deal with the AMS ad at all. It just sits there and runs. Normally I'd try to tweak the KWs once a week, see which ones need attention, which ones need to be stopped etc. These 3 weeks, all I've done was to make sure I get a few KWs in when book of a relevant genre hits the top 10 in paid store. I didn't even have time to see if my bid price is getting my book to the page I want it to be.

Well, truth be told, not much has changed. My sales are steady with occasional dips, but nothing truly alarming. Makes me wonder if all the tweakings are just placebo effects.

On another note, I'm now only running one ad for my first in series. I used to have a second ad where I used different KWs for books that are not specifically my genre, but are in subgenres that I think may have cross over. I'd stopped that ad because it seemed that when I ran 2 ads on the same book, my sales were lower. I really kills me to not be able to run that other ad and potentially capture a wide audience. With the 100KW limitation, I don't want to add KWs from cross over genres because I want to reserve those KW spaces. I'm worried that maxing out the 1000 KW spaces, and having to start a new ad, might hurt sales since this current ad had accumulated good historical data for the Amazon algo to know where to show the book.

Anyway, all this is to say, I still can't figure out what really works and what doesn't. But AMS ads are still for me the best promo option to give me sustained, continuous sales at regular retail price.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on April 16, 2017, 11:35:29 AM
Back in 2/17 my book got plenty of clicks with 17 orders which became 17 sales. I was happy.

Now in 4/17 I still am getting alot of clicks but no orders and no sales. I am now not happy.

No changes were made to the book at all so I don't know what happened. Has this happened to anyone else? The only one now making any money is amazon.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 16, 2017, 12:16:26 PM
So this past 3 weeks I've been so busy with my Kindle Scout campaign, I had absolutely no time to play deal with the AMS ad at all. It just sits there and runs. Normally I'd try to tweak the KWs once a week, see which ones need attention, which ones need to be stopped etc. These 3 weeks, all I've done was to make sure I get a few KWs in when book of a relevant genre hits the top 10 in paid store. I didn't even have time to see if my bid price is getting my book to the page I want it to be.

Well, truth be told, not much has changed. My sales are steady with occasional dips, but nothing truly alarming. Makes me wonder if all the tweakings are just placebo effects.


I've wondered the same thing-- too much obsession and analysis could be costing more time/effort than it's worth.


Back in 2/17 my book got plenty of clicks with 17 orders which became 17 sales. I was happy.

Now in 4/17 I still am getting alot of clicks but no orders and no sales. I am now not happy.

No changes were made to the book at all so I don't know what happened. Has this happened to anyone else? The only one now making any money is amazon.

Yes, this happened to me-- same ad, ran about 2 weeks after the first, with much less response.  Since the time period was December, I attributed the change to readers' habits during the holidays, but I ran the same ad again in Feb or March and got some response, but not nearly as good as the first time.    ???



Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on April 16, 2017, 12:27:46 PM
Back in 2/17 my book got plenty of clicks with 17 orders which became 17 sales. I was happy.

Now in 4/17 I still am getting alot of clicks but no orders and no sales. I am now not happy.

No changes were made to the book at all so I don't know what happened. Has this happened to anyone else? The only one now making any money is amazon.

Yep, the sales from my Amazon ads just about vanished at the beginning of April, both on ads running continuously and happily since last summer, and on more recent ads. Don't know what happened, but I suspect a change in the algos (because I didn't change anything).

Incidentally, I paused everything and had an immediate drop in ranking, so they were obviously doing something (just not selling books!). I've now restarted the paused ads, and the rankings are up again.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 16, 2017, 12:32:14 PM
I've wondered the same thing-- too much obsession and analysis could be costing more time/effort than it's worth.

For me, it's no trouble at all. I check at the end of each night and tweak keywords/bids if/when needed (e.g., Sales with super-low bids and single digit ACoS). Takes less time than brushing my teeth. And on one campaign I was able to cut my ACoS in half by doing this over time. I find it to be an enjoyable--and profitable--habit. I certainly have worse ones! :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 16, 2017, 02:10:02 PM
Back in 2/17 my book got plenty of clicks with 17 orders which became 17 sales. I was happy.

Now in 4/17 I still am getting alot of clicks but no orders and no sales. I am now not happy.

No changes were made to the book at all so I don't know what happened. Has this happened to anyone else? The only one now making any money is amazon.

I've seen increased click to impression ratios but decreased sales and borrows on most of my ads in the last few weeks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on April 16, 2017, 02:16:56 PM
I've seen increased click to impression ratios but decreased sales and borrows on most of my ads in the last few weeks.

That's exactly what I've seen, too.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 16, 2017, 02:29:39 PM
I've seen increased click to impression ratios but decreased sales and borrows on most of my ads in the last few weeks.

That's what I'm seeing as well.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: C. Gockel on April 16, 2017, 03:17:21 PM
Is there a way to do DELETE keywords, not just PAUSE them? I reached the 1,000 keyword limit.  ::)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on April 17, 2017, 08:07:13 AM
Is there a way to do DELETE keywords, not just PAUSE them? I reached the 1,000 keyword limit.  ::)

No.  You'd need to download the keywords to Excel, delete some from the CSV file and start a new campaign using your amended list of keywords.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: KelliWolfe on April 17, 2017, 08:51:14 AM
I've seen increased click to impression ratios but decreased sales and borrows on most of my ads in the last few weeks.
I've stopped half of my ad campaigns in the last 2 weeks because of this.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on April 17, 2017, 11:12:43 AM
Anyone know how to close a AMS account?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 17, 2017, 11:17:34 AM
I've seen increased click to impression ratios but decreased sales and borrows on most of my ads in the last few weeks.

So what does this trend indicate? More people are just window shopping and not actually buying or borrowing? If so, why?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: kenbritz on April 17, 2017, 11:45:20 AM
No.  You'd need to download the keywords to Excel, delete some from the CSV file and start a new campaign using your amended list of keywords.

Philip

I agree with Phillip, but I'll expound a bit:
AMS=>Excel: download the keywords into an Excel spreadsheet
Excel: delete the underperforms in the spreadsheet
AMS: copy your existing campaign, remove all current keywords
Excel=>AMS: copy the smaller list from your Excel spreadsheet into your new campaign
AMS: check your CPC bid and ad copy to make sure you don't need any tweaks and launch campaign. Once your campaign is approved and running, you can pause/terminate your old campaign.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on April 17, 2017, 11:47:00 AM
I've stopped half of my ad campaigns in the last 2 weeks because of this.

I terminated or paused all of them while I tried to work out what was going on. Ranks dropped. I've restarted everything and ranks are going back up. So something's working, even if there are no sales showing up.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 17, 2017, 12:18:24 PM
I wasn't seeing ranks that indicated borrows.  Or if it was, it was one every other day or so.

If it were one genre, I'd think it was someone running a bot or something like that to drive off competition.  Could be curiosity clicks from new users of AMS seeing what their competition is advertising and it's just enough to notice?  But then I'd still expect to see my old level of sales and borrows showing up.  But I guess if you combined reduced impressions with that trend you could have what I'm seeing...

Or it could just be time of year.  Less money to spend so readers are more particular.

All I know is that I successfully ran the ads on books priced at $4.99-$6.99 from May of last year until April and now it's like pulling teeth to get movement.

Having said that, I just had four sales hit on a pen name non-fiction title I restarted an ad for on April 11th that had only ever had 30 sales since its release, so I expect all four of those sales are AMS driven.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on April 17, 2017, 12:20:52 PM

So what does this trend indicate? More people are just window shopping and not actually buying or borrowing? If so, why?

Don't know the answer, but I've had no sales across 6 books in AMS for 5 days. The only sales I've had this month that's rescued me is following free promos without putting them on promo sites. The free promos are the only thing that's caused a short jump in page reads for the odd day which are now scraping along the bottom of my graph, down from 30,000 per month. I haven't even had a paper book sale this month that I could attribute to AMS  which are standing at zero against 6 at this time last month.

Nothing has changed like garnering bad reviews, only that my royalties are in double figures now instead of three figures per month from when I first joined AMS last year and my cost per click is up from 2/3c to 6/9c as I've tried to increase bids to make up the slack. Despite increasing some bids to 26c, my impressions have fallen off a cliff since the beginning of March.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on April 17, 2017, 12:38:30 PM
Me too!

Back in 2/17 my book got plenty of clicks with 17 orders which became 17 sales. I was happy. Now in 4/17 I still am getting alot of clicks but no orders and no sales. I am now not happy. No changes were made to the book at all so I don't know what happened. The only one now making any money is amazon.

Also how do you close a AMS account?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on April 17, 2017, 01:39:06 PM
Something I saw today might help explain what's going on with the ads. This morning I checked the carousel for one of my books and it was on the first page. Two hours later I checked the same keyword again, and my book was on the fourth page. That's a significant drop in just a few hours. I upped the bid because it's a keyword that delivers. I haven't checked it since.

The bidding for the ads has become much more intense. Some of my most effective keywords have gone up considerably per click over the past month. I find that if I don't tweak the bids every few days, my books lose visibility. It's a big time drain. If a keyword is getting too expensive per click, I pause it, but this can be a mistake because of the delay in reporting. I have paused keywords only to find, three or four days later, that there were sales. It would be so much easier if Amazon had current reporting. Amazon would make more money and so would authors.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Emma Jameson on April 17, 2017, 01:41:21 PM
Amazing post. Thank you.  :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: huggie on April 17, 2017, 03:27:16 PM
When you all use series titles as keywords do you put the "The" in them if applicable or not? Like with broad keywords will just putting "Mortal Instruments" as a keyword also target people who type "The Mortal Instruments" or vice versa?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Guy Riessen on April 17, 2017, 04:25:57 PM
Sorry newb question incoming....
How are you checking where your book shows up in the "carousel?"
Are you searching a keyword in the main Amazon search bar say, "weird western," then clicking a book that shows up in the search, the looking at the "Sponsored products related to this item" carousel on the book page?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 17, 2017, 04:50:32 PM
When you all use series titles as keywords do you put the "The" in them if applicable or not? Like with broad keywords will just putting "Mortal Instruments" as a keyword also target people who type "The Mortal Instruments" or vice versa?

I saw when you asked this question in its own thread, but didn't respond because I've gotten almost no clicks on any keywords that weren't author names or generic words like "young adult."  I would put something like "Mortal Instruments Clare" so maybe that's an example of what not to do.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 17, 2017, 05:19:49 PM
I saw when you asked this question in its own thread, but didn't respond because I've gotten almost no clicks on any keywords that weren't author names or generic words like "young adult."  I would put something like "Mortal Instruments Clare" so maybe that's an example of what not to do.

Interesting.  Has anyone else had success in using keywords of series names?  As a reader I might not remember an author name (especially the correct spelling if the name is tricky) but most everyone knows a series name.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 17, 2017, 05:27:57 PM
Sorry newb question incoming....
How are you checking where your book shows up in the "carousel?"
Are you searching a keyword in the main Amazon search bar say, "weird western," then clicking a book that shows up in the search, the looking at the "Sponsored products related to this item" carousel on the book page?

Look at the bottom of the list. You'll see anywhere from 0 to 3 sponsored ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on April 17, 2017, 05:59:49 PM
Reporting a similar slowdown in everything--including approving a new campaign. AMS said 15 minutes, but it has been six hours already. Good thing I built in some lead time on this campaign. Now I'm wondering if I built in enough!

And my most profitable title in terms of click cost has just moved from 6 cents to 7. Boo.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kyra Halland on April 17, 2017, 08:10:15 PM
So I've started playing around with AMS ads, and I'm wondering one thing. If a reader clicks on your ad, downloads the sample, then buys the book later, does that ever show up as a sale on the AMS charts? That's what I usually do when I find a book I'm interested in (unless I'm ready to buy RIGHT THEN, which I usually don't), and I'm probably not the only one. So I wonder if that would affect the AMS sales results.

I'm showing a good proportion of clicks to impressions, but no sales yet. But this book is showing a slow but steady stream of sales on my KDP dashboard over the last several days, more than I normally would have expected. It's also been in a group promo, but action on that was sporadic.

So I think I'm getting sales, even if there aren't any showing up on my AMS charts. Delayed/sporadic reporting, reader samples then buys later on, the other promo I'm doing, or coincidence?

Another mystery of the universe to ponder on.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on April 17, 2017, 11:32:27 PM
So I think I'm getting sales, even if there aren't any showing up on my AMS charts. Delayed/sporadic reporting, reader samples then buys later on, the other promo I'm doing, or coincidence? Another mystery of the universe to ponder on.

Welcome to the wonderful (and random) world of AMS ads! They do seem to work, it's just hard to tell, sometimes.  ;D
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kyra Halland on April 18, 2017, 04:54:02 AM
Welcome to the wonderful (and random) world of AMS ads! They do seem to work, it's just hard to tell, sometimes.  ;D

lol, yes, another page to obsessively hit refresh on all day long ;D
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: huggie on April 18, 2017, 05:40:14 AM
I saw when you asked this question in its own thread, but didn't respond because I've gotten almost no clicks on any keywords that weren't author names or generic words like "young adult."  I would put something like "Mortal Instruments Clare" so maybe that's an example of what not to do.

Yeah that sounds like an overly complex keyword to me, I was thinking/hoping simpler keywords like just "Mortal Instruments" would work better if setting keywords to Broad would also send people who typed something like "Mortal Instruments Clare" or "The Mortal Instruments" towards the ad since both those searches include the term "Mortal Instruments".
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on April 18, 2017, 06:16:03 AM
Reporting that it took Amazon 12 hours to approve my new campaign and it hasn't served up even one impression 6 hours later. Or is that the three-day lag already in action? :D
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 18, 2017, 07:41:24 AM
Reporting that it took Amazon 12 hours to approve my new campaign and it hasn't served up even one impression 6 hours later. Or is that the three-day lag already in action? :D

For me, it's always been 14 hours for an ad to go live. 14 hours on the dot. Each time. And first sale reported on Day 3. Each time. But that was then, and this is now, so who knows. With AMS, each day is a new day, eh? :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JaclynDolamore on April 18, 2017, 08:03:17 AM
So I think I'm getting sales, even if there aren't any showing up on my AMS charts. Delayed/sporadic reporting, reader samples then buys later on, the other promo I'm doing, or coincidence?

Another mystery of the universe to ponder on.

I can definitely affirm that Amazon ads contribute a lot of unreported sales. Back in October, it was easy to see because Amazon ads weren't very competitive. I seemed to have twice as many sales as were reported, maybe three times, and I'm not including page reads. I know that I am not likely to click on ads, but when I want something to read, I tend to THINK of books I've seen around a lot, and books that are advertised stay fresh in my mind, so that might also be a factor.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amyshojai on April 18, 2017, 11:19:25 AM
I just started with AMS this past weekend. Set up about 3 ads for each of 3 different books. And today, got my first sale reported--a $9.99 sale after 6871 impressions and 8 clicks at 19-cents each. Now, I'm feeling encouraged! just started as an experiment but will delve deeper going forward. Incidentally this is for nonfiction so I know fiction would be very different.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 18, 2017, 11:35:14 AM
I just started with AMS this past weekend. Set up about 3 ads for each of 3 different books. And today, got my first sale reported--a $9.99 sale after 6871 impressions and 8 clicks at 19-cents each. Now, I'm feeling encouraged! just started as an experiment but will delve deeper going forward. Incidentally this is for nonfiction so I know fiction would be very different.

You can charge more on non-fiction so your ROI will be greater.

Congrats on the great start!!


I spent last night adding about 80 more keywords to one ad that is doing fine, but certainly could do better.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amyshojai on April 18, 2017, 11:39:45 AM
You can charge more on non-fiction so your ROI will be greater.

Congrats on the great start!!


Thanks! Yes, I have 3 nonfiction titles I've priced pretty high, but the rest are $5.99 range. I've noticed them climbing the rankings, too, so it's worth it to me just for the visibility improvement. Tracking what keywords get the clicks/sales, too, and will adjust going forward.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Bob Stewart on April 18, 2017, 01:51:07 PM
I have a question for those running ads over weeks or longer: how can you determine what your recent results were?

For instance, say my ads been running for eight weeks. Trying to get a fix on what's happened in the last week isn't really possible unless I record intermediate stats all the time.

There seems no way to get stats for a particular period within the ad run. Or am I missing something obvious?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 18, 2017, 03:00:07 PM
I periodically hit the download option on the main page to get a snapshot of the current status of all my campaigns and then just compare current numbers to the last set I downloaded.  You can also look under the Billing Information to see how much you spent for each month.  I use that to calculate profitability.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 18, 2017, 03:09:38 PM
I have a question for those running ads over weeks or longer: how can you determine what your recent results were?
For instance, say my ads been running for eight weeks. Trying to get a fix on what's happened in the last week isn't really possible unless I record intermediate stats all the time.
There seems no way to get stats for a particular period within the ad run. Or am I missing something obvious?

Good question. You can download the stats (per Cassie), but what I do is keep a daily log in a Google doc that takes me less than 5 mins each night. I record the 6 bits of information and add any notes from the campaign like this:

April 16, 2017 (EASTER SUNDAY): *** DAY 10 ***
√ 11:34pm: 41,731 Imps | 79 Clcks +5 | $0.02 aCPC | $1.59 Spnd | 7 Sale ($6.92) | 22.98% aCoS
x0 NEW AMS SALE; lowered "XXXX" frm 0.05 to 0.04.


Using colors and bolds, I can quickly scan the doc and see what's trending or not. Works for me.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Bob Stewart on April 18, 2017, 03:36:42 PM
Cassie & Harald,

Yes, I guess that's obvious course. It might be fairly simple to make a spreadsheet where you can cut & past the current numbers and a calculation of the difference from the last reading.

Thanks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on April 18, 2017, 03:51:21 PM
I don't bother with spreadsheets. I do screen shots, especially of the keywords per title. I'm not crazy enough to do it on a regular basis, but comparing to a week or two ago tells me something.



Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on April 18, 2017, 03:51:58 PM
I have a question for those running ads over weeks or longer: how can you determine what your recent results were?

For instance, say my ads been running for eight weeks. Trying to get a fix on what's happened in the last week isn't really possible unless I record intermediate stats all the time.

There seems no way to get stats for a particular period within the ad run. Or am I missing something obvious?

You are not missing anything obvious  - WHICH IS INSANE. (Sorry, you totally hit my biggest AMS button - lol)

I download periodically like Cassie. Also sometimes just take a screen shot so I can compare at a quick glance later. It's insane. And of course I check the billing if I feel things are moving really slow/fast and am too lazy to look at anything else. Why can't they give us this reporting?   :'(
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on April 19, 2017, 04:16:03 AM
There seems no way to get stats for a particular period within the ad run. Or am I missing something obvious?

Oh, if only you were! What wouldn't I give to be able to look at the numbers for a week or a month, instead of just getting an overall number. I've got ads that have been running now for almost a year, and the data the on-screen report shows me is next to useless.

As others have said, you just have to keep your own records. I keep a sort of spreadsheet, taking a snapshot, as it were, every day for new ads and every few days for long-standing ones. Then at the end of the month, I work out the impressions, clicks, spend, sales value and books sold *for that month*. From that I calculate the CTR, CPC, ACOS, conversion rate and cost per sale for each ad for the month. I never have more than 5 or 6 running at a time, otherwise it would be an insane amount of work! From there, I work out what to keep running and what to shut down. It's also a good time to add new keywords, and tweak the bids. It takes me a couple of minutes to record, and about an hour for the monthly calculations.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 19, 2017, 10:45:42 AM
I launched my second book today and immediately set up an AMS ad, using a higher per day spend than I used for the first book. It never comes close to spending my daily total anyway. I'm looking forward to seeing if an ad on a new release gets more impressions than an ad for a book published at the end of October.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 19, 2017, 11:07:14 AM
I've had as many as 22 separate ads running at once. By using the spreadsheets, I can calculate number of new impressions, clicks, spend, sales, and net profit/loss in less than five minutes across all of my ads.

The ad I ran on a new release had about 100K impressions in the first few days and did result in about six sales credited, but it stopped working after about a week.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 19, 2017, 01:30:16 PM
So as of right now (mid-April) is the general consensus that Amazon ads are less reliable and effective than they used to be?  I'm sure it could vary by genre (among other factors), so what genres are still effective?  Anything in action/adventure? (Specifically, not romance, not SF or F.)  I'm thinking of running an ad, but not sure if it would pay to wait a bit or if that category is worth bothering with.  I do have books in other categories but this particular series I have in mind could use some love.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LMareeApps on April 19, 2017, 06:16:04 PM
I haven't been using AMS long enough to comment on effectiveness.  I do know the ad I started last week, with an ACPC of $0.13 dropped to zero impressions, and the same ad run with much higher bids is now costing on average closer to $0.80 per click.  I'm having to bid over $1.50 to get impressions at all.  (I'm targetting sports romance in the ad).

I also think something is playing up with their system, as I have an ad with a $12 daily budget.  It's been running for 2 days with a total spend of just over $5 so far, but it claims it has reached it's daily budget.  So either there's a massive amount of clicks not showing yet, or there's a problem on the back end.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 19, 2017, 09:58:34 PM
So as of right now (mid-April) is the general consensus that Amazon ads are less reliable and effective than they used to be?  I'm sure it could vary by genre (among other factors), so what genres are still effective?  Anything in action/adventure? (Specifically, not romance, not SF or F.)  I'm thinking of running an ad, but not sure if it would pay to wait a bit or if that category is worth bothering with.  I do have books in other categories but this particular series I have in mind could use some love.

My suggestion: try it. Do it for your series opener using the Sponsored Products type. Make your daily budget only as much as you can handle; start with $1. Start with low bids. You pay only for clicks, so there's little to lose. If you're in KU, your reads will probably increase (mine did a lot in Historical Fiction), and your sales rankings will drop (the good way). And you'll gradually learn how the system works. In other words... just do it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on April 19, 2017, 10:30:53 PM
I started running ads Feb 1 and was, for me, doing ok. I was selling many more books than I normally did, the ads were paying for themselves and I was left with about a $1.35 profit per book (my books are $3.98). And then on April 10, it just went off the cliff. My sales are down 85%, it was very dramatic. Doubling my bids had no effect. My KU reads, however, only decreased a little bit. So, here's my opinion.

I think that when your ads are new (i.e. you've never advertised those books in AMS before) Amazon gives you a helping hand at putting your books at the front of the carousel. But then, to make way for new book ads, the day comes when their helping hand puts you on the back of the carousel and there's just nothing you can do about it. You'll still get impressions, but the buying readers don't scout to page 15 looking for a book to read. KU readers on the other hand, often do; they go much further in the carousel looking for a KU book to read. So, the page reads aren't affected too much.

Many other people have posted about "falling off the cliff". They try everything to remedy the situation and mostly (from what I can see), nothing works. So then they pause or terminate their ads in the hope that when they re-do them things will go the way they did when the books were first advertised. I've never seen any posts on whether this strategy works.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LMareeApps on April 19, 2017, 10:53:10 PM

I think that when your ads are new (i.e. you've never advertised those books in AMS before) Amazon gives you a helping hand at putting your books at the front of the carousel. But then, to make way for new book ads, the day comes when their helping hand puts you on the back of the carousel and there's just nothing you can do about it.


Increasing your click bid for the keyword pushes you closer to the front position of the carousel. The challenge is deciding whether the return is worth the expense if someone actually clicks on it  ;)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on April 19, 2017, 11:39:28 PM
Amazon has said this may not be completely true. Amazon considers many other things in deciding where to put you on the carousel. These things include what sales you've had and how many times you have appeared on the carousel to someone (I think they said the limit was three). There were other things as well, I can't remember them. Bottom line is that having the highest bid does not guarantee you a place at the front of the line.  :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LMareeApps on April 20, 2017, 12:17:19 AM
Amazon has said this may not be completely true. Amazon considers many other things in deciding where to put you on the carousel. These things include what sales you've had and how many times you have appeared on the carousel to someone (I think they said the limit was three). There were other things as well, I can't remember them. Bottom line is that having the highest bid does not guarantee you a place at the front of the line.  :)

You're right.  There's no guarantee you'll get the top spot.  But, Amazon also claim: " A higher CPC bid has a greater chance of winning a higher rank in the auction."

So if you're languishing on page 2, it might be worth upping the bid a little to see if you can increase your visibility. If you're down on page 15, and have been using that keyword for some time, it might be time to retire it for a while. Also keep in mind I'm new to AMS so could be speaking utter crap  :P
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on April 20, 2017, 04:51:09 AM


Many other people have posted about "falling off the cliff". They try everything to remedy the situation and mostly (from what I can see), nothing works. So then they pause or terminate their ads in the hope that when they re-do them things will go the way they did when the books were first advertised. I've never seen any posts on whether this strategy works.

I have tried pausing them all for a few days and it has made no difference on all 6 books which are now lucky to get 500 impressions per day each. Obviously, low impressions = very few clicks and I'm now at no sales for 7 days. My lowest APC is 24% and my highers 42% with average cost of clicks from 6c to 11c

For it to work I'd need 100,000 impressions per book per day, that should produce 10 clicks which= 1 sale.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on April 20, 2017, 05:49:10 AM
I don't know why, but I almost never see the fabled carousel. Instead, I see 1-4 sponsored books at the bottom of a page, listed just as prominently as the books at the top of the page. Unless you're looking closely, you don't even notice these are sponsored books. Sure, if you've searched for a particular author, you'll notice that these aren't by that author. But that is the only difference.

And my lead title remains on page one of several generic categories that sell well for it. But overall, sales and reads have been down, as I've reported previously. Not down enough for me to consider stopping any of the ads, though. I can do enough basic math to see that I am still making a profit on these ads.

I have a newsletter ad set for today and another for tomorrow, so we shall see which has the more power to move books.

Edited to add: When I clicked on my own book, I saw the carousel, and most of the books listed are by the same three authors (who for all I know may be one person--actually, I suspect these are work-for-hire books-to-order all published by the same company) that are romances but not in the same subgenre at all. These authors must be using the widest possible array of keywords and also bidding very high.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 20, 2017, 08:07:35 AM

Many other people have posted about "falling off the cliff". They try everything to remedy the situation and mostly (from what I can see), nothing works. So then they pause or terminate their ads in the hope that when they re-do them things will go the way they did when the books were first advertised. I've never seen any posts on whether this strategy works.

It worked for me, but I didn't just pause the ad. I added about 25 new keywords and paused it for five days. It picked up again a few days after I restarted. This ad has more clicks than any other ad.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 20, 2017, 08:21:49 AM
I can confirm that an ad on a new release gets more exposure than an older title. Last night, at 1:30 AM, my sponsored product ad for Shadowglade, a book I launched yesterday, went live. I only have about 140 keywords, and at the moment, I have 12,371 impressions and 5 clicks.

Lately, I've been lucky to get 12,000 impressions for Beyond the Forest, launched the end of October, and that's split between two ads with about 1600 keywords total. I saw a real drop off a few weeks ago. I had been getting around 24,000 impressions per day, and my impressions dropped to 12,000 per day. 
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on April 20, 2017, 09:10:15 AM
With 115 clicks and only one sale I feel like giving up. My same book back in 2/17 had 242 clicks with 17 sales. I only run a Product Display ad. I have run the keyword ads before but they didn't do as good and was alot more work to add all those keywords. Amazon is just too hard to figure out how this all works. I'm thinking of closing my ams account or maybe just let the ad run until it ends.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on April 20, 2017, 02:34:59 PM
Reporting that it took Amazon 12 hours to approve my new campaign and it hasn't served up even one impression 6 hours later. Or is that the three-day lag already in action? :D
I just set an ad this afternoon.  The notice when I hit "submit" said it would be "15 minutes."  But the confirmation e-mail says "usually completed within 24 hours but can take as long as three days."  For me it's the 12-14 hours, so let's hope that's the case this time.  I'd like the ad to be live for the weekend.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 20, 2017, 07:10:04 PM
I can confirm that an ad on a new release gets more exposure than an older title. Last night, at 1:30 AM, my sponsored product ad for Shadowglade, a book I launched yesterday, went live. I only have about 140 keywords, and at the moment, I have 12,371 impressions and 5 clicks.

Lately, I've been lucky to get 12,000 impressions for Beyond the Forest, launched the end of October, and that's split between two ads with about 1600 keywords total. I saw a real drop off a few weeks ago. I had been getting around 24,000 impressions per day, and my impressions dropped to 12,000 per day.

Sorry to quote myself, but I want to keep today's data together. Over 47,000 impressions for the day so far and 33 clicks. My other ads are dead in the water but my new release is going gangbusters.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on April 20, 2017, 07:28:56 PM
Same for me. My new ad has 19,300 impressions and 26 clicks after three days. I suspect my other ads are idling, but I don't have time right now to compare the numbers.

My flagship ad clocks in at 359 clicks per 1,000, but despite raising my daily budget, I can't get AMS to spend it. Despite a daily budget max of $30 a day spread over 6-9 titles, AMS has only spent $8 a day since the last invoice. 
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 21, 2017, 06:06:55 AM
I'm up to 91,500 impressions so far in a little over a day. At this rate, I'll equal the impressions of the ads I started March 20th by tomorrow!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 25, 2017, 08:36:25 AM
Alright, this may be paranoia, but I've been doing these ads for about a year now and there has been a definite shift in the last month or so and I think it's due to people clicking on books they have no intent of buying.  Whether someone wrote a bot to do this (which I almost think it has to be) or whether it's just so many people that are new to using the ads poking around and clicking on others' books, I'm definitely seeing a change in click rates and therefore profitability.

For example, I ran an ad on my fantasy first in series and had 11,000 impressions after a couple of days and 39 clicks on the ad.  Normally that would've resulted in 3-4 sales or borrows at $6.99, maybe as low as 2.  It resulted in one paperback sale.  Under the old way things worked I would've expected to see 11 to 22 clicks on 11,000 impressions.  So I almost doubled the number of clicks but I have half the sales.  And I had at least one keyword that had one click on one impression and others with clicks at below 100 impressions.

Now, the reason I think this is not buyer-driven is because I'm not seeing this happening on my non-fiction titles.  They're mostly right where I'd expect. I have six of those that are new and running and all have ratios that are in line with past numbers (impression:click): 4852:2, 3800:4, 6160:6, 5473:7, 110,763:136.

But both in romance and fantasy I'm seeing a huge increase in clicks to impressions with no increase in sales or borrows.  My romance ad had 42,320 impressions and 229 clicks.

Amazon isn't going to care.  Because if it's what I expect then it's people driving out the competition by making the ads too expensive for the competition to stay in.  First, Amazon gets the ad money from the people being driven out as their ads get clicked on too much.  And then they continue to get ad money from those who remain behind and take those top slots.  (Because these ads are a good source of steady sales. At least they were for me before people started messing with them. Which means if there is someone doing this, it'll be profitable for them to stay in there and use them after they've driven everyone else out.)

And now it's time to go don my little tinfoil hat and curse people and their manipulative ways. Hope I'm wrong. Suspect I'm not. [Insert choice words about those people that the forum would block if I typed them here.]
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on April 25, 2017, 09:51:47 AM
Alright, this may be paranoia, but I've been doing these ads for about a year now and there has been a definite shift in the last month or so and I think it's due to people clicking on books they have no intent of buying.  Whether someone wrote a bot to do this (which I almost think it has to be) or whether it's just so many people that are new to using the ads poking around and clicking on others' books, I'm definitely seeing a change in click rates and therefore profitability.

Something's definitely changed in the last month. I hope you're wrong about the bots, though. :(
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amyshojai on April 25, 2017, 10:03:47 AM
I'm still very new to this, and only doing keyword targeting for nonfiction. So I have no way to really judge if what I'm doing is effective, a reasonable cost, or not. Books are selling. And page reads have drastically increased, along with improved ranking, so feeling good about that.

A question, though. I'm being billed weekly. Is that how it's always been? For some reason, I thought it would be a monthly charge as accrued.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 25, 2017, 10:21:49 AM
How much are you spending?  I was spending about $200 a month and getting billed monthly, but I have had a few times where they billed me earlier than that, maybe based on project spend rate? Once was for $148 and once was for $200 in months where my spend was closer to three or four hundred.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amyshojai on April 25, 2017, 10:47:57 AM
I was billed on April 16 for only a buck or so (just started) and April 22 for about $50. And another $42 has accrued since then. So looks like it'll be around $50/week at this rate. About $170 in book sales.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 25, 2017, 12:06:50 PM
I was billed on April 16 for only a buck or so (just started) and April 22 for about $50. And another $42 has accrued since then. So looks like it'll be around $50/week at this rate. About $170 in book sales.

That seems to be the norm starting out.

1/11  $1.06
1/27  $50.23
2/3    $39.88

After that, it's been pretty much monthly.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amyshojai on April 25, 2017, 12:21:05 PM
Aha...okay, that makes sense. Probably want to see if someone is going to use ads for more than a week at a time before setting up a monthly bill cycle. Thanks for the feedback.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Kay7979 on April 25, 2017, 03:58:56 PM
Alright, this may be paranoia, but I've been doing these ads for about a year now and there has been a definite shift in the last month or so and I think it's due to people clicking on books they have no intent of buying.  Whether someone wrote a bot to do this (which I almost think it has to be) or whether it's just so many people that are new to using the ads poking around and clicking on others' books, I'm definitely seeing a change in click rates and therefore profitability.

For example, I ran an ad on my fantasy first in series and had 11,000 impressions after a couple of days and 39 clicks on the ad.  Normally that would've resulted in 3-4 sales or borrows at $6.99, maybe as low as 2.  It resulted in one paperback sale.  Under the old way things worked I would've expected to see 11 to 22 clicks on 11,000 impressions.  So I almost doubled the number of clicks but I have half the sales.  And I had at least one keyword that had one click on one impression and others with clicks at below 100 impressions.

Now, the reason I think this is not buyer-driven is because I'm not seeing this happening on my non-fiction titles.  They're mostly right where I'd expect. I have six of those that are new and running and all have ratios that are in line with past numbers (impression:click): 4852:2, 3800:4, 6160:6, 5473:7, 110,763:136.

But both in romance and fantasy I'm seeing a huge increase in clicks to impressions with no increase in sales or borrows.  My romance ad had 42,320 impressions and 229 clicks.

Amazon isn't going to care.  Because if it's what I expect then it's people driving out the competition by making the ads too expensive for the competition to stay in.  First, Amazon gets the ad money from the people being driven out as their ads get clicked on too much.  And then they continue to get ad money from those who remain behind and take those top slots.  (Because these ads are a good source of steady sales. At least they were for me before people started messing with them. Which means if there is someone doing this, it'll be profitable for them to stay in there and use them after they've driven everyone else out.)

And now it's time to go don my little tinfoil hat and curse people and their manipulative ways. Hope I'm wrong. Suspect I'm not. [Insert choice words about those people that the forum would block if I typed them here.]

You may be onto something, but that would be utterly depressing if true.

After day 3, I paused the keyword "book" which had generated about 25 clicks and no sales. I was also stunned to see that as of today I have 210,000 impressions, 155 clicks and only TWO sales! How is that even possible? In the past, I've limped along plus or minus underwater, but never THIS badly. This is the second book in my series. Could it be that? You'd think if readers didn't want to start with book two, they'd buy book one, which I purposely discounted to $0.99 for book two's launch. I don't think my blurbs are that bad, and I've spent a lot on covers produced by artists. Book one has a favorable Kirkus review, which I highlight. Yes, I'm a new author, without tons of reviews, but if people liked the cover and teaser ad enough to click through, I don't understand what could be turning them away.

Totally baffled and a little depressed. When I run promos, I do all right. Had 50 sales the other day from Robin Reads, so my book can't be a total dud.   
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on April 25, 2017, 04:48:51 PM
Alright, this may be paranoia, but...

*whew*

I thought I was the only one who was seeing the same trend in my latest campaign. Great impression/click performance, but hardly any sales. I had a couple of keywords that were doing a little too well with the number of clicks they generated, and I started to wonder if someone was trying to knock me off of those Ad carousels.

(Puts on his tinfoil hat and sheepishly walks away).  :-[   
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on April 25, 2017, 05:06:38 PM
I have a new ad for a new book, with all keyword bids at 25 cents. The first 41 clicks cost me an average of 15 cents each. Then click #42 cost me 24 cents. Then click #43 cost me 2 cents.

Really, the more attention one pays to these, the more one's head feels about to explode.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Abderian on April 25, 2017, 05:16:39 PM
*whew*

I thought I was the only one who was seeing the same trend in my latest campaign. Great impression/click performance, but hardly any sales. I had a couple of keywords that were doing a little too well with the number of clicks they generated, and I started to wonder if someone was trying to knock me off of those Ad carousels.

(Puts on his tinfoil hat and sheepishly walks away).  :-[   

There's a thread on Mark Dawson's Facebook page where lots of people are reporting a sharp downturn in sales over the last month or so.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JohnBanks on April 25, 2017, 05:35:01 PM
Facebook was caught scamming advertisers a few weeks back by fudging the amount of time people watched Facebook videos. More time means more engagement, means more ad money. A couple of years ago a youtube clone called Mevio was caught buying "views", which turned out to be scammers showing Mevio videos in small pop-unders when people were watching porn videos. In other words they never saw the Mevio videos or the ads from Nike and Coke, but Nike and Coke were still billed for the ads. It was a huge scandal. One of 2 things is happening with AMS ads, AMS is buying "traffic" and they are clicking on the ads and not buying. Or the famous bots downloading free books are also downloading our ads when they are shown on the product pages of these free books. I think it's obvious something is happening and it only started recently. Maybe it's one of the Amazon managers who was told by Bezos to show some results and this is his way to do so over our backs. Maybe it's time to bring in some publicity again. That's the only thing these scammers are scared of. Another point is the worthless metrics they show us. All I need to know in a timely manner is how much did I pay and how many books did I sell or get a borrow for. But they tell us it takes 3 days to calculate, while I have all borrow and sales in my KDP dashboard within 5 minutes! And instead of saying how many books were sold and borrowed they try to show us nonsense inflated paperback revenue. Fudging numbers is the sign of a scammer.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on April 25, 2017, 07:07:21 PM
There's a thread on Mark Dawson's Facebook page where lots of people are reporting a sharp downturn in sales over the last month or so.

I'm experiencing this too but I thought that was because I've been too busy with my Kindle Scout campaign and haven't paid attention to tweaking ads, etc, for 3 weeks now. But maybe it's not me, it's the Zon.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 25, 2017, 07:22:25 PM
Well, for me, I'm at Day 24 on the latest series-opener historical fiction campaign, and things don't look that far out of whack:
-- 587 Imprs / Click
-- 11.5 Clicks / Sale
-- ACoS in low 20s (%)

Maybe it's a genre thing?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on April 25, 2017, 07:50:03 PM
Just chiming in to add that I too have seen a shut-down of effectiveness.

I tried raising my bid on a successful keyword to $0.75. I looked away for three days then came back to see that I'd accidentally bid $75.00 per click! :O #troublewithdecimals

I actually sold quite a few books during that period, but my average CPC was $1.47.

Needless to say, I hastily dropped my bid and my sales plummeted haha.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Rick Gualtieri on April 26, 2017, 05:54:39 AM
Alright, this may be paranoia, but I've been doing these ads for about a year now and there has been a definite shift in the last month or so and I think it's due to people clicking on books they have no intent of buying.  Whether someone wrote a bot to do this (which I almost think it has to be) or whether it's just so many people that are new to using the ads poking around and clicking on others' books, I'm definitely seeing a change in click rates and therefore profitability.

Last year when Sponsored Ads was in beta I wrote to Amazon and asked them what click fraud prevention they had in place.  Their answer was a vague "we're looking into it" type thing, that basically told me none. It's a worrisome concept.

However, I ultimately believe it will be a self-correcting one.  Amazon, much like Google did, will eventually have to deal with click fraud because otherwise someone somewhere will probably file a lawsuit regarding it.  I would call that a matter of when, not if. 
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Rick Gualtieri on April 26, 2017, 06:02:15 AM
However, I ultimately believe it will be a self-correcting one.  Amazon, much like Google did, will eventually have to deal with click fraud because otherwise someone somewhere will probably file a lawsuit regarding it.  I would call that a matter of when, not if. 

Oh, and just to add, any scammers reading this and laughing had best be real careful because don't think for a second that a jury won't find someone liable or that a big corporation won't turn it's guns your way. 
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on April 26, 2017, 09:12:26 AM
Same here. Plenty of clicks but no sales. I was doing great back in 2-17 but April sucks. I have changed nothing with my ads so I'm totally lost here. The only one now making any money is amazon. I wish I could get that $100 in free clicks but they only pick certain people for that. I don't know how they pick them but anyone that signed up within the time frame should have received the bonus. Their offer was very misleading.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Christopher Bunn on April 26, 2017, 11:21:56 AM
Same here. Plenty of clicks but no sales. I was doing great back in 2-17 but April sucks.

Ditto with me. And I've been trying all different sorts of permutations, including Dawson's idea of scads of ads for the same book (miserable failure for me), forty ads of about 25 keywords each for the same book (still a failure, but not as bad), to two massive ads of 1,000 keywords each for the same book (and... a failure).

Oh, well. There's always chocolate.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 26, 2017, 12:56:11 PM
I thought I would take a look at March/April for last year to see if there was a dip in sales/reads. Nope. April sales/reads were nearly double March.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JB Rowley on April 26, 2017, 01:10:11 PM

Oh, well. There's always chocolate.

 ;D  (And gin!)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Stewart Matthews on April 26, 2017, 01:22:50 PM
I also saw a downturn in AMS effectiveness over past month.

I wouldn't rule out bots, but from my end, it appears my ads are simply generating fewer clicks and impressions overall. Then again, I'm just one data point, so my experience may not be significant of anything.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on April 26, 2017, 01:49:04 PM
Just chiming in to add that I too have seen a shut-down of effectiveness.

I tried raising my bid on a successful keyword to $0.75. I looked away for three days then came back to see that I'd accidentally bid $75.00 per click! :O #troublewithdecimals

I actually sold quite a few books during that period, but my average CPC was $1.47.

Needless to say, I hastily dropped my bid and my sales plummeted haha.


I did the same thing: I was in a hurry and accidentally changed a bid to $12.00 instead of 0.12 cents (it's for a $1.99 book).  Amazon blew through my $1.00 a day limit in a flash.

I sent AMS emails explaining what happened, that it was my mistake, but I wanted to know why they went through my advertising budget. After several emails back and forth, I received the following response:

In this case we won't charge more than the daily budget you set, just in case if we reach the daily budget before the day ends, we will pause your ad and reactivate it the next day in order to avoid to spend more money than the one you set as your daily budget.

The emails were on April 20. They did go through the budget and haven't adjusted the charge. On the day I made the mistake, I ended up paying over $9 with an advertising budget of $1. Apparently the safeguards they have in their software don't always work.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on April 26, 2017, 01:55:36 PM
I did the same thing and the same thing happened to me. However, when they actually took the money, they didn't take the overage.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JaclynDolamore on April 26, 2017, 02:38:23 PM
AMS is definitely...weird lately. I had The Sorcerer's Concubine consistently in the top 10k since release but it started dropping FAST within a week or two at the beginning of April. I started running a $5 Facebook ad on April 12th and it bumped back up. So I tried turning off AMS ads and just leaving Facebook.  Still hanging out around 10k. Then I turned AMS back on. Still around 10k, despite a $12 ad spend on AMS yesterday...the rank should have gone up if both ads are working. Is AMS selling anything for me right now...?? It's hard to tell when the updates are sluggish and there's no way to check like, daily or weekly summary.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on April 26, 2017, 02:42:14 PM
I did the same thing: I was in a hurry and accidentally changed a bid to $12.00 instead of 0.12 cents (it's for a $1.99 book).  Amazon blew through my $1.00 a day limit in a flash.

I sent AMS emails explaining what happened, that it was my mistake, but I wanted to know why they went through my advertising budget. After several emails back and forth, I received the following response:

In this case we won't charge more than the daily budget you set, just in case if we reach the daily budget before the day ends, we will pause your ad and reactivate it the next day in order to avoid to spend more money than the one you set as your daily budget.

The emails were on April 20. They did go through the budget and haven't adjusted the charge. On the day I made the mistake, I ended up paying over $9 with an advertising budget of $1. Apparently the safeguards they have in their software don't always work.

I've done the same thing a few times. I thanked the Lord the cost was the next highest bid or else I'd been screwed.

And get this, I even stupidly clicked on my own ad a few times. I meant to one-click back to my own book to check one thing or another while I'm on one of my KW's pages. Every time I did that, I wanted to kick myself in the head.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 26, 2017, 02:56:07 PM
Is AMS selling anything for me right now...?? It's hard to tell when the updates are sluggish and there's no way to check like, daily or weekly summary.

I can tell you that in poking around I've seen your ad a few times in about the third position of the carousel on my books or on the books in my also boughts for my fantasy novel.  So I know they are displaying the ads.

I just think a combination of slowdown in number of impressions on older titles and random extra clicks when those books are actually displayed are colliding to make it horrid right now.

I did the same thing: I was in a hurry and accidentally changed a bid to $12.00 instead of 0.12 cents (it's for a $1.99 book).  Amazon blew through my $1.00 a day limit in a flash.

I've had this happen a few times and you usually see an adjustment on your bill but the dashboard will continue to show the charge.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: KelliWolfe on April 26, 2017, 03:00:53 PM
Oh, and just to add, any scammers reading this and laughing had best be real careful because don't think for a second that a jury won't find someone liable or that a big corporation won't turn it's guns your way.
You have to catch them, first. I worked for a company that did click fraud detection and watched math PhDs rip their hair out in frustration over it. Simple click fraud like hitting your own ads on AdSense to generate paid clicks is bad enough. It gets really hairy when you've got bot farms with computers scattered all over the world and run out of East Europe hitting competitor links to burn up their ad spend so you get better placement and cheaper CPC. Separating that from noise is a non-trivial problem, and if you set your detection threshold too low it makes the ads almost useless.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JaclynDolamore on April 26, 2017, 04:38:59 PM
I can tell you that in poking around I've seen your ad a few times in about the third position of the carousel on my books or on the books in my also boughts for my fantasy novel.  So I know they are displaying the ads.

I just think a combination of slowdown in number of impressions on older titles and random extra clicks when those books are actually displayed are colliding to make it horrid right now.

That's good to know, at least. But yeah...a $12 spend for yesterday does NOT seem to be reflected in my sales.

Then again, maybe sales are just awful this week? My rank keeps going up. I'm not seeing it reflected in my numbers as much as it should. I have to assume there is a lot of borrowing and not reading OR everything is just down, or maybe a combo of both.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on April 27, 2017, 03:28:55 PM
I did the same thing: I was in a hurry and accidentally changed a bid to $12.00 instead of 0.12 cents (it's for a $1.99 book).  Amazon blew through my $1.00 a day limit in a flash.

I sent AMS emails explaining what happened, that it was my mistake, but I wanted to know why they went through my advertising budget. After several emails back and forth, I received the following response:

In this case we won't charge more than the daily budget you set, just in case if we reach the daily budget before the day ends, we will pause your ad and reactivate it the next day in order to avoid to spend more money than the one you set as your daily budget.

The emails were on April 20. They did go through the budget and haven't adjusted the charge. On the day I made the mistake, I ended up paying over $9 with an advertising budget of $1. Apparently the safeguards they have in their software don't always work.

I received the following email from AMS today:

"Please note that ad spend on any given day may exceed your average daily budget but, at the end of the month, the average daily spend will not exceed your average daily budget. The average daily budget is the amount you are willing to spend per day over a calendar month. For example, if you set your average daily budget to $100, you may receive up to $3,100 worth of clicks in that calendar month (assuming a full 31-day month).
This is why you may have seen spend in 1 day exceed the budget you set."

The email said the above was general information and they would reach out to me again. Meanwhile, I still don't know why the spend limit per day didn't work unless they are spreading the spend limit over an entire month, which doesn't make sense.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Mike Stop Continues on April 28, 2017, 01:55:32 PM
The email said the above was general information and they would reach out to me again. Meanwhile, I still don't know why the spend limit per day didn't work unless they are spreading the spend limit over an entire month, which doesn't make sense.


Speaking as a big data engineer, dealing with high-transaction systems like ads takes a LOT of computer power. Amazon can't possibly update your profile in real time, so they do batch updates every couple of hours. If you're under-budget at the beginning of a period, you're considered under-budget for the entire period. Then at the end of the period, it batch updates. You're either under-budget at that point (even by $0.01) or over-budget.

Within each hours-long period, you can get lots of clicks or just a few. So sometimes, you go over.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on April 28, 2017, 02:00:03 PM
I received the following email from AMS today:

"Please note that ad spend on any given day may exceed your average daily budget but, at the end of the month, the average daily spend will not exceed your average daily budget. The average daily budget is the amount you are willing to spend per day over a calendar month. For example, if you set your average daily budget to $100, you may receive up to $3,100 worth of clicks in that calendar month (assuming a full 31-day month).
This is why you may have seen spend in 1 day exceed the budget you set."

The email said the above was general information and they would reach out to me again. Meanwhile, I still don't know why the spend limit per day didn't work unless they are spreading the spend limit over an entire month, which doesn't make sense.


Below is the final email I received today:

"Budget and click spend are different.
If you set a CPC bid for higher than your daily budget, it is possible to go over your daily budget as it averages out over the duration of the campaign. Please note my previous message. If you set your CPC bid at $12 with our auction you may pay up to $12 per click. The highest you can set a CPC bid for is $49."

From this, we can tell that those charges were due to it being the highest bid competition between other ads. They have confirmed that these charges are in fact correct and therefore cannot be 'corrected'.


In the first email I received from them, they said:

In this case we won't charge more than the daily budget you set, just in case if we reach the daily budget before the day ends, we will pause your ad and reactivate it the next day in order to avoid to spend more money than the one you set as your daily budget.

Apparently they changed their minds. I'm being very careful now when I change bids!


Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AndrewBarliman on April 29, 2017, 04:46:11 AM
How is it that people are getting tens of thousands of impressions?

I've had my ads (two) running for about 5 days now, and have a total impressions number of around 5,000 and a grand total of 5 clicks.

It doesn't seem to be the pricing, as my price per click is less than my bid numbers, and the keywords I've bid more on don't seem to pull any additional impressions.

I have "only" about 50 keywords for each. Is that the key - just pumping in hundreds of keywords? Having a higher daily spend? Sacrificing a sheep to the Amazon overlords? I've tried most of the advice I've seen online to no avail.

Apparently, I literally cannot buy clicks from amazon.

Does anyone know what it takes to get impressions at all?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on April 29, 2017, 05:16:17 AM
Your per click price will be less than your bid because you'll only be in competition for those spots that cost less than your bid.

If it were me, I'd try raising my bids on the keywords and see if that does anything.  Especially on your keywords that show a flat line instead of a zero.  (I have a theory that the ones that show a zero are on the carousel but so far down they aren't seen whereas the ones with a flat line aren't even getting shown.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JaclynDolamore on April 29, 2017, 06:26:56 AM
Andrew, I would definitely try more keywords. It also just depends on how competitive the ones you chose are. I usually kick off an ad with about 400 keywords.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: huggie on April 29, 2017, 07:45:34 AM
AMS is pretty impressive results wise, 69 sales at 2.99 or 3.99 a book and 17000 page reads this month (first time using it) when normally I struggle to make $60 in a month without advertising. Granted I've spent over $100 but it's getting the books into readers' hands a lot better than Facebook ads did at least, maybe time to bump up the bids another step to 0.25 or 0.30? Might need to work on my ad copy though, my less successful ads are getting roughly 1 click per 3,000 to 4,000 impressions while the ones that sell best are getting a little less than 1 per 1,000.

Could also be my covers too though since the 3 of the 4 that get good clicks to impressions ratio are the only ones I put on AMS that are illustrations as opposed to a live model...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amyshojai on April 29, 2017, 08:30:53 AM
I've only used keyword targeting thus far, but only for the nonfiction. I wonder if it's different for fiction?

What has been the experience comparing the two types of ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 29, 2017, 12:36:59 PM
I've only used keyword targeting thus far, but only for the nonfiction. I wonder if it's different for fiction?

What has been the experience comparing the two types of ads.

You mean sponsored ads v. product display ads? The latter don't work for most of us, but, I think for your non-fiction books it would be worth a try. You can choose any dog and cat products such as food or toys or bedding, etc, to display the ads for your books.

I buy dental stix and treats for my dog all the time and I will most likely see your ads displayed on those pages.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 29, 2017, 12:39:21 PM
How is it that people are getting tens of thousands of impressions?

I've had my ads (two) running for about 5 days now, and have a total impressions number of around 5,000 and a grand total of 5 clicks.

It doesn't seem to be the pricing, as my price per click is less than my bid numbers, and the keywords I've bid more on don't seem to pull any additional impressions.

I have "only" about 50 keywords for each. Is that the key - just pumping in hundreds of keywords? Having a higher daily spend? Sacrificing a sheep to the Amazon overlords? I've tried most of the advice I've seen online to no avail.

Apparently, I literally cannot buy clicks from amazon.

Does anyone know what it takes to get impressions at all?

I suggest you add lots of keywords. You can pull from your alsobots as well as the sponsored products carousel on your pages. Also, go to yasiv.com and put in the name of your book. I usually get from 100 to 400 suggestions from there.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on April 29, 2017, 01:14:57 PM
Well, well. After a disasterous April with very few impressions and therefore no AMS sales, they've actually started to pound out the impressions again and sales are coming through...'bout time.

Pleased that I held my nerve and didn't increase bids this time.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 29, 2017, 01:45:53 PM
Well, well. After a disasterous April with very few impressions and therefore no AMS sales, they've actually started to pound out the impressions again and sales are coming through...'bout time.

Pleased that I held my nerve and didn't increase bids this time.

I'm still waiting. Sales are okay (barely) but page reads are a disaster. Four pages one day, nothing the next and four pages the day after that with a spike (hah!) up to 12 pages on the fourth day. Clicks and impressions are showing up regularly so it's not that.

I'm running a Freebooksy right now and I can't believe the dearth of page reads. That's never happened before with a Freebooksy ad. At this rate, I'm never going to make my spend on the ad. I'm going to put the book in AMS tonight and hope I get a bit of a KU/audio boost.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on April 29, 2017, 01:52:22 PM
I'm still waiting. Sales are okay (barely) but page reads are a disaster. Four pages one day, nothing the next and four pages the day after that with a spike (hah!) up to 12 pages on the fourth day. Clicks and impressions are showing up regularly so it's not that.

I'm running a Freebooksy right now and I can't believe the dearth of page reads. That's never happened before with a Freebooksy ad. At this rate, I'm never going to make my spend on the ad. I'm going to put the book in AMS tonight and hope I get a bit of a KU/audio boost.

My freebooksy didn't return a profit last month.... first time ever, but it did get page reads going. It's different for everyone. There are so many factors.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on April 29, 2017, 02:07:43 PM
My freebooksy didn't return a profit last month.... first time ever, but it did get page reads going. It's different for everyone. There are so many factors.

Yes, Freebooksy is usually pretty reliable. I have clocked 13 audio sales overnight, so that helps. But it looks like they are all whispersync at 80c royalty. Ah, well. You win some, you lose some.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on April 30, 2017, 08:35:24 PM
I've now run hundreds of AMS campaigns.  So far, they are the only advertising source I've found that that can provide me with a sustained positive return on full-priced books.

But it has taken me constant tweaking of my campaigns.  It's a bit like gardening - constant planting, pruning, trimming and weeding.  I feel like 'The Constant Gardener'.  That is, raising and lowering bids on selected keywords, adding and pausing various keywords, tweaking blurbs, etc.

My books fall into 3 genres: 1. Historical (war)  2. Historical (the Apollo missions), 3. Graded readers for children.

All 3 series have box sets and have produced much better return on investment (ROI) than campaigns for individual books.  These days, I pretty much limit my campaigns to the higher-priced collections for that reason.  I've never managed to get a sustained positive ROI for a $2.99 book.  The higher priced collections make it much easier to achieve a positive ROI.

I'm currently spending most time tending my collection of graded readers.  That book started out with a $5.00 daily spend limit. At that point it was making good sales, so when it blew past the daily limit, I increased it to $10.  It then blew past that limit and I increased it to $12.  It then consistently blew past that and the campaign was automatically paused each day with 6 hours to spare having gone past the daily limit.

At that point I started losing money.  I had also increased my bids on the best selling keywords which turned out to be a mistake at that point.

I had noticed earlier that most of my sales appeared on my dashboard late in the day.  Assuming that the KDP dashboard reports sales in near real time, I could see that that loss in visibility in those crucial final hours of the day was costing me.  So I gradually cut back on my bids on selected keywords until the campaign would display for the full 24 hours.

At that point, and up to now, I am getting a consistent positive return on investment on that campaign.  It's not a lot (just a handful of sales a day), but it is consistent and I now have at least one campaign that I can rely on to produce results.

Took a lot of gardening though.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on April 30, 2017, 08:55:55 PM
I've now run hundreds of AMS campaigns.  So far, they are the only advertising source I've found that that can provide me with a sustained positive return on full-priced books.

But it has taken me constant tweaking of my campaigns.  It's a bit like gardening - constant planting, pruning, trimming and weeding.  I feel like 'the constant gardener'.  That is, raising and lowering bids on selected keywords, adding and pausing various keywords, tweaking blurbs, etc. [...]

This is a fascinating report, Philip. I'm a Constant Gardner, too.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 01, 2017, 02:28:52 PM
Worst part is that tracking keyword metrics has now gotten so involved I've had to get Number One Son to show me how to do some things on Excel spreadsheets.

And he doesn't suffer fools gladly.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amyshojai on May 01, 2017, 04:18:01 PM
I'll be pruning probably next week. My first ads as experiments I set to run 3 weeks, and so far, haven't messed with them. All but a couple seem to be earning nicely, a wonderful surprise, but I'm sure that I can do better. Really appreciating the feedback in this thread.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 01, 2017, 04:44:39 PM
Worst part is that tracking keyword metrics has now gotten so involved I've had to get Number One Son to show me how to do some things on Excel spreadsheets.

And he doesn't suffer fools gladly.

Philip

My son is the same way.  He can't understand how people don't know what he knows, or can't figure stuff out the way he does.  (And yet, he had to ask me the best way to fold a sheet of paper to fit into a mailing envelope.   ??? )
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on May 01, 2017, 05:10:16 PM
Short stories and AMS

I started an AMS ad on the 17th March for my short story compilation. To be honest, I wasn't expecting any sales or impressions because as everyone knows, shorts are a hard sell, especially even in an anthology priced @ $2.99,($12.99 for the paper book) but I was prepared to spend $5 as a trial and to give it some visibility. Sure enough I've only had 9,000 impressions sticking only to niche keywords for shorts compilations, and not many at that to keep it targeted, but it has produced 13 clicks at 10c= $1.30. Patience has paid off when I noticed I had a paper book sale today on my AMS dashboard. Most unexpected.

I also sold another paperback in the UK on the same day and wonder if they had seen the ad on .com and bought through uk so it won't show on AMS? It just seems strange that I haven't sold any of that as a print book for ages.

The only other thing is that from impressions bombing in April to next to nothing, this past few days they have all started to soldier on again.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 02, 2017, 09:02:05 PM
One month in on my revised ad copy test for my $0.99 series opener (historical fiction). Was looking slow in April then picked up right at end. KU reads for series also picking up a bit last few days.
* still keeping my bids low: aCPC is $0.02. "Trickle Effect"
* 584 Impressions per Click; 12.8 Clicks per Sale (a little high for me but not bad)
* aCOS is 26% so campaign is definitely in the black
* will keep this one running and continue to do constant gardening with my trowel in hand.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 03, 2017, 03:38:08 AM
One month in on my revised ad copy test for my $0.99 series opener (historical fiction). Was looking slow in April then picked up right at end. KU reads for series also picking up a bit last few days.
* still keeping my bids low: cCPC is $0.02. "Trickle Effect"
* 584 Impressions per Click; 12.8 Clicks per Sale (a little high for me but not bad)
* aCOS is 26% so campaign is definitely in the black
* will keep this one running and continue to do constant gardening with my trowel in hand.

I'm amazed that you can generate any clicks at all with a bid of only $0.02.  Does it amount to a substantial number of clicks per day?

I'd never considered bidding that low.  Maybe I should try  it.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on May 03, 2017, 03:55:57 AM
I'm amazed that you can generate any clicks at all with a bid of only $0.02.  Does it amount to a substantial number of clicks per day?

I'd never considered bidding that low.  Maybe I should try  it.

You can get impressions and clicks, even with really low bids, but in much lower numbers. That means that sales will be lower as well. If the ad is intended to prop up ranking, it won't do that with just the odd sale here and there. You need to get sales pretty much every day, and that means bidding higher. How high you need to bid depends on your genre. So it rather depends on what the objective of the ads is.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 03, 2017, 07:48:00 AM
You can get impressions and clicks, even with really low bids, but in much lower numbers. That means that sales will be lower as well. If the ad is intended to prop up ranking, it won't do that with just the odd sale here and there. You need to get sales pretty much every day, and that means bidding higher. How high you need to bid depends on your genre. So it rather depends on what the objective of the ads is.

Mostly agree. First, it's very genre-dependent. No way I could do this in Romance! But HF seems to work. I get clicks every day, although not sales from those clicks every day. With this book (and these low bids), I'm usually bouncing in and out of the Top 100 in at least one of my subcategories. For my current strategy of testing AMS while I'm working to finish the final book of the series, that's good enough for now. Once the series is finished, I'll try stepping on the bidding gas. It's all a work in progress.

P.S. My bid range is actually 0.02 to 0.06 (currently), but average CPC is 0.02.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: APeter on May 04, 2017, 07:28:17 PM
I've been running an AMS campaign for a book of mine that's coming out of KU this Saturday (going wide with it). As of tomorrow, the campaign will have been running for two weeks. Normally, I run my campaigns for a longer period of time. But this campaign was a last moment decision based on the book coming out of KU. NOTE: I have no intention of doing any more AMS ads until this September at the earliest.

Anyway, I thought everyone might find this information on my latest campaign of interest.

Bottom line: The campaign hasn't gone well. Each day I've examined the results and raised my bid on what I felt were key words. It hasn't helped. So two days ago, I raised the bidding VERY high to see if it made a difference. It did, but look at my ACPC on some of these words. It's too rich for my blood. I can't complain, though, because in the past these AMS ads have worked for me. But now that everyone is jumping on the band wagon . . .

Keyword                  Bid    Imp    Clicks   ACPC

michael crichton      0.89  938    1     $0.62   
  –
greig beck                0.89   950    2     $0.61   
  –
walter jon williams  0.89   692    2     $0.61
  –
rr haywood        0.89   598    1     $0.61   
  –
the atlantis plague   0.89   845    1     $0.61
  –
brandt legg         0.89   520    1     $0.60
  –
the winter over         0.89   434    1     $0.60   
  –
james rollins         0.89   4,713 4     $0.59
  –
nicholas sansbury smith   0.89   1,308   1   $0.59
  –
douglas richards         0.89   1,580  3     $0.58
  –
william gibson         0.89   2,620  1     $0.57
  –
douglas preston         0.89   1,432  2     $0.56
  –
michael grumley         0.89   1,499  3     $0.53
  –
stephenie meyer         0.89   1,067 1     $0.53
  –
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 04, 2017, 07:43:17 PM
My most recent ad (through the end of April) was pretty much a bust.  I knew I'd spend more than I earned because I was advertising a free book  :P but obviously I'm looking for sell-through to later books.  However, the keywords getting most action (and therefore costing the most $$$) were very general:  crime and suspense, to name two.  All the more specific, targeted keywords didn't bring any relevant results.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 04, 2017, 08:40:27 PM
I've been running an AMS campaign for a book of mine that's coming out of KU this Saturday (going wide with it). As of tomorrow, the campaign will have been running for two weeks. Normally, I run my campaigns for a longer period of time. But this campaign was a last moment decision based on the book coming out of KU. NOTE: I have no intention of doing any more AMS ads until this September at the earliest.

Anyway, I thought everyone might find this information on my latest campaign of interest.

Bottom line: The campaign hasn't gone well. Each day I've examined the results and raised my bid on what I felt were key words. It hasn't helped. So two days ago, I raised the bidding VERY high to see if it made a difference. It did, but look at my ACPC on some of these words. It's too rich for my blood. I can't complain, though, because in the past these AMS ads have worked for me. But now that everyone is jumping on the band wagon . . .

Keyword                  Bid    Imp    Clicks   ACPC

michael crichton      0.89  938    1     $0.62   
  –
greig beck                0.89   950    2     $0.61   
  –
walter jon williams  0.89   692    2     $0.61
  –
rr haywood        0.89   598    1     $0.61   
  –
the atlantis plague   0.89   845    1     $0.61
  –
brandt legg         0.89   520    1     $0.60
  –
the winter over         0.89   434    1     $0.60   
  –
james rollins         0.89   4,713 4     $0.59
  –
nicholas sansbury smith   0.89   1,308   1   $0.59
  –
douglas richards         0.89   1,580  3     $0.58
  –
william gibson         0.89   2,620  1     $0.57
  –
douglas preston         0.89   1,432  2     $0.56
  –
michael grumley         0.89   1,499  3     $0.53
  –
stephenie meyer         0.89   1,067 1     $0.53
  –

To get a decent position on a big bestseller's page, you do have to bid high. But I am wondering how your book can appeal both to fans of Twilight and Michael Crichton AND William Gibson. That's a real range. You got the most clicks on James Rollins; is your book like his? I'd be inclined to keep his name active if he's a tight match and actually produced sales. These days, you can keep the ad going when the book is not in KU.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Seneca42 on May 04, 2017, 09:26:08 PM
Bottom line: The campaign hasn't gone well. Each day I've examined the results and raised my bid on what I felt were key words. It hasn't helped. So two days ago, I raised the bidding VERY high to see if it made a difference. It did, but look at my ACPC on some of these words. It's too rich for my blood. I can't complain, though, because in the past these AMS ads have worked for me. But now that everyone is jumping on the band wagon . . .

wowzer. 50-60c acos is nuts. Unless you're getting sales on every 4 clicks or less. But most people report sales every 10-20 clicks.

and I agree, AMS is getting out of control. It's not performing like it used to... not sure if it's over saturation or the system is just buggy. But something is definitely up.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on May 04, 2017, 10:44:00 PM
Bottom line: The campaign hasn't gone well. Each day I've examined the results and raised my bid on what I felt were key words. It hasn't helped. So two days ago, I raised the bidding VERY high to see if it made a difference. It did, but look at my ACPC on some of these words. It's too rich for my blood. I can't complain, though, because in the past these AMS ads have worked for me. But now that everyone is jumping on the band wagon . . .

Yeah, there's definitely a lot of crowding going on. I've come to the conclusion that there are only two ways to run these:

1) Low bid, very cheap, with a good ACOS but very few sales.

2) High bid, very expensive, as a short-term push for a launch or intensive promo.

Sadly the days of 2c bids and 19% ACOS are over.  :(
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: APeter on May 05, 2017, 08:00:39 AM
To get a decent position on a big bestseller's page, you do have to bid high. But I am wondering how your book can appeal both to fans of Twilight and Michael Crichton AND William Gibson. That's a real range. You got the most clicks on James Rollins; is your book like his? I'd be inclined to keep his name active if he's a tight match and actually produced sales. These days, you can keep the ad going when the book is not in KU.

My book doesn't fit nicely into one category. It's one of those types of book that touch upon several genres.

The campaign was an attempt to get some last minute "reads" before dropping out of KU. I don't run constant campaigns.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amyshojai on May 08, 2017, 12:38:16 PM
Hmnn. Well, I'm doing nonfiction so that's very different. But I'm having good, steady sales and staying higher in ranking since I started. Haven't tried with fiction yet.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on May 09, 2017, 07:13:54 AM
My sales are rolling down the hill fast and it seems the AMS ads are no longer working as well as they did before. Granted, I'd been ignoring them for 4 weeks now as I was consumed by my Kindle Scout campaign. But now that is over and I've returned my attention to actual sales of my books, I can't seem to make anything work. I've tried tweaking, altering bids, adding new KWs. Nothing changes. Meanwhile, I'm noticing that bidding has become fierce on the good KWs. I bid pretty high on some of my KWs and I'm shocked that my ad appears on p.3. I don't bid higher than $.60 (isn't that really high? I only use that for less than 10 KWs that I think really are important.). So that means these other books ahead of mine in the carousel are bidding at even higher to get to p.1???  :o

I'm really hesitant to up my bid. At that rate, I'll soon be losing $$ on my loss leader.

I'm ok with making no ROI on my Book 1 loss leader, which is priced at $2.99. But at what point does the insanity stops?

Any advice?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: JaclynDolamore on May 09, 2017, 07:34:31 AM
AMS ads are working well on a brand spanking new release for me, but I ended ALL of them on my older books and have shifted the money to Facebook ads for the moment...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Hasbeen on May 09, 2017, 11:50:29 AM
New to AMS ads been dabbling in Facebook ads with some success and have been wanting to try AMS this thread has been hugely helpful.

Question for the group I going to start a campaign and was wondering if anyone has used bundles in their adds? With their higher prices it would seem they might be more profitable with fewer clicks.

Does this make any sense? Or should you use them to push the first in a series to try and get follow on purchases.

Thanks again for all of the info advertising is my worst skill in this complicated world of indie publishing.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on May 09, 2017, 01:19:38 PM
Took me a few hours to read through all this, but what an informative thread. I'm representing 49 eBook titles (mostly dark and scary stuff), so I'll definitely start putting them all on $1 a day budgets. Dabbled in a few ads with new releases, but nothing long term. Hopefully I'll have good news to report.

Thank you,
Joe
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on May 09, 2017, 01:39:09 PM
Question for the group I going to start a campaign and was wondering if anyone has used bundles in their adds? With their higher prices it would seem they might be more profitable with fewer clicks.
Does this make any sense? Or should you use them to push the first in a series to try and get follow on purchases.

Running ads on a bundle/box set makes sense if it's full price with a healthy royalty. That means you can afford to bid higher and still make a positive ROI.

Ads on first in series make sense too, but if it's at 99c, say, it's very, very hard to make a positive ROI on that. So you have to make the decision whether you want to pour money into it and get your return by way of sell-through, or just run a low-cost campaign that will generate a sale here and there but won't be much help with rank. Only you can decide how much you can afford to risk.

Having said all that, it does depend on genre. The most saturated genres are also the most difficult to run ads in, at the moment, but a less saturated genre might produce a good return with low bids.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 09, 2017, 03:11:37 PM
New to AMS ads been dabbling in Facebook ads with some success and have been wanting to try AMS this thread has been hugely helpful.

Question for the group I going to start a campaign and was wondering if anyone has used bundles in their adds? With their higher prices it would seem they might be more profitable with fewer clicks.

Does this make any sense? Or should you use them to push the first in a series to try and get follow on purchases.

Thanks again for all of the info advertising is my worst skill in this complicated world of indie publishing.

I'm doing both on the same series. I just upped the price on my bundle by $1 and I'm still getting sales plus page reads. Nothing spectacular, but I'm definitely in profit. The series loss leader is 99c which by itself puts me in the red, but page reads and sell-thru keep me in profit on that ad as well. This is a four book historical romantic suspense series.

I have another series (trilogy) that I'm going to be doing the same thing.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on May 09, 2017, 03:17:35 PM
Is mystery a saturated genre?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 09, 2017, 03:20:34 PM
I wonder what the most saturated genres are at any given time.  In any case, I encourage everyone to run lots and lots of FB ads for the next few weeks!!.  *she said, hoping that AMS ads will thin out a little bit....*   ;)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 09, 2017, 03:21:31 PM
Is mystery a saturated genre?

AMS ACPC for the historical/mystery/romance bundle is 28c and for the first in series, 19c which I'm guessing is about average for mystery.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: huggie on May 10, 2017, 07:19:42 AM
I think I overdid it making a new set of ads with a CPC bid of $0.30, not really getting more sales despite more impressions/clicks per day so maybe I should scale back to $0.25 or even $0.20 like my last set. On the plus side I seem to have found better ad copy for most of my worse performing ones as they are getting a better ratio of clicks!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Seneca42 on May 10, 2017, 08:07:55 AM
I bid pretty high on some of my KWs and I'm shocked that my ad appears on p.3. I don't bid higher than $.60 (isn't that really high? I only use that for less than 10 KWs that I think really are important.). So that means these other books ahead of mine in the carousel are bidding at even higher to get to p.1???  :o

Yep. I've heard of people bidding $1 even $2 for a keyword. Some people have money to burn. And if you're an author with a huge back catalog that you know is going to sell you can perhaps justify the spend. 

This is the problem with AMS right now, is it is getting flooded with ads which means the cost of appearing near the front of the carousel gets more expensive all the time.

I wouldn't go above 60c if I were you, that's already high. It's not feasible to bid $1-2 on keywords unless you have a huge back catalog that you know will sell then.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 10, 2017, 08:20:26 AM
Holy cow.  Chris Fox just said that for his newest release he was bidding $50 on keywords and paying as much as $4 per click!

I'm still in with AMS, but I'm only making a profit on it because the books I'm in on are either non-fiction with less competition or books that earn me $4+ per sale either in ebook or paperback.  My numbers are small, but I have 9 PB sales for the month thanks to AMS ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 10, 2017, 08:25:17 AM
Holy cow.  Chris Fox just said that for his newest release he was bidding $50 on keywords and paying as much as $4 per click!

I'm still in with AMS, but I'm only making a profit on it because the books I'm in on are either non-fiction with less competition or books that earn me $4+ per sale either in ebook or paperback.  My numbers are small, but I have 9 PB sales for the month thanks to AMS ads.

I've been in since January and I've only had one paperback sale. It was on a 16c click on Nora Roberts as the KW. Now, that's the way to make money. Too bad it has not been repeated ... multiple times.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on May 10, 2017, 08:43:15 AM
What's up with billing? I always get billed around the 2nd of each month but my april invoice is still accumulating. Anyone else have this problem?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BVLawson on May 10, 2017, 08:57:47 AM
Re: billing.

Yes, I'm having the same problem. It's causing a little wallet shock to see it keep adding up beyond the usual range.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on May 10, 2017, 09:06:29 AM
Holy cow.  Chris Fox just said that for his newest release he was bidding $50 on keywords and paying as much as $4 per click!

I'm still in with AMS, but I'm only making a profit on it because the books I'm in on are either non-fiction with less competition or books that earn me $4+ per sale either in ebook or paperback.  My numbers are small, but I have 9 PB sales for the month thanks to AMS ads.

I've accidentally bid $50 when I made typos, intending to bid 50c. Althought thank God the actually CPC was lower than 50c or I'd have been screwed.

But bidding $50 and paying $4 is just beyond anything that'd worth my $$. Chris has a huge backlog and can afford it. I can't.

Theoretically, it shouldn't matter to me if an author of a different, competitive genre bid like that. I'm in historical fiction, right, so most of the authors bidding in my category are indies and they don't bid this outrageous amount.

Here's the problem, the AMS ads don't really match genres. Half the times, they refuse to show my ad which is 100% genre matching to the KW, but instead, they show a bunch of contemporary thrillers, or Sheik Romance, or what have you. So if Chris Fox et al bid that high, and for some reason the Amazon algo decided that his book should go on the AMS carousel for a book in my genre no matter how unrelated, it still ends up bumping me to the back.

So so messed up.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 10, 2017, 10:19:42 AM
I've been in since January and I've only had one paperback sale. It was on a 16c click on Nora Roberts as the KW. Now, that's the way to make money. Too bad it has not been repeated ... multiple times.

I have never(?) had paperback sales on any of my romances from AMS.  And only my clean sweet romances sell in paperback at all.  Most of the paperback sales I get are for non-fiction but my one fantasy series seems to sell in paperback, too.  I think all of those sales have come from trade-published fantasy authors.  For example, the latest was off of Juliet Marillier.  And I know I had one off of Tad Williams, too.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 10, 2017, 05:44:11 PM
I have never(?) had paperback sales on any of my romances from AMS.  And only my clean sweet romances sell in paperback at all.  Most of the paperback sales I get are for non-fiction but my one fantasy series seems to sell in paperback, too.  I think all of those sales have come from trade-published fantasy authors.  For example, the latest was off of Juliet Marillier.  And I know I had one off of Tad Williams, too.

Which is why we need to throw the big guys in with our keywords.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on May 10, 2017, 06:18:49 PM
What's up with billing? I always get billed around the 2nd of each month but my april invoice is still accumulating. Anyone else have this problem?

Yes. I thought maybe it was because the totals were so low last month, but I'm pretty sure they billed me tiny amounts when I first started at the end of a month and not much had accumulated.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on May 10, 2017, 06:20:51 PM
Holy cow.  Chris Fox just said that for his newest release he was bidding $50 on keywords and paying as much as $4 per click!

I'm still in with AMS, but I'm only making a profit on it because the books I'm in on are either non-fiction with less competition or books that earn me $4+ per sale either in ebook or paperback.  My numbers are small, but I have 9 PB sales for the month thanks to AMS ads.

 :o

I've never seen an industry where people are willing to pay so much per click for such inexpensive items. I guess y'all are right - they are counting on series sell-thru or something. So counter-intuitive, though.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 10, 2017, 06:44:40 PM
:o

I've never seen an industry where people are willing to pay so much per click for such inexpensive items. I guess y'all are right - they are counting on series sell-thru or something. So counter-intuitive, though.

Sounds like in his case it was for the release week visibility he could get and then he was going to drop it back to more reasonable levels.  He was talking about spending $400/day on a combination of FB, AMS, and Bookbub CPC ads for release week.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: huggie on May 10, 2017, 07:04:38 PM
Sounds like in his case it was for the release week visibility he could get and then he was going to drop it back to more reasonable levels.  He was talking about spending $400/day on a combination of FB, AMS, and Bookbub CPC ads for release week.

I feel better about my $10 a day spend on my new release which is priced at $0.99 (only 22 sales so far after 3 days so operating on a big loss, but hopefully it will remain visible when I raise the price to make up for it).

I wonder if such a massive spend would make it pretty likely to make it near the top?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Silly Writer on May 10, 2017, 07:06:58 PM
I've been reading this thread since the beginning, and I finally have something to give back!  (thanks everyone for all the info you've been sharing).

I had a call with an AMS Account Manager today. She's in a brand new department, so she's still learning, and most of this may be old news to everyone who is already doing ads, but helpful to others.  ;D To prepare for the call, I asked for questions in FB groups and I did get those answers (somewhat) so I'm going to list every question & answer. (open for opinion and discussion!)

Also, these answers may NOT be exactly correct, or your mileage may vary. Again, she's new. She's learning the in's and out's of AMS ads herself, and most of the questions were about the reporting interface versus what she normally specializes in (individual keyword research). I've given her some of my own keywords for her to 'investigate' and determine why they produce (or don't produce) and react the way they do.  Also, I was scribbling answers as fast as I could, so hopefully I'm repeating exactly what she said.  ???

Regardless, it is some good news (We now KNOW we have a Wish List with someone who is IN this department) and these answers can also prompt discussions of our own experiences and how they are or aren't in line with this.

While most of the questions were outside of why she actually called, she answered the other questions to the best of her ability. Some of my own experiences seem to conflict with her answers, so until she's been there a bit longer and worked out the kinks in her theories, I'll be putting much more stock into Mark Dawson's new module of AMS Ads when that's released. And HAS that been released yet?  ::)

Question 1: I noticed on my own book page (sweet romance genre) there are some ads for steamy romance. Should I be targeting books outside my own genre?

Answer: Yes, you should be targeting outside your own genres but try to stay within the overall category. For example, if you're advertising Sweet Romance, do advertise on different sub-genres. The Ad Moderation Team will evaluate if they feel the content is appropriate for that page before approving it to land there (that said, a steamy book shouldn't be showing on a sweet page, she's not sure how that is getting by the Ad Mod Team)

*Also note* she suggests going backward from wherever you see YOUR book being advertised, and target that author/title for better ad performance if it fits your genre. (Example: if you land on Gillian Flynn's page, and you write within her genre somewhere--even if it's not an exact match on genre--then you should add her name/books to your keywords too because something is a match there).

Question 2: I've seen my book pop up on a page that I didn't use a keyword for (author or book). How is that happening? Does Amazon place our book on pages that we didn't use an author/book title keyword for?

Answer: Amazon does not place your book somewhere you did not indicate. BUT it does look at all keywords within the metadata and categories of the advertised book. For instance, if your book is here: Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Women's Fiction, then you might pop up on someone's book page that is also in Lit&Fic, or in Contemporary, or in Women's Fiction. Your ad placement is dependent upon more than just the keywords you are choosing to use in your campaign.

Question 3: Is it better to have one big ad targeting a huge amount of keywords, or is it better to have lots of campaigns with smaller amounts of keywords?
Answer: IF IT'S THE SAME BOOK being advertised, it's better to have only ONE ad with a large amount of keywords.
(NOTE: MANY people have experiences that conflict with this answer)

Question 4: Is it better to break up the budget and have lots of campaigns for smaller dollar amounts, or to have one campaign with the full amount of budget you're willing to spend per day?

Answer: Again, if it's ONE book, it's better to have one campaign running with the whole budget. Having multiple campaigns for the same book and smaller budgets do not change the ad(s) results. It only makes more work for the author in analyzing the ad(s) results.
(NOTE: MANY people have experiences that conflict with this answer, too)

Question 5: Will we ever be able to see daily (or even weekly or monthly) numbers instead of a cumulative total?

Answer: Hopefully so. This is the most-requested change to AMS and it's on the Wish List.

Question 6: Will AMS results ever show us KindleUnlimited numbers that result from ad clicks?

Answer: She was unfamiliar with KindleUnlimited and AMS's effect on it. After explaining the AcoS isn't really correct (IF you're in KU) because it doesn't add in those numbers) she is excited to take this up with the KindleUnlimited Team to see if those clicks/numbers can in some way be included in order to show a more realistic AcoS.

Question 7: Is there a way to get rid of old campaigns (sort them, put into folders, archive) so we don't see a wall of campaigns when we log in?

Answer: Yes! You can sort them so Running and/or Paused show first and lumped together (but cannot delete or archive campaigns). On that first page where your campaigns are listed, you can sort by first column (Status) to sort it by 'Paused,' 'Terminated,' or 'Running.' You can also sort by any column on that page, including Campaign Name, Start Date and/or AcoS.

Question 8: Is there a way to pick Custom Dates?

Answer: No. Not at this time. (She put it on the wish list)

Question 9: Will we ever be able to Pre-Schedule ads?

Answer: Possibly we will be able to pre-schedule ads on current published books (going on Wish List!), but not ever on a book that is only listed as a Pre-order. This is because each ad has to run through the Ad Moderation Team, and they must have access to the inside of the book to check content for compatibility.

Question 10: Can we target by time zone?

Answer: No. Numbers are defined and calculated midnight to midnight in your own time zone.

Question 11: How do we get Amazon to shut up and take our money?

Answer: This has been discovered to be a technical issue. It's currently being worked on, and hopefully when resolved, Amazon will start to spend all MORE of the budget we define for that day/campaign.

Question 12: Sometimes it appears that Amazon is spending MORE than my daily budget in one day. Why?

Answer: Sometimes an ad is doing well and on a roll and Amazon might use some of the budget from the following day(s) to keep it rolling. Example: If you budget $10/day, and Amazon spends $12 for that day, they will only spend $8 the following day, thus it all evens out to where they will never spend more than the monthly budget (daily budget x days per month).

Question 13: How can we get them to spend more money now (before the fix comes in for above)?

Answer: Raise your bid to win more auctions. That doesn't mean you'll be spending what you bid, just that you'll win the bid and get on the page of your target. The CPC will vary depending on competition, but will most likely not be close to what you actually raised bid to. (In most cases)

Question 14: If we have more than one campaign running for the same book, are we bidding against ourselves?

Answer: No, you cannot bid against yourself. It doesn't work that way, however, she suggests one campaign for the same book, instead of multiple. She doesn't see evidence that more than one campaign moves the needle any faster if they're all on the same book.


So that's what I got, peeps. Anyone have experiences that conflict with this?
The good news is we now have someone dedicated to working out the kinks of AMS. She's very nice, and very eager to help us so we spend more moolah!


ETC: Weird Symbols. Thanks, Cassie!  (and man, was that a pita)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Silly Writer on May 10, 2017, 07:08:20 PM
Sorry about the weird symbols--not sure how to make those go away   :(
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on May 10, 2017, 07:11:15 PM
I did AMS ads in February and March; sold books and made money. Then it fell off the cliff the last week of April. I terminated everything but started it up a few days ago. I'm selling books, but I'm in the hole $1.88. If that doesn't change I will re-do at a cheaper bid. I really think Amazon gives you a boost when you are new to AMS ads, but after that... whammo.  :'(
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 10, 2017, 07:17:42 PM
Thanks, Silly Writer! Very useful intel!!!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 10, 2017, 07:19:21 PM
Silly Writer, thanks for the great info.  Those weird characters are probably because of smart quotes in a Word document that you copied and pasted from.  You have to manually replace all the ' and " in Kboards to get rid of it or turn off smart quotes.

My personal experience has been that one ad or maybe two on a book are far better than trying to run lots of ads.  When Mark Dawson did his promo for his new course I tried to run about ten ads on one book with a smaller subset of words based on what he said, and it failed miserably. I went back to a single ad with lots more keywords.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amyshojai on May 10, 2017, 08:19:17 PM
Great info, Silly Writer. I'm currently running about 5 ads per book, more as a test to see which works best. But...when all result in mostly print book purchases (nonfiction) and some Ebooks, AND a goodly boost in page reads, I keep all the ads that work. And for mine, I've got 500-700 keywords in each ad, not all the same. For instance, one might have to do with cat care, and another with cat behavior, and a third target other authors, or even dog training (with a cat book! but it works).

Obviously, that's not going to work with fiction. Still waiting to try that out.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 10, 2017, 09:02:27 PM
Thanks for the information, especially about using keywords to get into sub-categories where our books don't really belong. That's undoubtedly the origin of the people whose books I keep seeing in the wrong categories. Billionaire sexy books in sweet westerns, for instance.

AMS has been consistently profitable for me, but we're talking relatively small amounts of money. I don't think I have the nerve to sign on for a $50-a-day budget. Actually, I know I don't. But it might be worth trying after experimenting with the wrong-category keyword ploy. If Amazon thinks it's okay to advertise super sexy books in mild categories, it should be fine with advertising mild books in sexier categories, for instance. And if that sells more books or results in my pages read, then I'd up my daily budget to push that strategy.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Silly Writer on May 11, 2017, 02:39:04 AM
Thanks for the information, especially about using keywords to get into sub-categories where our books don't really belong. That's undoubtedly the origin of the people whose books I keep seeing in the wrong categories. Billionaire sexy books in sweet westerns, for instance.

AMS has been consistently profitable for me, but we're talking relatively small amounts of money. I don't think I have the nerve to sign on for a $50-a-day budget. Actually, I know I don't. But it might be worth trying after experimenting with the wrong-category keyword ploy. If Amazon thinks it's okay to advertise super sexy books in mild categories, it should be fine with advertising mild books in sexier categories, for instance. And if that sells more books or results in my pages read, then I'd up my daily budget to push that strategy.

Hmmm. That's not exactly what she said (above bold mine).  I copied this from my post to clarify: "Answer: Yes, you should be targeting outside your own genres but try to stay within the overall category. For example, if you're advertising Sweet Romance, do advertise on different sub-genres. The Ad Moderation Team will evaluate if they feel the content is appropriate for that page before approving it to land there (that said, a steamy book shouldn't be showing on a sweet page, she's not sure how that is getting by the Ad Mod Team)"

That said, the way you're planning: Mild romance advertised on steamy book pages is something like she recommended. Just not the other way around. :)




Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 11, 2017, 05:40:14 AM
Hmmm. That's not exactly what she said (above bold mine).  I copied this from my post to clarify: "Answer: Yes, you should be targeting outside your own genres but try to stay within the overall category. For example, if you're advertising Sweet Romance, do advertise on different sub-genres. The Ad Moderation Team will evaluate if they feel the content is appropriate for that page before approving it to land there (that said, a steamy book shouldn't be showing on a sweet page, she's not sure how that is getting by the Ad Mod Team)"

That said, the way you're planning: Mild romance advertised on steamy book pages is something like she recommended. Just not the other way around. :)

But if billionaire romance and sweet western are both under the romance umbrella, then they are in the same "overall category."  And of course, people expand things further, with the justification that "my military sci-fi has a romantic subplot, so that falls under romance too," so they use ANY and ALL romance-related keywords.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on May 11, 2017, 07:28:02 AM
But if billionaire romance and sweet western are both under the romance umbrella, then they are in the same "overall category."  And of course, people expand things further, with the justification that "my military sci-fi has a romantic subplot, so that falls under romance too," so they use ANY and ALL romance-related keywords.

And not to forget that AMS does "broad" matching - which means it is always going to be expanded out from our strict keywords. There is no option right now for exact matching. (I may have heard someone say larger publishers/advertisers have this, but I certainly don't.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Silly Writer on May 11, 2017, 08:03:16 AM
But if billionaire romance and sweet western are both under the romance umbrella, then they are in the same "overall category."  And of course, people expand things further, with the justification that "my military sci-fi has a romantic subplot, so that falls under romance too," so they use ANY and ALL romance-related keywords.

Exactly. I agree. I think this is where she explained the Ad Moderation Team comes in.

But I don't think it's doing what she thinks it's doing... lol  ::)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 11, 2017, 10:54:17 AM
Looks like they FINALLY billed me for April.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Not Lu on May 11, 2017, 01:04:34 PM
Question 11: How do we get Amazon to shut up and take our money?

Answer: This has been discovered to be a technical issue. It's currently being worked on, and hopefully when resolved, Amazon will start to spend all MORE of the budget we define for that day/campaign.

This is interesting. Be careful if you have 100 ads with a $10 daily budget and currently only spending $40 per day across all ads. You may wake up one morning to see $1000 spent yesterday because Amazon fixed the "technical issue".
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Silly Writer on May 11, 2017, 01:58:20 PM
This is interesting. Be careful if you have 100 ads with a $10 daily budget and currently only spending $40 per day across all ads. You may wake up one morning to see $1000 spent yesterday because Amazon fixed the "technical issue".

Oh. Man. REALLY good point!

Thanks for the warning, I didn't even thank about that.  ???
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jean Paul Zogby on May 12, 2017, 11:53:57 PM
Hi,
Quick question.
When you make a copy of a sponsored Ad that has some paused keywords in it, would the new copy contain those keywords? Are the enabled keywords only copied to the new Ad?

I had one Ad with a few hundred keywords, that was not doing too well. So I paused all the bad keywords, and it started doing great. Now I want to copy it, without having to go and pause each of those.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RD on May 13, 2017, 09:37:53 AM
My ad is about five days old with 26k impressions and 25 clicks with no sales estimated. 321 keywords.

This has cost me 1.21 total so I've had my bid rate low. Not sure if I should keep it running, but my standalone is getting alot of page reads per day, but it seemed was before the ad.

Should I try more keywords or increase the bid on other keywords?

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 13, 2017, 01:46:04 PM
My ad is about five days old with 26k impressions and 25 clicks with no sales estimated. 321 keywords.
This has cost me 1.21 total so I've had my bid rate low. Not sure if I should keep it running, but my standalone is getting alot of page reads per day, but it seemed was before the ad.
Should I try more keywords or increase the bid on other keywords?

1. Give it another five days.

2. Clicks and no sales? Besides waiting a bit, might mean you're not closing the sale (or they haven't been reported yet). Take a close look at your product page.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 13, 2017, 02:08:48 PM
Did anyone ever see their ad without the text? I just searched one of my keywords to test something, and I saw my ad, but there was no ad copy. I've contacted Amazon about it (I'm not going to pay for clicks that come from a blank ad), but I wonder if you guys know anything about it  ::)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Hasbeen on May 14, 2017, 08:58:35 AM
Ok, I just started three campaigns two with .15 bids and one with 10. I had about 30 keywords for each campaign authors mixed with genre specific keywords. 

Now granted I started them yesterday but none of them have a 100 impressions yet much less clicks. I've read in the thread that people have experienced thousands of impressions in the first day or two.

Is it Amazon's reporting or should I look at my keywords?

Completely confused after reading this thread. I didn't expect the campaigns to go gang busters but this is a little spooky. I'm wondering if I did something wrong. 
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 14, 2017, 09:50:19 AM
Ok, I just started three campaigns two with .15 bids and one with 10. I had about 30 keywords for each campaign authors mixed with genre specific keywords. 

Now granted I started them yesterday but none of them have a 100 impressions yet much less clicks. I've read in the thread that people have experienced thousands of impressions in the first day or two.

Is it Amazon's reporting or should I look at my keywords?

Completely confused after reading this thread. I didn't expect the campaigns to go gang busters but this is a little spooky. I'm wondering if I did something wrong.

I think you're going to need more than 30 KW per ad. Try for at least 75 per ad.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 14, 2017, 10:11:11 AM
...
Now granted I started them yesterday but none of them have a 100 impressions yet much less clicks. I've read in the thread that people have experienced thousands of impressions in the first day or two.
...

Definitely try increasing the total number of keywords per campaign. Amazon itself suggests 25, as I recall, so you should easily be able to triple that and more. My current campaign has ~350 kwds, and I got ~2k Imprs on Day 1 (at extremely low bids) in my historical fiction genre.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Hasbeen on May 14, 2017, 10:22:57 AM
Thanks I just finished upping the keyword count with authors. I continue to add but after a while I begin to run dry.

Is the objective to show up in the proper genre or is it more important just to show up and hope to catch someone's eye? Because coming up with 300 keywords it would seem to me you are really reaching out there into none genre specific areas.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 14, 2017, 10:37:41 AM
Thanks I just finished upping the keyword count with authors. I continue to add but after a while I begin to run dry.

Is the objective to show up in the proper genre or is it more important just to show up and hope to catch someone's eye? Because coming up with 300 keywords it would seem to me you are really reaching out there into none genre specific areas.

You can branch out into sub-genre's. Also, check out yasiv.com. Search for your book and they'll come up with anywhere from one to 100's of also boughts. I usually get from 300-400 out of it. It's a pain to sort them all out. Some you'll see are no good. It just so happens some one bought your book and a cookbook so that will show up. But it's worth the time and effort.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RD on May 14, 2017, 10:46:19 AM
1. Give it another five days.

2. Clicks and no sales? Besides waiting a bit, might mean you're not closing the sale (or they haven't been reported yet). Take a close look at your product page.

I'll give it another few days, woke up to another 8 clicks with no sales, 33k total impressions.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Hasbeen on May 14, 2017, 11:11:21 AM
You can branch out into sub-genre's. Also, check out yasiv.com. Search for your book and they'll come up with anywhere from one to 100's of also boughts. I usually get from 300-400 out of it. It's a pain to sort them all out. Some you'll see are no good. It just so happens some one bought your book and a cookbook so that will show up. But it's worth the time and effort.



Thanks for the tip. I've never heard of it. Will try it now.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Abderian on May 14, 2017, 12:42:37 PM
I'll give it another few days, woke up to another 8 clicks with no sales, 33k total impressions.

Is that no sales on your Amazon ads dashboard or your KDP dashboard. AMS doesn't always report the sales it generates. I know this because I recently began advertising a book that never sells. It's selling now but AMS isn't reporting all the sales.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RD on May 14, 2017, 02:54:36 PM
Is that no sales on your Amazon ads dashboard or your KDP dashboard. AMS doesn't always report the sales it generates. I know this because I recently began advertising a book that never sells. It's selling now but AMS isn't reporting all the sales.

Yes, zero sales on the AMS dashboard.

 its selling well KENP, but I have no idea what is what. It seemed to be doing well before the AMS ads so I don't know. I guess I'll just let it ride for awhile, its pretty cheap per day anyway, maybe I'll add another 100 keywords for the heck of it too.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 14, 2017, 03:53:59 PM
Yes, zero sales on the AMS dashboard.

 its selling well KENP, but I have no idea what is what. It seemed to be doing well before the AMS ads so I don't know. I guess I'll just let it ride for awhile, its pretty cheap per day anyway, maybe I'll add another 100 keywords for the heck of it too.

One of the things we've all asked for is faster reporting and tracking page reads through AMS. Hopefully it will happen.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 14, 2017, 11:55:58 PM
Amazon replied that they'll look into the problem with no ad copy and get back to me in 2 days.

I've noticed that my ads slow down if I don't add more keywords. Even the ones that were going crazy the first few days, slowly die down once I just let them be. Did anyone else notice it? Or am I imagining things?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Hasbeen on May 15, 2017, 10:45:52 AM
Update on my keyword problems. Thanks to the suggestions here I upped the keyword count (still working on it though) and have begun to see impressions over a thousand from under a hundred. So I'm on the right track but I still need to add more keywords. Finding the right keywords that will get you impressions has proven harder than I anticipated.

No sales have been recorded from the increased impressions and I don't have many clicks but I've seen an uptick in both my sales and pages read. So something is going on. It's having an affect.

I believe with more study of which keywords work and the addition of more of the right ones is still needed. I beginning to believe that keyword selection is more of an art than a science.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 15, 2017, 12:12:33 PM

I believe with more study of which keywords work and the addition of more of the right ones is still needed. I beginning to believe that keyword selection is more of an art than a science.

I honestly doubt there's a way to predict what will or won't work. It looks really, really random. I wouldn't waste time on picking the perfect keywords, seeing how half of them end up with 0 impressions.
For example, I decided to test how my keywords would do if I separated the top ones from the bottom ones. I made a new ad with 25 top keywords from my 5 old ads, and it died a slow, painful death.
Then I copied an old ad that had over 10K imps after 5 days and upped the bids on the top 25 keywords + new ad copy. Again, it never picked up.
So my opinion so far is a) I should test different ad copies if I want more clicks; b) I should add more bestsellers/HNR keywords every 2 days to keep the ad alive; c) I should stop trying to predict it and just let it run its course.
My most successful ad so far is also the one with the lowest bids. And yes, my page reads and sales aren't crazy, but they're definitely better.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 15, 2017, 12:20:35 PM
The thing I love most about AMS ads is that they sell my books.

Do I understand them? Not possible considering their inconsistent and often blatantly inaccurate reporting. But I do understand positive ROI.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 15, 2017, 01:08:57 PM
Update on my keyword problems. Thanks to the suggestions here I upped the keyword count (still working on it though) and have begun to see impressions over a thousand from under a hundred. So I'm on the right track but I still need to add more keywords. Finding the right keywords that will get you impressions has proven harder than I anticipated.

No sales have been recorded from the increased impressions and I don't have many clicks but I've seen an uptick in both my sales and pages read. So something is going on. It's having an affect.

I believe with more study of which keywords work and the addition of more of the right ones is still needed. I beginning to believe that keyword selection is more of an art than a science.

Mostly the broad keywords that Amazon suggested work well for me. Box set is a good one as is mystery romance. WW II romance is my best keyword.

Don't forget that within genres, there is crossover. As a person who loves mysteries, I'll read cozy, historical, hard-boiled, police procedural, etc. Nothing gory or psychological thrillers, though.

Don't worry about if a keyword is right. Go ahead and add it. If it ends up costing you money with no sales, then you can pause it. There's no way of knowing which keywords are going to work. I will spend up to $2 without a sale (suggested by Rick Gualtieri) and found that pretty well works for me.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 15, 2017, 01:10:34 PM
The thing I love most about AMS ads is that they sell my books.

Do I understand them? Not possible considering their inconsistent and often blatantly inaccurate reporting. But I do understand positive ROI.

That's what I love, too. My books are being bought and/or read and even audio sales have picked up a bit. I even got a bounty on one of my audios. First one ever. Technically second one, but I don't think I can count my Dad.

 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 15, 2017, 01:12:39 PM
I honestly doubt there's a way to predict what will or won't work. It looks really, really random. I wouldn't waste time on picking the perfect keywords, seeing how half of them end up with 0 impressions.
For example, I decided to test how my keywords would do if I separated the top ones from the bottom ones. I made a new ad with 25 top keywords from my 5 old ads, and it died a slow, painful death.
Then I copied an old ad that had over 10K imps after 5 days and upped the bids on the top 25 keywords + new ad copy. Again, it never picked up.
So my opinion so far is a) I should test different ad copies if I want more clicks; b) I should add more bestsellers/HNR keywords every 2 days to keep the ad alive; c) I should stop trying to predict it and just let it run its course.
My most successful ad so far is also the one with the lowest bids. And yes, my page reads and sales aren't crazy, but they're definitely better.

Yeah, there is no such thing as logic when it comes to keywords.  I did some of the same stuff you did (copied & ran an ad using keywords that had lots of impressions, etc.) and the result the second time around was... well, unimpressive.  So what worked on one campaign won't necessarily work a second time.  For no apparent reason.   ::)

For my most recent ad, the KW with most impressions were the very general ones (mystery, action, etc.).  Lots of impressions, but not enough clicks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 15, 2017, 01:37:01 PM

For my most recent ad, the KW with most impressions were the very general ones (mystery, action, etc.).  Lots of impressions, but not enough clicks.

That's what I have with movie keywords (I write UF that might appeal to fans of Batman, X-Men, etc.). So yeah, I got 13K imps from Batman alone, but what's the point if it's only a couple of clicks that didn't end with a sale.
And then I have a romance title that gets both imps and clicks from HNR titles, sales, page reads, too. What works for Romance doesn't necessarily work for Fantasy. Tweak until you sell  :P

Edit: I just checked and saw that one of those HNR titles is ranked #47. No surprise the Romance ad is doing so much better than all the Fantasy ads combined. Fantasy titles that I'm interested in just don't have the same positions.
God, I love kboards!  :-* Why didn't I realize it before?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Hasbeen on May 16, 2017, 12:35:53 PM
Update on my keyword education. I reached pretty far and wide and went for authors of classic fiction and non-fiction anywhere close to the theme of the book.

Authors are my biggest draw for impressions and clicks. The general subject keywords that AM suggest don't work at least at this point.

While my clicks are low compared to others in this thread and no sales I'm showing an up tick in both sales and pages read. So so far the couple of bucks I've invested in paying off in visibility and even the bottom line. Too early to call this a success but it's nice to see movement.

Couldn't have done it without everyone sharing their experiences. Thanks. On with the experiment.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 16, 2017, 02:01:46 PM
Update on my keyword education. I reached pretty far and wide and went for authors of classic fiction and non-fiction anywhere close to the theme of the book.

Authors are my biggest draw for impressions and clicks. The general subject keywords that AM suggest don't work at least at this point.

While my clicks are low compared to others in this thread and no sales I'm showing an up tick in both sales and pages read. So so far the couple of bucks I've invested in paying off in visibility and even the bottom line. Too early to call this a success but it's nice to see movement.

Couldn't have done it without everyone sharing their experiences. Thanks. On with the experiment.

Don't forget, your AMS dashboard won't show sales for up to three days and doesn't show page reads at all.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RD on May 16, 2017, 05:11:50 PM
I added 80 more keywords. Totals now: 48k impressions, 51 clicks, no sales. It's barely cost me over $2 though total and I see no reason to stop it. Page reads are through the roof, but it would make me feel better to see a number beside the sales column instead of a --
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Arches on May 16, 2017, 08:29:00 PM
I added 80 more keywords. Totals now: 48k impressions, 51 clicks, no sales. It's barely cost me over $2 though total and I see no reason to stop it. Page reads are through the roof, but it would make me feel better to see a number beside the sales column instead of a --

There's the bottom line, page reads are through the roof, and for me, so are sales according to the KDP dashboard. I'd be crazy to stop an ad campaign that seems unproductive but costs virtually nothing while page reads and sales keep going up. I'm doing no other advertising.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 16, 2017, 10:16:04 PM
Been having slow but low consistent sales. Decided to take the advice to consolidate all keywords into my most successful ad and turn off the other ads (I had a total of 5 ads running).

The results have been terrible, and by that I mean...flat-lining. So I'm not sure this "advice" from the AMS spokesperson is coming from a person who understands the algorithms or is just a person trying to get us to spend more money on ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Abderian on May 16, 2017, 10:56:21 PM
Been having slow but low consistent sales. Decided to take the advice to consolidate all keywords into my most successful ad and turn off the other ads (I had a total of 5 ads running).

The results have been terrible, and by that I mean...flat-lining. So I'm not sure this "advice" from the AMS spokesperson is coming from a person who understands the algorithms or is just a person trying to get us to spend more money on ads.

How long has it been since you made the change? I had too many ads running and I turned off all those except the ones that had performed best in the past, but had since stopped working. It took a day or two for them to begin to gather impressions again.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 17, 2017, 01:29:14 AM
Been having slow but low consistent sales. Decided to take the advice to consolidate all keywords into my most successful ad and turn off the other ads (I had a total of 5 ads running).

The results have been terrible, and by that I mean...flat-lining. So I'm not sure this "advice" from the AMS spokesperson is coming from a person who understands the algorithms or is just a person trying to get us to spend more money on ads.

Same here. I've waited 4 days, and yes, I got a sale or two, but it's totally different from the thousands imps a day I got before. Barely getting a couple hundred a day now. The thing is, my old ads didn't get many clicks anyway, and I really want to test this new ad copy I have, but I just can't get it out there. It seems to be totally random, which ads skyrocket and which sink.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 17, 2017, 06:26:22 PM
I'm reluctantly coming to the conclusion that nurturing successful AMS ads campaigns is much more an art than a science.

However, coming to conclusions is something I am striving to do.  I keep a list of conclusions, only to find I have to later discount them due to latest results.

Two recent 'conclusions' I have made (yet to be disproved):

1.  Product Display ads get much better (5x) as many clicks to impressions as Sponsored Product ads, but get fewer impressions and more expensive clicks

2.  Running Sponsored Product ads with AUTO selected keywords usually results (in 66% of cases) in far cheaper clicks than manually selected keywords with similar bids, while maintaining a good number of daily impressions.

(I reserve the right to withdraw those two conclusions next week.)


Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 17, 2017, 07:41:30 PM
I'm reluctantly coming to the conclusion that nurturing successful AMS ads campaigns is much more an art than a science.
However, coming to conclusions is something I am striving to do.  I keep a list of conclusions, only to find I have to later discount them due to latest results.
[...] 2.  Running Sponsored Product ads with AUTO selected keywords usually results (in 66% of cases) in far cheaper clicks than manually selected keywords with similar bids, while maintaining a good number of daily impressions.

Thanks for your updated conclusions, Philip. But I'm wondering...

A. What about the combination of Amazon's Suggested Keywords and manually added keywords? I do this, and I assume most others do too. Do you?

B. With my first AMS ad, I didn't know any better so I accepted Zon's 25 suggested keywords and at their suggested bid price ($0.25 for me). That was a mistake as it quickly wiped out my Spend budget, and I had to ratchet down my bids quickly. Now, I still accept their suggestions, but at LOW bids that roughly equal my manual keywords.

C. On the whole, I don't find the Amazon Suggested Keywords that much better than my best Manual Keywords (although both work in terms of Clicks).

Thoughts?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 17, 2017, 08:12:02 PM
Thanks for your updated conclusions, Philip. But I'm wondering...

A. What about the combination of Amazon's Suggested Keywords and manually added keywords? I do this, and I assume most others do too. Do you?

B. With my first AMS ad, I didn't know any better so I accepted Zon's 25 suggested keywords and at their suggested bid price ($0.25 for me). That was a mistake as it quickly wiped out my Spend budget, and I had to ratchet down my bids quickly. Now, I still accept their suggestions, but at LOW bids that roughly equal my manual keywords.

C. On the whole, I don't find the Amazon Suggested Keywords that much better than my best Manual Keywords (although both work in terms of Clicks).

Thoughts?

I too use the Amazon suggested words, but then add my own.  (After all, why not??)  And I also agree that the suggested keywords aren't terribly effective-- they're very generic and general, vs. targeted and specific.  I'll probably run another ad later this month, around Memorial Day, and plan to lower the default bid of $0.25.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 18, 2017, 04:34:40 AM
Thanks for your updated conclusions, Philip. But I'm wondering...

A. What about the combination of Amazon's Suggested Keywords and manually added keywords? I do this, and I assume most others do too. Do you?

B. With my first AMS ad, I didn't know any better so I accepted Zon's 25 suggested keywords and at their suggested bid price ($0.25 for me). That was a mistake as it quickly wiped out my Spend budget, and I had to ratchet down my bids quickly. Now, I still accept their suggestions, but at LOW bids that roughly equal my manual keywords.

C. On the whole, I don't find the Amazon Suggested Keywords that much better than my best Manual Keywords (although both work in terms of Clicks).

Thoughts?

Unlike ads with Manual Targeting, when I run ads with Automatic Targeting, I don't get a list of suggested keywords, don't get to see what keywords Amazon is using, and don't have an option to add my own keywords.

I also don't know how many keywords are being used, but I suspect there are more than the 25 to 50 keywords suggested with Manual Targeting.

My current Automatic Targeting ads are outperforming my Manual Targeting ads.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Hasbeen on May 18, 2017, 04:49:13 AM
I still new not quite a week but my experience has been. My test period is a month for each at $2 a day and .15 bid. I have yet to reach $2 spent on any day.

1. I started with Amazons broad keywords and they did little for me almost no impressions and no clicks.

2. I added to the amazon suggested key words authors from the genre the book was in and their titles and everything changed lots of impressions and I began to get clicks and even my first sales (first seen this morning). I have yet to reach by bid the clicks always come in lower but again remember this is still early.

3. My sales on my report have increased and my page reads at least stayed steady and in some cases gone up.

Did I read somewhere in this thread that borrows under Kindle Select count as sales? Because that is the only possible explanation for my sales to have gone up without it showing up on my AMS page.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 18, 2017, 05:01:11 AM
Did I read somewhere in this thread that borrows under Kindle Select count as sales? Because that is the only possible explanation for my sales to have gone up without it showing up on my AMS page.

Borrows don't count as sales as far as your earnings are concerned - you only make money per page read.  So each borrow does not show up as a sale on your KDP dashboard.

However, each borrow counts as a sale as far as your rankings are concerned.  If your book is borrowed 5 times, your ranking will look like you have had 5 sales.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 18, 2017, 05:23:50 AM
Unlike ads with Manual Targeting, when I run ads with Automatic Targeting, I don't get a list of suggested keywords, don't get to see what keywords Amazon is using, and don't have an option to add my own keywords.
I also don't know how many keywords are being used, but I suspect there are more than the 25 to 50 keywords suggested with Manual Targeting.
My current Automatic Targeting ads are outperforming my Manual Targeting ads.
Philip

Interesting. I made a new, mega-ad yesterday with all my keywords (big authors, indies, movies, genre keywords), and noticed that only movie keywords got impressions. It's like Amazon groups the ads somehow, and it just cut off a long tail of approx. 500 keywords I spent so much time adding  ???
I made a copy where I deleted all those keywords, leaving only books and authors. But seeing your post, I also quickly made another copy and chose automatic targeting. Let's see if Amazon can sell my books for me better than I do  ;) (My ad copy is also targeted anyway.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 18, 2017, 05:31:18 AM
Reedsy Learning have recently had a series of articles on AMS ads featuring AMS users such as Mark Dawson.  Here's part of the article from successful AMS user Joseph Alexander regarding Automatic Targeting:

Quote
The next thing to note: my targeting is automatic.

Here's my logic: Amazon knows!

It's creepy, but Amazon knows what you're shopping for, what you've been looking at, what your interests are and how best to deliver the right advert at the right time. They've got years of experience here and I know absolutely nothing! Are my keyword choices going to be better than Amazon's? Probably not.

You can see all the articles here: https://blog.reedsy.com/courses/amazon-ads-authors


Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 18, 2017, 07:11:09 AM
Sounds like I should try automatic targeting. Nothing to lose but money.  :D
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 18, 2017, 07:38:35 AM
Unlike ads with Manual Targeting, when I run ads with Automatic Targeting, I don't get a list of suggested keywords, don't get to see what keywords Amazon is using, and don't have an option to add my own keywords.

I also don't know how many keywords are being used, but I suspect there are more than the 25 to 50 keywords suggested with Manual Targeting.

My current Automatic Targeting ads are outperforming my Manual Targeting ads.

Philip

Ah... I misunderstood what you were saying about "Automatic Targeting." I see now that that's one of two options when setting up a Sponsored Products ad. I've just never used it. Based on your experience, might be worth a try. Thanks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 18, 2017, 08:51:03 AM
Ah... I misunderstood what you were saying about "Automatic Targeting." I see now that that's one of two options when setting up a Sponsored Products ad. I've just never used it. Based on your experience, might be worth a try. Thanks.

Yes, BUT... you can add keywords to the suggested (automatic) targeting, correct?  Or am I confusing the two types of ads?  All I know is, I usually go with the suggested keywords, and add my own to them.  (But again, I might be confusing the two types of ads....  I don't remember off the top of my head.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 18, 2017, 08:54:37 AM
You ARE confusing the two types of ads.  If you choose Automatic Targeting, you are not able to add your own keywords.  Nor are you able to see the wondrous targeting and secret sauce Amazon is using in its behind the curtain targeting.

All you can do is see if it works with different bids, blurbs, etc.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 18, 2017, 08:55:55 AM
If when you set up your ad you choose Automated Targeting, you have no ability to change or add keywords.  You just set a bid price.

Manual Targeting lets you use a list of suggested keywords as well as add your own.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 18, 2017, 08:58:19 AM
You ARE confusing the two types of ads.  If you choose Automatic Targeting, you are not able to add your own keywords.  Nor are you able to see the wondrous targeting and secret sauce Amazon is using in its behind the curtain targeting.

All you can do is see if it works with different bids, blurbs, etc.

Philip

Thanks.  I was in a rush and not able to look at the two types on my KDP account.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 18, 2017, 09:43:51 AM
Well, I set one up with automatic targeting for a book that I had paused. I planned to add more keywords and restart it up over the weekend. That will give me a good test for auto v. manual.

Not approved yet. Never once have I been approved in the 15 minutes they say.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 18, 2017, 09:55:56 AM
Not approved yet. Never once have I been approved in the 15 minutes they say.

 ;D I was. Twice today.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 18, 2017, 10:01:08 AM
;D I was. Twice today.

 :'( Uncle Zon doesn't love me.  :'(
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 18, 2017, 10:05:49 AM
OK, I'm jumping in and giving automatic targeting a try. As Gertie says, nothing to lose but money :P

Love this thread. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories and advice.

BTW, I have never been approved in 15 minutes, and I've launched more than a dozen ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 18, 2017, 10:07:42 AM

Not approved yet. Never once have I been approved in the 15 minutes they say.

But, more importantly, did you get car insurance quotes???     8)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 18, 2017, 10:52:52 AM
... BTW, I have never been approved in 15 minutes, and I've launched more than a dozen ads.

I'm a 14-hour guy. Always 14 hours. Like always. Weird. And no geckos in sight.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 18, 2017, 12:07:06 PM
:'( Uncle Zon doesn't love me.  :'(

Some of my ads take 10 hrs :D

I love it how a whole bunch of people jumped on the automatic ads right away - we'll be able to compare results. I can't help feeling dumb for not trying it earlier, as if I didn't know that Amazon is better at selling than all of us combined. But we'll see how it goes! I've made one more, this time for my Romance title, and I'm also gonna test a review quote as an ad copy.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 18, 2017, 12:51:11 PM
I had an Automated Targeting ad I ran a while back on my fantasy novel.  This was after maybe getting 3 million impressions on it across all ads so they had a lot to work with at that point.  It got me 14,000 impressions, 42 clicks, 1 sale at $6.99 and an unknown number of borrows. Cost me $12.06 so I shut it down.  But this was also mid-March when I was seeing really high clicks per thousand impressions so hard to judge whether it was the type of ad or that that made it a bad result for me.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 18, 2017, 01:00:53 PM
Hi Fellow Writers/Entrepreneurs,

I only recently discovered KBoards “Writer’s Café” and, more specifically, all its interesting comments.

I’m a newbie with the Amazon “game” (since early January). But, to my surprise, I’ve sold a few hundred copies of my wide selection of DIY manuals there, both eBooks and paperbacks.  The most important thing I’ve discovered is that the marketing “rules” with Amazon correspond very closely to those of the mail order business; which comes as no surprise.   I’ve spent most of my life in the mail order business as a sole proprietor, and made a fortune there.  But, there’s a huge difference between Amazon vs. mail order marketing.  In mail order I’m able to closely control my marketing audience via mailing list selection, demographics (state/city selection), seasonal affects, weather tracking, holiday impact, etc. - it’s a science.  Amazon on the other hand offers none of those benefits since, basically,  everyone’s totally anonymous (“Categories” selection being an exception).

However, Amazon does offer one very important benefit - almost immediate feedback. (By the way, from what I gather from the Café, most folks seem to be impatient in that regard.)  It seems to me any Kindle ad has to run at least a few weeks to garner any meaningful feedback. (Unless it’s an obvious bummer almost from day one.)  With mail order, advertising is a very expensive, lengthy process.  Very few mailing lists are ever productive for me (only about 1/3 of those even from legitimate sources).  I emphasize “Legitimate Sources” - the vast majority of advertised lists (probably at least 99%) are bogus - outdated, misrepresented, phone book names and addresses, useless names (garbage) in general.

On the other hand, AMS advertising is dirt cheap (we pay only for cost/click).  Whether it will be profitable for me in the long run remains to be seen.  So far most of my ads have at least broken even (but earning only “Chump Change”) - so, hopefully, there’s vast potential for improvement.

Strictly as a test, I recently submitted a Kindle ad for my “VapoKarb” manual.  I’m not trying to sell it to anyone on this forum, or anyone else for that matter.  It’s an old (really old) manual - going back to my early days in mail order (mid to late 1980’s).  But, I sold tons of them over the years (at least 50,000 copies at $10 each).  So, aside from being old technology, I feel it may be a decent test-bed for a new Kindle ad.  I’m pricing it at 99-cents (at least for now) - so it’s a sure looser from a profit standpoint. Perhaps it will gain me some publicity - but likely nothing long-term.

So, the VapoKarb ad’s my latest test point - which (finally) leads to my first inquiry:

- Will Kindle delete duplicate names from my Keyword listing?  My ad lists Kindle’s suggested Keywords, to which I’ve added about 100 category-related author names (per advice I’ve gathered from this forum). This may become a problem for me if my author list eventually becomes very large.

P.S. The “mystery” surrounding Kindle’s “Algorithm” seems to be a popular subject on most Amazon forums.  But, in my opinion, it’s impossible to even begin to analyze.  Kindle obviously has vast and powerful computer resources, along with savvy technicians. As with any business, their primary goal is to maximize profits - meaning their algorithm will always “follow-the-money” - updating continually, perhaps even on an hourly basis.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Silly Writer on May 18, 2017, 03:11:08 PM
Hi Fellow Writers/Entrepreneurs,

I only recently discovered KBoards “Writer’s Café” and, more specifically, all its interesting comments.

I’m a newbie with the Amazon “game” (since early January). <snip>

So, the VapoKarb ad’s my latest test point - which (finally) leads to my first inquiry:

- Will Kindle delete duplicate names from my Keyword listing?  My ad lists Kindle’s suggested Keywords, to which I’ve added about 100 category-related author names (per advice I’ve gathered from this forum). This may become a problem for me if my author list eventually becomes very large.


You cannot enter a keyword twice. The system will alert you that it is a duplicate. :)

Welcome to Kboards.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 18, 2017, 08:28:30 PM
Oh, why can't they all look like this?

(http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=487&pictureid=8689)

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 18, 2017, 08:44:17 PM
You photo isn't appearing for me. :/
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on May 18, 2017, 08:51:07 PM
I recommend people using the Automatic Targeting keep a sharp eye on what it is costing them. Most of the people (myself included) I know who used it, lost money on it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 18, 2017, 10:17:04 PM
I started two new ads this morning, both similar, and my "automatic targeting" ad got approved first. Still awaiting approval on my manual targeting ad (which was already rejected once for text I've used before in other approved ads).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Amy Maroney on May 19, 2017, 06:27:14 AM
Hi Everyone,
I had a sponsored product ad running for about 5 months. It did really well at first and then slowed down quite a bit in the past few weeks. I terminated it and copied the keywords into a new sponsored product ad yesterday. The weird thing is how much more expensive the clicks are for the very same keywords. A keyword that cost me .19/click in the old ad is now twice as much. With the old ad, I was fine setting the bids fairly high because I was never charged nearly as much as I bid. Now I'm frantically combing through my 400 keywords lowering bids. Has anyone else experienced this?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 19, 2017, 07:11:05 AM
Hi Everyone,
I had a sponsored product ad running for about 5 months. It did really well at first and then slowed down quite a bit in the past few weeks. I terminated it and copied the keywords into a new sponsored product ad yesterday. The weird thing is how much more expensive the clicks are for the very same keywords. A keyword that cost me .19/click in the old ad is now twice as much. With the old ad, I was fine setting the bids fairly high because I was never charged nearly as much as I bid. Now I'm frantically combing through my 400 keywords lowering bids. Has anyone else experienced this?

I had a similar experience.  After copying an ad that did well in December, I too had to lower bids on (or even pause) some keywords as I was 'racking up' more expenses than I'd expected...  with very little to show for it. 

I'd like to run another ad for this book over the Memorial Day holiday, but not sure now whether or how to do it.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 19, 2017, 07:40:37 AM
I haven't terminated ads, but I have noticed that the prices of my best keywords have crept upward. It's not a huge amount, from an average of $0.19 to $0.22, but since there only are three strong keywords that work on my main advertised title, I'm actually spending as much as $0.33 per click. That's a lot on a book with a $2.99 cover price and $2.05 royalty whose "page reads" only earn me $1.13. When I started doing these ads last October, I could bid under $0.10 and get a sale. I don't think that would be possible now, not on this title, anyway.

Regardless, sales have more than covered the ad cost, and page reads are through the roof by my standards--the highest they've ever been. Visibility of my book, i.e., ranking, has never been better. I'm white-knuckling it to see if sales will go higher and improve the book's rank even more. At no time am I losing money on AMS ads, so it's merely a question of how much I can increase sales by paying more dollars for ads. I think people who spend hundreds or even thousands on ads every month would say to go for it, as long as the ever higher cost produces results.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Hasbeen on May 19, 2017, 09:09:22 AM
I'm back with some numbers on my AMS experiment. Been running for 6 days I've only gotten two sales but I think a lot of impressions. Would like opinions on how it's going I have no reference points to evaluate what I'm looking at. These numbers are from a bundle and one of books in the bundle as a stand alone. My keywords area mixture of those suggested by Amazon and my own chosen from author in the same genre and other genres with similar themes.

Bundle   14,533 impressions, 11 clicks at .10 a click or 1.06 spent. 15.5 ACoS. one sale

Stand alone 6743 impressions 8 clicks at .11 a click  for a AcOS of 21.30

My sales and pages reads continue to be above what they were before my campaign. I use the graphs on my Self Publishing page I don't break it down into percentage. I have four running in the test with similar numbers but no sales. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 19, 2017, 11:30:30 AM
My 4-month venture of running Kindle ads has been mostly positive, nothing to brag about, but with generally better results than I expected.  My ads (a dozen or so) have been Sponsored Products, with Automatic Targeting.  I tested only one Product Display ad, with poor results (high cost/click - no orders) - and now paused.

So far, my experiences and observations are that Kindle ads have a short life-span; that is, their effectiveness quickly diminishes after about two months.  The only way I can see for possibly overcoming that is by constantly varying just about everything - product description, sub-titles, ad body (highly censored by Kindle, so probably plays a minor role), covers, etc. - each factor being very time consuming.

It’s a given that the only way to perfect any form of advertising is through split-run testing (I think it’s referred to as A/B testing on most forums).  However, since our audience is basically anonymous, A/B testing may yield little meaningful information.  Each ad variation would have to be run concurrently and, with ad overlapping, lots of luck in trying to make sense of the results.  Any ideas in that regard will be appreciated.

Per input from our Cafe, I decided to submit my very first Sponsored Products, Manual Targeting ad (for my VapoKarb manual) a couple days ago.  So far, the goofy thing seems to have caught fire - like 15,000 impressions so far.  Only 8 clicks, no orders - far too early to draw any conclusions.  Problem us, I think I made a major boo-boo.  I decided to add a few of my own keywords in addition to those recommended by Kindle - one of those being the keyword BOOK - which now accounts for about 8,000 of those impressions, and 6 of the 8 clicks.  (BOOK is probably much too broad - but who knows? - life can be full of surprises.)

I also entered about 75 author names (related to my categories) - only 1 or 2 impressions (no clicks) on each of only two names.  That’s my sad story - have a fun weekend!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 19, 2017, 02:38:04 PM
From 10:19 a.m. (ad creation) to 3:51 a.m. (ad approval). 18 impressions so far, no clicks. That's okay. I'm patient.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 19, 2017, 04:16:45 PM
Problems (complaints) relating to diminishing AMS ad effectiveness crops up quite often here. But, I believe that is the nature of the beast with all forms of advertising. New ads attract the most attention, curiosity being the primary factor.  Over time, ad effectiveness will gradually decline, but should eventually stabilize.  After that, ads have to carry their own weight to survive.  Unfortunately, the stabilizing level for most ad effectiveness will eventually end up being close to ZERO!

Supposedly (from what I can gather from Amazon forums) an impression has to be viewed an average of 8 times before a click results - which may well be true.

I started out in the mail order business many years ago running classified ads, which were very productive.  Now they are a total bust, probably not even 20% as effective as they once were.  Over a period of at least 10 years I would occasionally run test ads, always with the same results - a steady year-to-year decline in effectiveness.  From what I can gather from some Kindle Old-Timers, the same may be happening here - I certainly hope not.

All ad agencies (whether newspapers, tv, radio, whatever) try desperately to sell ad space (time) in blocks of multiple appearances - at steeply discounted rates.  They go all out trying to convince folks that ads yield their best results only after several appearances - which is TOTAL B.S.!  With rare exception, the very first ad produces the best results.  After that, ad results steadily decline for the first 4 to 5 appearances, usually stabilizing after that. 

I have no reason to think that we within the eBook realm should expect anything different.  The question being, what best to do about it? There are hundreds of hucksters out there only too happy to charge us for the privilege of learning how to get rich in this, or any other, business.   My advice, for what it may be worth, is to keep a tight grip on your money. Seeking help from forums such as this is the best way to go - these are the folks with the inside knowledge.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Eugene Kirk on May 19, 2017, 05:05:06 PM
AMS noob here.

I've only got 2 books out so I doing have a lot of recovery when it comes to Ads. I can only maybe come up with 40 or so keywords that target authors and books I think might have readers who will like my book. How do you guys end up with hundred and even thousands of keywords? Are you just targeting everything and anything and seeing what sticks? Also, how do you even enter that many?

I would think you would want less more targeted keywords no? Or am I missing something?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on May 19, 2017, 05:30:07 PM
Also, how do you even enter that many?


Make a list in Word, then copy/paste it in the keyword box.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 19, 2017, 05:37:08 PM
From 10:19 a.m. (ad creation) to 3:51 a.m. (ad approval). 18 impressions so far, no clicks. That's okay. I'm patient.

17+ hours? If so, close to my 14 hrs.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 19, 2017, 06:15:17 PM
17+ hours? If so, close to my 14 hrs.

Don't look back. I'm right behind you, Harald!!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 19, 2017, 06:20:13 PM
AMS noob here.

I've only got 2 books out so I doing have a lot of recovery when it comes to Ads. I can only maybe come up with 40 or so keywords that target authors and books I think might have readers who will like my book. How do you guys end up with hundred and even thousands of keywords? Are you just targeting everything and anything and seeing what sticks? Also, how do you even enter that many?

I would think you would want less more targeted keywords no? Or am I missing something?

I assume you've gone through your also bots and used all those names. If there are any sponsored ads on your product pages, use those, too. Then, don't forget all the sub genres those books are under. You did use Amazon's suggested words, right? You can even go to the pages of those also-bought books and use their also-boughts. Takes a little time at first, but you have to have a lot of keywords at first. You never know what's going to hit.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 19, 2017, 07:19:58 PM
How do you guys end up with hundred and even thousands of keywords?

Best way is to use the method above.

But if you want to quickly and easily get hundreds of keywords, you can use this free tool. You can just copy and paste in all the suggested keywords.  It usually provides several hundred for me.

Amazon Keyword Research Tool:  http://keywordtool.io/amazon (http://keywordtool.io/amazon)

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 19, 2017, 09:34:26 PM
My CTR on my automatic targeting ad is less than half that of my manual targeting ad but I'll give it a few 1000 more impressions before stopping.

On the upside, the Zon approved the ad super fast. #suspicious
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Eugene Kirk on May 19, 2017, 11:58:10 PM
I assume you've gone through your also bots and used all those names. If there are any sponsored ads on your product pages, use those, too. Then, don't forget all the sub genres those books are under. You did use Amazon's suggested words, right? You can even go to the pages of those also-bought books and use their also-boughts. Takes a little time at first, but you have to have a lot of keywords at first. You never know what's going to hit.

No I had not! This makes sense. Thanks ^^
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 20, 2017, 02:44:32 AM
Well, the automated ads are a disappointment so far, but I'll let them be, since they're not costing me anything. Just a couple hundred imps.
Another disappointment is how the new ads I made (same kwds, new ad copy) are trailing behind the old ones, not nearly as fast. With the old ones slowing down and not generating enough clicks, I honestly don't know what to do. I had better results when I just started two weeks ago. There's no logic. I might just terminate the old ads (don't like the old ad copy anymore), make a bunch of copies, remove some kwds at random so they're all a bit different, and let them be so I don't have to look at them every day and get frustrated  >:(
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Eugene Kirk on May 20, 2017, 05:15:55 AM
Ok, last noob question. Price per clicks. Do you guys leave them at the default? Jack them up for more impressions on hot titles?(I'm assuming this is how they work... i.e. the more you bid the closer you ad will come to being on the first page). Or do you set them all low ball like $0.10 and then just wait for something to bite?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 20, 2017, 05:16:28 AM
A few weeks ago I ran an ad for one of my first-in-series freebies.  It ended up costing me more than I'd have liked, but in the past few days I've seen an uptick in sales of the rest of the series.  I choose to think of it as sell-through from the freebies.  *knocks wood that I haven't just jinxed it*
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: C.A. Huggins on May 20, 2017, 06:00:28 AM
Can you change the ad copy for an ad that's already running or do you have to start an entirely new ad?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jacob Stanley on May 20, 2017, 06:04:20 AM
Ok, last noob question. Price per clicks. Do you guys leave them at the default? Jack them up for more impressions on hot titles?(I'm assuming this is how they work... i.e. the more you bid the closer you ad will come to being on the first page). Or do you set them all low ball like $0.10 and then just wait for something to bite?

At this point I treat each keyword differently depending on my past history with it. I sometimes raise the price on the ones that I feel are the most likely to generate sales/reads, but only to an extent. You can get in a situation where raising bids gives you diminishing returns (I'm planning to lower some bids today for that very reason) so you just have to watch everything pretty close.

With new, untested keywords, I usually start them at a price that is close to the default, but sometimes I'll make a judgement call up-front and raise or lower... Like, if its an author name, and I know the author is massively popular, I might bid higher right out of the gate, or if I know the author has a book with a really high rank because of a promotion.

Can you change the ad copy for an ad that's already running or do you have to start an entirely new ad?

You have to start a new ad, unfortunately.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 20, 2017, 06:13:05 AM
Ok, last noob question. Price per clicks. Do you guys leave them at the default? Jack them up for more impressions on hot titles?(I'm assuming this is how they work... i.e. the more you bid the closer you ad will come to being on the first page). Or do you set them all low ball like $0.10 and then just wait for something to bite?

After a decent interval, I check where my keywords have landed my book. If it's already on page 1 or page 2, I do not raise the keyword bid or the daily spend max. If it's not at least on page 2, I do raise the keyword bid. When I say page 1 or page 2, I'm referring to a sponsored ad showing in an Amazon page as if it's just one of the other books by that author or in that genre: same size, just in the last two to four listings on the page and with the word "Sponsored" discreetly above it. I do not mean where my book is on what we call the carousel, where all the sponsored books appear in postage stamp size near the bottom of the page and probably under the carousel of also boughts. (For some reason, despite disabling my ad blocker, I seldom see the carousel.) Ideally, you'd want to be on the first page of the carousel, too. Sometimes the initial 25-cent bid is more than enough to put you there. Sometimes, it's not enough to get you even to the second page.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: My Dog's Servant on May 20, 2017, 06:16:38 AM
I recently restarted one ad (cozy mystery) with a few new kws and the same low $2/day, $0.21 max per click bid as previously.  For some reason, it's now getting more impressions and clicks, though not many sales. But this is the first time I've seen "sales" for kw where I have no clicks. 

Since the ad is ticking steadily at an APC of $0.13 and (probably) with borrows breaking even, I'm letting it run and looking at how to redo a couple of ads for my romances that I stopped because APC was just too high. I live in hope. (or is that self-delusion?) It may be that romance is just too expensive and too crowded now (I recently saw one book where sponsored ads were five to a page and 128 pages!).

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 20, 2017, 06:30:00 AM
I recently restarted one ad (cozy mystery) with a few new kws and the same low $2/day, $0.21 max per click bid as previously.  For some reason, it's now getting more impressions and clicks, though not many sales. But this is the first time I've seen "sales" for kw where I have no clicks. 

Since the ad is ticking steadily at an APC of $0.13 and (probably) with borrows breaking even, I'm letting it run and looking at how to redo a couple of ads for my romances that I stopped because APC was just too high. I live in hope. (or is that self-delusion?) It may be that romance is just too expensive and too crowded now (I recently saw one book where sponsored ads were five to a page and 128 pages!).

I've been thinking the same, but because I'm getting these amazing page read results, I want to keep riding the train. You spend a lot on ads regularly. The AMS ads are different from the one shot ads people buy for launches. Do you find it is profitable to keep running these ads day in and day out? Launch ads are done under the assumption that once a book gets noticed, its audience will keep it afloat and move it upward without any substantial further effort by the author. I'm not confident that if I pause all my ads, my sales and reads will continue at their present rate.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on May 20, 2017, 08:06:29 AM
Problems (complaints) relating to diminishing AMS ad effectiveness crops up quite often here. But, I believe that is the nature of the beast with all forms of advertising. New ads attract the most attention, curiosity being the primary factor.  Over time, ad effectiveness will gradually decline, but should eventually stabilize.  After that, ads have to carry their own weight to survive.  Unfortunately, the stabilizing level for most ad effectiveness will eventually end up being close to ZERO!

Supposedly (from what I can gather from Amazon forums) an impression has to be viewed an average of 8 times before a click results - which may well be true.

I started out in the mail order business many years ago running classified ads, which were very productive.  Now they are a total bust, probably not even 20% as effective as they once were.  Over a period of at least 10 years I would occasionally run test ads, always with the same results - a steady year-to-year decline in effectiveness.  From what I can gather from some Kindle Old-Timers, the same may be happening here - I certainly hope not.

All ad agencies (whether newspapers, tv, radio, whatever) try desperately to sell ad space (time) in blocks of multiple appearances - at steeply discounted rates.  They go all out trying to convince folks that ads yield their best results only after several appearances - which is TOTAL B.S.!  With rare exception, the very first ad produces the best results.  After that, ad results steadily decline for the first 4 to 5 appearances, usually stabilizing after that. 

I have no reason to think that we within the eBook realm should expect anything different.  The question being, what best to do about it? There are hundreds of hucksters out there only too happy to charge us for the privilege of learning how to get rich in this, or any other, business.   My advice, for what it may be worth, is to keep a tight grip on your money. Seeking help from forums such as this is the best way to go - these are the folks with the inside knowledge.

Just my two pennyworth. Advertising effectiveness is a complex subject and one that has been disrupted with the introduction of the internet and apps for seeking out products, news articles, and services, which has caused newspaper circulations to decline and to lessen the effectiveness of that type of ad when it comes to making a return.

We have to work with what we have. The nearest to the old form of classified ads that I can place it with is say, car sales magazines. Like AMS, what you do is to try and place your ad with the same makes and models so that the customer when flicking the pages are displayed something for which they have a particular interest. The larger the display, the more and the prominent it's placement is, it will draw your eye, and the more effective it is. That's why putting an ad on the front page, or an early right hand page of a newspaper or magazine costs more, because everyone starts from the front page.

Then next thing is how you display your content. It's no good displaying a car with a dent whatever the price reduction as few will be looking for a car with a dent in the wing. You could liken that to a bad eBook cover. The next is copy. You are looking to bring out the attributes that the readers expect. Immaculate inside and out, mileage, year, etc, and where to get it, usually a phone call and then usually the effort of a journey. With books, the blurb has to cover expectations for the genre and where to get it is covered by them clicking, and it's attributes of stars and reviews are like the mileage or service history. No journey involved, only with your fingers on the keyboard.

The biggest difference is that someone reading a car magazine is prepared to go through every page to find what they want as they are looking for something within a range of criteria, be it year, color, price, or whatever.

With AMS, I would ask why they are landing on that book's page in the first place where your ad is displayed and why they should go the extra miles to get to your book. I would assume they are landing on the page because it is their primary interest to discover more about the book and that they are more likely than not going there to purchase that book, hence it takes many impressions, maybe a 1,000 or so,  to get to a click as the readers turn to browsing mode if they decide it's not for them.

If they choose not to buy that book, then they have the also boughts to look through, displayed with larger icons than AMS to grab attention. They are more than likely of the same type of read relating to genre in the customer's mind. There aren't just the 5 books displayed, they can scroll through many on the also bought carousel.

Then we have the AMS ads with small icons, which are third tier in the interest stakes if they don't find what they want. Obviously the ones seen first will be the first ones the readers explore for them to discover if the book could be of interest, hence the importance of bidding to get on the first page.

That's not to say you won't get clicks and sales further down the pecking order, but just think about the diminishing odds.

The biggest problem is the royalty margin in relation to ad costs, and as you say it takes 8 clicks to the sale on average, but that can vary wildly. My own vary from 10-20 clicks per sale. Unfortunately, indie eBooks are usually priced between $2.99 and say $4.99, so we only have $2 to $3.49 to play with when set against costs. 10 clicks at 20c on a book at $2.99 would not make a profit. 20 clicks at 20c and I'd make a $2 loss per sale.(Not counting page reads)

The next thing we have to contend with is that not every author is looking to make profit per sale, but are merely looking to gain rank, or to promote a new release, or say the first in a series. That's pretty much like a Brand ad for awareness in magazines, or say a lossleader that they don't expect to make a profit on, as it's set against a budget, usually out of healthy gross profits, or deep pockets, or to create sales from other product in their catalogue that will produce a profit, and so those out of the tens of thousands in AMS will set their bids high on a budget they are prepared to show losses on. You only need seven out of those to bid on the same keyword as you and they will wipe you off of the page.

As for the lessening of effectiveness over time, that is to be expected, hence the need to tweak things and to develop new product, which is fundimental to any business, even if it's ony advertising the brand product as a newer, bigger, brighter version of the old soap powder. I guess that's akin to redesigning your cover and changing your blurb. Some publishers even change the title to reflect trends as they did when Dan Brown had his hit and publishers changed tired out of print books to having titles with "Code" included and republished them. The main reason I think for the slowdown anyone experiences in AMS is that there are more participants now.

What makes it worse is that we don't know the page reads attributed to AMS, when considering effectiveness. We all play up the additional reads, and no doubt AMS does assist, but they can have their own impetus with other factors. Unfortunately that can suck us in to thinking that they are more effective than they are.

Not sure if any of this helps those new to AMS for what is a tough ad media to get a handle on.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: My Dog's Servant on May 20, 2017, 03:11:43 PM
I've been thinking the same, but because I'm getting these amazing page read results, I want to keep riding the train. You spend a lot on ads regularly. The AMS ads are different from the one shot ads people buy for launches. Do you find it is profitable to keep running these ads day in and day out? Launch ads are done under the assumption that once a book gets noticed, its audience will keep it afloat and move it upward without any substantial further effort by the author. I'm not confident that if I pause all my ads, my sales and reads will continue at their present rate.

Don't know about long-term  run profitability. I admit, I only started with ads this year so don't have much experience or data to draw on. I'd already moved several books up in sales and borrows with some juggling between free days and a little bit of ad promo and they were holding pretty steady (for me, anyway--at least I wasn't getting whiplash looking at a sales graph  :P ).

My next step was the ams ads, and I thought (hoped) I saw a tiny bit of uptick and a bit of profitability with my first ads, but I couldn't prove it since sales alone weren't paying for the ads but the borrows were still hanging in there or bumping up a bit. But then I got caught in the trap of trying to "improve" results by madly adding kws and raising bids when impressions/clicks slowed on new or older but previously effective kws...and that definitely sent the ads into the loss category, sometimes badly. So I backed out for a while and did some more thinking about all this (I am NOT a marketer and have no smarts in that direction at all, so thinking about it brings beads of blood to my forehead  ;) ), and decided I'd decrease the bids a bit and run it a little longer and and NOT tinker unless everything's going south fast.  I've set a small budget and a 30-day run and I'm going to stick it out to see what happens.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 20, 2017, 04:14:49 PM
The second ad I started with automatic targeting has gotten zero impressions in a couple days. That's the first time that's ever happened to me, and I've run over a dozen ads.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on May 20, 2017, 05:00:54 PM

The biggest problem is the royalty margin in relation to ad costs, and as you say it takes 8 clicks to the sale on average, but that can vary wildly. My own vary from 10-20 clicks per sale. Unfortunately, indie eBooks are usually priced between $2.99 and say $4.99, so we only have $2 to $3.49 to play with when set against costs. 10 clicks at 20c on a book at $2.99 would not make a profit. 20 clicks at 20c and I'd make a $2 loss per sale.(Not counting page reads)

The next thing we have to contend with is that not every author is looking to make profit per sale, but are merely looking to gain rank, or to promote a new release, or say the first in a series. That's pretty much like a Brand ad for awareness in magazines, or say a lossleader that they don't expect to make a profit on, as it's set against a budget, usually out of healthy gross profits, or deep pockets, or to create sales from other product in their catalogue that will produce a profit, and so those out of the tens of thousands in AMS will set their bids high on a budget they are prepared to show losses on. You only need seven out of those to bid on the same keyword as you and they will wipe you off of the page.

The bidding over effective keywords for one of my books has become fierce, and it's becoming fierce for another.  I'm watching the average bid--20 cents--continue to rise. One of the bids for a keyword for that book was 34 cents--ouch! If the ACoS for a keyword goes above 50%, I pause it. It has become increasingly important to watch the cost of bids.

What puzzles me is that some of the books that are on the first pages of the carousels aren't remotely related to the genre of my book or the books that I'm using as keywords. Eventually these deep pockets will make it necessary for me to pause my ad. It doesn't make sense to me to continue an ad that has an ACoS above 50%. I don't see a solution to this unless Amazon starts distinguishing women's fiction from thrillers from billionaire romances, and I don't see any sign of that happening.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Christopher Bunn on May 20, 2017, 05:02:28 PM
I just tried an experiment that seemed logical. But, no...

I ran a dozen sponsored keyword ads where each ad focused on one writer in my sub-genre (epic fantasy) ranked at least 15,000 and below, with most concentrated in the 1,000-10,000 range. Each ad just had the writer's name, plus his or her book titles. I tinkered with the bids until I got my book on the 1st or 2nd page of the sponsored ads for all of them. Problem is, I had to go up around 75 cents for most of them. Pretty difficult to make a profit at that rate.

Over 8 days, I averaged 1 click per 545 impressions (12,000 impressions and 22 clicks). Zero sales and zero page reads.

Maybe the time period isn't long enough? I dunno.

Or, of course, the cover blows, the copy blows, the book blows. Those are always possibilities.  :P
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 20, 2017, 06:18:18 PM

What puzzles me is that some of the books that are on the first pages of the carousels aren't remotely related to the genre of my book or the books that I'm using as keywords. Eventually these deep pockets will make it necessary for me to pause my ad. It doesn't make sense to me to continue an ad that has an ACoS above 50%. I don't see a solution to this unless Amazon starts distinguishing women's fiction from thrillers from billionaire romances, and I don't see any sign of that happening.

I've seen those titles by those particular authors (whom for all we know might be respected members of KBoards in deep cover), and I can only conclude that they're bidding huge amounts and/or have keywords that falsely play into every possible fiction category, whatever the category is. If I were a reader browsing Amazon, I'd be annoyed at the irrelevance of those books, but you see the same thing at the top of the page with sponsored ads run by publishers. Those aren't relevant to the category, either. Which of course makes me wonder why my own irrelevant keywords aren't all over the place. Maybe they are, and I've simply never seen them.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 20, 2017, 08:06:18 PM
Any business must advertise to survive. An ad may be simple, even indirect; such as a coffee shop maintaining an attractive store front.  Or, massive; such as multi-million-dollar TV sports channel ad campaigns by beer brewers.

I am a big proponent of using the split-run (A/B) technique for both advertising and sales literature - simply because I know how effective it.  It is the ONLY way to perfect written copy. I have used A/B almost from Day-One in my mail order businesses.  I have seen hundreds of instances where changing just a single word (especially in a headline) can easily bring in an additional $50 - $100 each month.  If you are lucky enough to have a long-running book, you can be looking at serious money.  My best-selling manual via mail order had a strong 15 - 16 year run until the mail order industry started going bust about 5 or 6 years ago (at least for us little guys).  Work out the math - based on even $25 extra/month for 15 years, we are talking an extra $4,500 to take to the bank - nothing to sneeze at for changing just a single word!  That same manual is also my best seller via Kindle, but after only 4 months all I am looking at is Chump Change.

That’s why I am searching for ideas on how to maximize A/B testing via Kindle.  It will be impossible to perfect A/B testing (or even come close to perfecting it) since our hands are tied.  Our audience is anonymous (other than being able to choose Categories) and we have no effective way of differentiating between A/B ad responses (or do we?).  I feel the best starting point is to test changes in the Description - especially the first few lines.  The effectiveness of the ad Body itself will always be restricted because it is highly censored by Kindle (150 character limit, no exclamation points, no bolding, italics only, etc.).

Making the actual ad changes is relatively simple - the difficult part is coming up with the mechanics involved in making the A/B ad technique work (work at least to some extent).  There is always a solution to any problem - if we look hard enough.  I hope to come up with a few ideas.  In the meantime, enjoy the weekend!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 20, 2017, 09:03:11 PM
Here is something that may be worth considering.  It saved me lots of ad money in the mail order business - and I see no reason why it will not work for Kindle ads.

My monthly mail order ads always pulled strongest during the winter months (folks are indoors - bored, with lots of time to read).  As one would expect, the opposite was true (weaker response) during summer months.  These factors basically applied to all ads, in all magazines.  Also, to my mailings to mailing lists.

So, during summer months, I simply placed ads only every-other-month.  Obviously that cut my summertime ad costs in half.  However, my overall response level still averaged close to 80% as high as when the ads ran full-time.  There were occasional exceptions.  A few magazine ads pulled so strongly at all times that even during the weakest summer months they still performed at high levels.

For starters, I am going to run one of my Kindle ads for 2 weeks (for example) and then Pause it for 2 weeks.  Then, Enable the ad - and keep repeating the Pause/Enable cycles until I, hopefully, learn something meaningful.  It would not surprise me if this same technique might work during all seasons of the year - something to think about?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 20, 2017, 09:36:54 PM
One Kindle ad factor that really puzzles me is the Cost-per-Click.  I expected it to continually swing up and down, through fairly wide ranges, but just the opposite has happened with my ads.  It (my average 10-cents per click) has basically nailed itself at varying either up or down by only 1-cent, week after week.  Such long-term consistency seems a bit weird.  This is with all ads, not just one.  Is this typical?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 20, 2017, 10:06:40 PM
Dang! - The complexity of all the factors involved in trying to analyze (that is, make any sense whatsoever) of this Kindle ads thing could drive a person batty, even lead to paranoia.  Is somebody messing with us?  Does Kindle have an in-house psychiatrist at our disposal?

A few days ago I temporarily Paused about half my Kindle ads, just to see what happens (if Anything).  Well, now the Anything may be happening - my paperback sales have suddenly picked up again - and that’s where the money is compared to Kindle sales.  So what should I do next (if Anything?).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on May 20, 2017, 11:26:31 PM
I've been experimenting with AMS ads for a few months and I understand why people have concluded "it's all random." I don't think it's random, I think it's mostly governed by Amazon's own algorithm and that algorithm does what's best for Amazon, trumping any machinations we authors might attempt. So I think in the long run we authors can only try different things and see what, if anything, works, even though it may not make sense to us. And knowing it can change at any time.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Accord64 on May 21, 2017, 05:26:18 AM
I've been experimenting with AMS ads for a few months and I understand why people have concluded "it's all random." I don't think it's random, I think it's mostly governed by Amazon's own algorithm and that algorithm does what's best for Amazon, trumping any machinations we authors might attempt. So I think in the long run we authors can only try different things and see what, if anything, works, even though it may not make sense to us. And knowing it can change at any time.

THIS.

I came to the same conclusion. We try all sorts of strategies, and variations, and while some might work (for a while), it's all about the algorithm. There's a nebulous performance benchmark that the algorithm is measuring against, and Amazon has stated that they won't ever tell us how it works. It's like the one ring that rules them all.

I think this fosters an adversarial marketing climate, as sharing information on what AMS strategy is working only hastens the demise of that strategy (as more and more try to exploit it). I know this is very much against what this topic (and forum) is about, but I have to reluctantly conclude that if something is working for you, it's probably best to keep it to yourself. Ride the wave as far as you can before the algorithm again shifts the playing field.

   
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 21, 2017, 06:34:53 AM
I agree about seasonality. I've heard many authors gripe about low sales during the summer months. I don't know that the romances I write are "beach books," so pausing during the summer might be a good idea. Also a test of my books' stickiness, if they have any at all.

Here's another general consideration. When I worked in retail, I was conscious of the trap that most employees fell into. We'd go to work at stores that carried the kinds of things we liked to buy. Then we'd spend a lot of our pay on items we'd see around the store, using our employee discount to make them super bargains. The company effectively paid us far, far less than our stated hourly wage. By giving back ad revenue to Amazon a large percentage of what our books earn in royalties, we're basically doing the same thing. Something to think about--while listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford sing, "I owe my soul to the company store."

Since Amazon controls the pittance earned by page reads, if an Amazon ad is in negative numbers by sales alone, Amazon can control and reduce how we make up the difference via our page reads. Or if. Another trap. That's why running any ad whose cost is 70% or higher is a big question. I have one, and it's definitely a loss leader. In other words, although it's not officially a free book, effectively, it is. That being so, would I take home more dollars if I set the book to free officially and stopped spending so much on advertising it through Amazon's Byzantine ad system? A free book has many more opportunities for ad choices elsewhere that are straightforward and can produce thousands of responses instantly. Something else to think about.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on May 21, 2017, 07:59:15 AM
That's what happened to me often, and I was surprised by how closely Amazon hit it right on the nose. Amazon would take all the royalty money, but leave me making enough from the page reads that I would continue the ads. It made me wonder about how authors NOT in KU did.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 21, 2017, 11:56:45 AM
When it comes to Kindle ads - at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is Ad Efficiency.  All we have to do is check our “Advertising Campaigns” chart.  If the “ACoS” entry is above 70% we are loosing money.  My suggestion of Pausing, then Enabling ads during summer months will bear fruit only if it causes the “ACoS” factor to start falling below its previous levels.  Running lots of ads full-time, producing lots of Clicks, may feel good; but means nothing unless actual sales result.

As I see it, a big problem may be relying on the “Est. Total Sales” factor of the chart.  That entry is showing zilch for some of my ads which have definitely produced sales (at least according to my “Month-to-Date Unit Sales” chart).  Of course “Est.” does mean “Estimated.”  If the “Est.” factor is totally out-of-whack, so also will be the “ACoS” factor.  I am aware that some Kindle data is slow to update, but our “Month-to-Date Unit Sales” charts can go back at least 2 months  - those should be pretty accurate.

The idea that the Kindle Algorithm may be random is ridiculous.  At the end of each month (or year) any successful business, especially a multi-billion-dollar business such as Amazon, knows exactly where each and every penny has been spent.  Obviously, Kindle themselves developed each and every factor involved in their Algorithm (probably dozens of factors) - and knows exactly how to keep manipulating (updating) them to maximize profits at any given point in time.

I find these forums to be fascinating - lots of great thoughts and ideas being bantered about.  But, at the same time, I sense the frustration lots of folks are feeling - it is a tough way to turn a buck.  Some folks out there are making the really BIG BUCKS, and are not likely to reveal their SECRETS on this, or any other forum.  While it may not be too smart for anyone to reveal specific dollar figures here, trading general ideas and techniques should not be a hindrance.

Forum participants are probably only a very small percentage of the entire Kindle family.  The few BIG MONEY Kindle guys and gals are off doing their own thing, and could care less whether we even exist.  The remaining vast majority, even if they did care, would never take the time, effort, or risk the money required to put any forum ideas into practice.  True entrepreneurs are a rare breed - that is why so many of them are fabulously wealthy.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Not Lu on May 21, 2017, 12:09:44 PM
I just tried an experiment that seemed logical. But, no...

I ran a dozen sponsored keyword ads where each ad focused on one writer in my sub-genre (epic fantasy) ranked at least 15,000 and below, with most concentrated in the 1,000-10,000 range. Each ad just had the writer's name, plus his or her book titles. I tinkered with the bids until I got my book on the 1st or 2nd page of the sponsored ads for all of them. Problem is, I had to go up around 75 cents for most of them. Pretty difficult to make a profit at that rate.

Over 8 days, I averaged 1 click per 545 impressions (12,000 impressions and 22 clicks). Zero sales and zero page reads.

Maybe the time period isn't long enough? I dunno.

Or, of course, the cover blows, the copy blows, the book blows. Those are always possibilities.  :P

Great info. Thanks
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on May 21, 2017, 01:20:45 PM
One reason maybe there are such high bids is because of all these authors that are getting these $100 in free clicks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on May 21, 2017, 02:30:34 PM
I guess there is seasonality, but to go from over $600 in December, $300 in January which I expected it to slow down, but then to gradually reduce to currently $16 in May with page reads rolling along the bottom of the graph and no paper book sales, when I have all six books (excluding Survival Instinct) in AMS, is a big stretch. I'm just not getting the impressions needed and it's not over what I would consider low bids, or lack of keywords. At a guess, the average per click paid is around 8c to date.

I've run my ads since around August last year, so I have plenty of Data.

Time to go back to paid promos me thinks, or to jack up my prices and bid considerably higher. One thing is for sure, I have a completed book I've just finished and uploaded on Wattpad and I might as well leave it there until I can get a handle on how to market it. It's not worth paying for editing with the way things are just now.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 21, 2017, 02:43:44 PM
For what it may be worth, here is my Thought-for-the-Day.  (My son and I will soon be running out for a beer or two, or three, or ………….)  That may inspire another random thought.

A lot of effort seems to go into getting sponsored ads placed on the first page of the carousel.  Since most folks are just browsing, they seldom even glance at the carousel.  But, if they are a SERIOUS buyer, they may decide to check it out.  If they are a REALLY SERIOUS buyer they may even decide to start scrolling into the carousel.  Now, if your ad eventually catches their eye and they Click on it - you REALLY have a live one!  To my way of thinking, the further they scroll into the carousel before Clicking on YOUR ad, the more likely they are to buy from YOU.

It is what I like to think of as Ad Efficiency - less Clicks, less money spent, but more buyers.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 21, 2017, 04:14:56 PM
A few weeks ago I ran an ad for one of my first-in-series freebies.  It ended up costing me more than I'd have liked, but in the past few days I've seen an uptick in sales of the rest of the series.  I choose to think of it as sell-through from the freebies.  *knocks wood that I haven't just jinxed it*

 >:( Crap.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 21, 2017, 05:03:32 PM
I can't believe what just happened. I restarted an ad that I'd paused maybe 10 days ago. It had stalled with few impressions, no clicks or sales. I started it up again this morning and got two sales this afternoon. But here's the odd part. My $10 daily budget has been spent. Even odder, I have 30 keywords getting clicks. Has Amazon finally decided to take our money?

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BVLawson on May 21, 2017, 06:47:00 PM
Amazon has most definitely decided to take our money! I remember when Mark Dawson said he was having a  hard problem scaling up his ads because it seemed like Amazon just wouldn't spend his daily budget. Well ... things have certainly changed for me in that regard. I had four or five ads that maxed out their daily budgets very early in the day over the past week. I'm not sure how I feel about that, especially since once the ad has spent its budget for the day, you can't go in and add any more keywords or otherwise adjust it. So, I have to try and rush in there the next morning first thing to do this before it maxes out again. Also, it means the total ad spend is skyrocketing. Be careful what you wish for ...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 21, 2017, 07:43:37 PM
Amazon has most definitely decided to take our money! I remember when Mark Dawson said he was having a  hard problem scaling up his ads because it seemed like Amazon just wouldn't spend his daily budget. Well ... things have certainly changed for me in that regard. I had four or five ads that maxed out their daily budgets very early in the day over the past week. I'm not sure how I feel about that, especially since once the ad has spent its budget for the day, you can't go in and add any more keywords or otherwise adjust it. So, I have to try and rush in there the next morning first thing to do this before it maxes out again. Also, it means the total ad spend is skyrocketing. Be careful what you wish for ...

I'll be tweaking my bids early tomorrow, too. My ACPC is ranging from 15c to 41c. Otherise, I'll leave the daily spend as-is for a few days and see how sales/page reads shake out.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 21, 2017, 09:04:37 PM
In trying to establish some facts and best practices for using AMS ads, it seems that whenever I think I have established a fact, it later becomes only partly true or we could say "sometimes happens that way - sometimes doesn't." (Maybe Amazon enters a % true for each fact?)

I wonder what experiences others have had with the following and other potential facts/best practices:

1. AMS ads always start off better than they end up - after time, they fade and die.

2. When using identical keywords in different campaigns, the keywords do not bid against each other as long as the campaigns are from the same AMS account.

3. Increasing overall daily bid spends has no effect on an ad's performance.

4. Increasing bids on performing keywords sometimes increases impressions/clicks and sometimes doesn't.

5. It's a good idea to reduce/pause bids on keywords with more than 20 clicks and no sales.

6. Product Display ads are not effective.

7. Automatic Targeting ads sometimes perform better than Manual Targeting ads. Sometimes don't.

8. Automatic Targeting works better for non-fiction than fiction.

9. Running many cheap (say $1) identical ads produces more total impressions/clicks than a single (say $10) expensive ad.
   
10. A/B split testing for ad copy, etc. needs to be done sequentially.  It can not be done concurrently.

11. Raising bids in small increments is more effective than making large increases.


Evaluations of most of those (and many more) statements would seem to be along the lines of:

a) True
b) May be true
c) May not be true
d) Not true
e) No idea

How would you rate them?


Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Trina M. Lee on May 21, 2017, 09:10:19 PM
My daily budget has been reached early on in the day the past two days as well. I'll also be doing some tweaking.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 21, 2017, 10:01:48 PM
In trying to establish some facts and best practices for using AMS ads, it seems that whenever I think I have established a fact, it later becomes only partly true or we could say "sometimes happens that way - sometimes doesn't." (Maybe Amazon enters a % true for each fact?)

I wonder what experiences others have had with the following and other potential facts/best practices:

1. AMS ads always start off better than they end up - after time, they fade and die. b

2. When using identical keywords in different campaigns, the keywords do not bid against each other as long as the campaigns are from the same AMS account.b

3. Increasing overall daily bid spends has no effect on an ad's performance.d

4. Increasing bids on performing keywords sometimes increases impressions/clicks and sometimes doesn't.d

5. It's a good idea to reduce/pause bids on keywords with more than 20 clicks and no sales.e

6. Product Display ads are not effective. e

7. Automatic Targeting ads sometimes perform better than Manual Targeting ads. Sometimes don't.e

8. Automatic Targeting works better for non-fiction than fiction.e

9. Running many cheap (say $1) identical ads produces more total impressions/clicks than a single (say $10) expensive ad.e
   
10. A/B split testing for ad copy, etc. needs to be done sequentially.  It can not be done concurrently.b

11. Raising bids in small increments is more effective than making large increases.d


Evaluations of most of those (and many more) statements would seem to be along the lines of:

a) True
b) May be true
c) May not be true
d) Not true
e) No idea

How would you rate them?


Philip

Answers above, mostly guesses.

I recently raised my three best-performing keywords to a fantastic $0.51 cents bid each, but none has cost me more than $0.33. I also raised my Daily Spend Limit on that one book to $15, but AFAIK, that has never been spent, either.

Sales and page reads are up. My page read average has more than doubled, which shouldn't have happened, right? And sales are up somewhat. But I don't know which worked, the higher keyword bids or the higher Daily Spend Limit. Could be both.



Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: RD on May 22, 2017, 01:36:41 AM
I'm at 140 clicks now but showing zero sales lol. Page reads are still making the bacon though.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jacob Stanley on May 22, 2017, 05:14:26 AM
In trying to establish some facts and best practices for using AMS ads, it seems that whenever I think I have established a fact, it later becomes only partly true or we could say "sometimes happens that way - sometimes doesn't." (Maybe Amazon enters a % true for each fact?)

I wonder what experiences others have had with the following and other potential facts/best practices:

1. AMS ads always start off better than they end up - after time, they fade and die. = A

2. When using identical keywords in different campaigns, the keywords do not bid against each other as long as the campaigns are from the same AMS account. = E

3. Increasing overall daily bid spends has no effect on an ad's performance. = A

4. Increasing bids on performing keywords sometimes increases impressions/clicks and sometimes doesn't. = B

5. It's a good idea to reduce/pause bids on keywords with more than 20 clicks and no sales. = C

6. Product Display ads are not effective. = E

7. Automatic Targeting ads sometimes perform better than Manual Targeting ads. Sometimes don't. = E

8. Automatic Targeting works better for non-fiction than fiction. = E

9. Running many cheap (say $1) identical ads produces more total impressions/clicks than a single (say $10) expensive ad. = C
   
10. A/B split testing for ad copy, etc. needs to be done sequentially.  It can not be done concurrently. = A

11. Raising bids in small increments is more effective than making large increases. = B


Evaluations of most of those (and many more) statements would seem to be along the lines of:

a) True
b) May be true
c) May not be true
d) Not true
e) No idea

How would you rate them?


Philip

Answers above... Mostly agree, and where I disagree, it's mostly things I'm very unsure about.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 22, 2017, 08:29:04 AM
Mostly agree, Phillip. At least for today and maybe even tomorrow.  ;D
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BVLawson on May 22, 2017, 04:52:03 PM
An update on the whole Amazon not wanting/wanting to take our money theme - 6 of my 8 current ads maxed out their budgets today, a first. Do monitor those carefully, as total spends can add up fast that way.   :o
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 22, 2017, 05:34:28 PM
An update on the whole Amazon not wanting/wanting to take our money theme - 6 of my 8 current ads maxed out their budgets today, a first. Do monitor those carefully, as total spends can add up fast that way.   :o

Yes especially if you have a lot of ads.

I'm not going to be running more than 2-3 ads at a time. I just restarted one and it's doing very well. I'm going to stop another one that hasn't had any clicks in two days. I'll give it one more day and then pause it for 7-10 days.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Trina M. Lee on May 22, 2017, 08:21:19 PM
Sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm still somewhat new to AMS. I just logged into my account and everything in my ads is back to 0. My impressions, clicks, amount spent. All 0. I was just at 40,000 impressions a few hours ago. My keywords and bid amounts are still there but that's all. Kind of concerned here. Is this normal? It doesn't feel normal.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Marian on May 22, 2017, 08:23:10 PM
An update on the whole Amazon not wanting/wanting to take our money theme - 6 of my 8 current ads maxed out their budgets today, a first. Do monitor those carefully, as total spends can add up fast that way.   :o
After reading your post, I just went to check on my ads. Aside from the bids on my keywords, there is NO DATA AT ALL. I have no idea of how many clicks there were, the actual price of the clicks, etc. According to my KDP Dashboard, there have been sales. And the ads are still running.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jacob Stanley on May 22, 2017, 08:34:13 PM
After reading your post, I just went to check on my ads. Aside from the bids on my keywords, there is NO DATA AT ALL. I have no idea of how many clicks there were, the actual price of the clicks, etc. According to my KDP Dashboard, there have been sales. And the ads are still running.

Sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm still somewhat new to AMS. I just logged into my account and everything in my ads is back to 0. My impressions, clicks, amount spent. All 0. I was just at 40,000 impressions a few hours ago. My keywords and bid amounts are still there but that's all. Kind of concerned here. Is this normal? It doesn't feel normal.

Same for me. All zeros. Probably a temporary technical issue and nothing serious to worry about.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 22, 2017, 09:00:07 PM
Sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm still somewhat new to AMS. I just logged into my account and everything in my ads is back to 0. My impressions, clicks, amount spent. All 0. I was just at 40,000 impressions a few hours ago. My keywords and bid amounts are still there but that's all. Kind of concerned here. Is this normal? It doesn't feel normal.

It's not normal.  Nor is what is going on in my AMS dashboard right now. It's currently displaying total numbers of impressions on my last two ads as exactly 10X what the impressions on the individual keywords add up to.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Trina M. Lee on May 22, 2017, 09:04:22 PM
Good to know it's not just me. Hopefully they sort it out soon.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 22, 2017, 09:18:34 PM
My dashboard has data, but I don't know if I can trust it. That's the name of this game, right?

It looks as if three of my ads received no clicks at all, unusual, and for the one that got 5 new clicks, their cost was double what the average click cost is for that title. I fiddled with the keywords today, hoping to boost sales. Instead, I may have simply boosted costs.  ???
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on May 24, 2017, 05:35:48 AM
well here's a new one, for me anyway. I started a campaign, it's been running several days, finally got one click for which I was charged $.14. Not unusual except I only bid $.06 and my keyword graph says it cost me $.05.   >:(
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 24, 2017, 06:00:27 AM
The only thing we can trust about the AMS dashboard is the line in Billing History that says "Paid in full." Everything else is scattered with pixie dust.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 24, 2017, 06:28:54 AM
I had planned on running an ad over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.  With this thread being over 30 pages, is there ANY particular sense of wisdom gleaned from all this as far as "best guesses" go?  Sponsored Product vs. Product Display ads?  For keywords, are 'general' genre-themed words most effective, more so than 'other-author name'? 

I know this has all been crazy, with a lot of experiments and a lot of theories of what works best, not to mention what Amazon may or may not be doing, algorithm-wise.

How's an author supposed to know what to do?  Fully realizing, of course, that what worked last week might not work this week.  Gah!!   :-\
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on May 24, 2017, 06:43:57 AM
Question on how the ads work. The 'bid' is how much you are willing to pay to get the ad placed, versus other bidders, right? So that placement after you are the winning bidder could theoretically result in several sales. But then do you pay if someone clicks on the ad (cost per click?) also?

So for example, if you're launching at 99 cents, and getting a 35 cent profit, you have to be careful about not 'paying' more than what you are making, unless that's what you want to do out of desperation to get traction for a new book in the rankings and hopefully garner reviews.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 24, 2017, 07:01:26 AM
Question on how the ads work. The 'bid' is how much you are willing to pay to get the ad placed, versus other bidders, right? So that placement after you are the winning bidder could theoretically result in several sales. But then do you pay if someone clicks on the ad (cost per click?) also?

So for example, if you're launching at 99 cents, and getting a 35 cent profit, you have to be careful about not 'paying' more than what you are making, unless that's what you want to do out of desperation to get traction for a new book in the rankings and hopefully garner reviews.

You don't pay for the bid, only for the click. Which is actually weird, when you think about it. Amazon sorts us out by how much cash we flash, but it doesn't take the cash unless someone wins by getting a click.

Are we desperate when we launch, or are we merely following the standard advertising strategy customary in our society? Big hype before and for the first week, and then, well...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Michael Eli Vineberg on May 24, 2017, 07:09:18 AM
You don't pay for the bid, only for the click. Which is actually weird, when you think about it. Amazon sorts us out by how much cash we flash, but it doesn't take the cash unless someone wins by getting a click.

Are we desperate when we launch, or are we merely following the standard advertising strategy customary in our society? Big hype before and for the first week, and then, well...

Hi. Been lurking in this thread for a while. From what I can gleam, the bid system is like buying stocks (not sure who here has experience in that). Your bid is what you are willing to pay, but you need to only beat all other competing bids in that particular moment to get the position. So if you bid ten cents, and the next highest bid is five cents, then you will get that position probably for 6 cents, which is why, if you get a click out of that one, Amazon will report the cost at 6c. Make sense?   
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Michael Eli Vineberg on May 24, 2017, 07:13:28 AM
I have been having a really confusing experience, for a change, with the ad system. It seems to me that sometimes an ad needs to start with a high bid in order to start getting impressions, and only then can I lower the bid methodically and eventually still get impressions and clicks at a lower cost.

Presently, I have one ad running as an interest ad, the in the Parenting/Relationships category. I started it around 15c, got no impressions or clicks. I had to raise it and raise it until it was closer to 40c or so before it started to get action. Since then, I have been able to lower it all the way back to 9c and it still gets around two thousand impressions per day.

Now, here's where it gets confusing. I started a new ad for another book, in the Nonfiction AND Parenting/Relationships categories. I started it at 15c. Nothing. Have made my way up to 31c. Still no impressions. But the other ad, which is also in the Parenting/Relationships category, is still getting consistent impressions and clicks. At 9c/click. How is that possible? Anybody want to venture a guess?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 24, 2017, 07:47:01 AM
I had planned on running an ad over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.  With this thread being over 30 pages, is there ANY particular sense of wisdom gleaned from all this as far as "best guesses" go?  Sponsored Product vs. Product Display ads?  For keywords, are 'general' genre-themed words most effective, more so than 'other-author name'? 

I know this has all been crazy, with a lot of experiments and a lot of theories of what works best, not to mention what Amazon may or may not be doing, algorithm-wise.

How's an author supposed to know what to do?  Fully realizing, of course, that what worked last week might not work this week.  Gah!!   :-\

Sponsored Product, definitely.

If you're planning on running the ad for the holiday weekend, make sure you set it up at least a day before you want it to start. It takes several hours (and on rare occasion days) for Amazon to review and approve. They say 15 minutes but it has certainly never happened for me that fast.

Think about the holiday. What do you want to be doing on a three day weekend off from work? Are you going to be browsing for books or are you going to the beach, or maybe having a cookout or some other holiday related activity that gets you out of the house and away from the computer?

Use Manual Targeting and throw in every keyword you can think of including Amazon recommended, genre, authors and book titles. Then think up even more genre related keywords, e.g., second chances, beach read, spine-tingling, sweet romance, hot and steamy, cozy mystery, bone chilling, etc.

Amazon will also tell you that it may take a few days to start getting impressions and clicks.

Good luck.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 24, 2017, 12:16:13 PM
Sponsored Product, definitely.

If you're planning on running the ad for the holiday weekend, make sure you set it up at least a day before you want it to start. It takes several hours (and on rare occasion days) for Amazon to review and approve. They say 15 minutes but it has certainly never happened for me that fast.

Think about the holiday. What do you want to be doing on a three day weekend off from work? Are you going to be browsing for books or are you going to the beach, or maybe having a cookout or some other holiday related activity that gets you out of the house and away from the computer?

Use Manual Targeting and throw in every keyword you can think of including Amazon recommended, genre, authors and book titles. Then think up even more genre related keywords, e.g., second chances, beach read, spine-tingling, sweet romance, hot and steamy, cozy mystery, bone chilling, etc.

Amazon will also tell you that it may take a few days to start getting impressions and clicks.

Good luck.

Funny, in my past two ads, the most effective keywords were quite generic:  adventure, history, historical, tween, American revolution, etc.  Author names and other series titles didn't get much action, if any.  I'll still include them in my new ad, and I'm going to add new words targeting other big audiences as well.  Casting a wider net, so to speak.  Fingers crossed!    8)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 24, 2017, 03:33:36 PM
Funny, in my past two ads, the most effective keywords were quite generic:  adventure, history, historical, tween, American revolution, etc.  Author names and other series titles didn't get much action, if any.  I'll still include them in my new ad, and I'm going to add new words targeting other big audiences as well.  Casting a wider net, so to speak.  Fingers crossed!    8)

Yes, the generic keywords used to do better for me, but now authors and book titles are doing as well. That's why you want to have a wide variety of keywords. You never know what's going to hit when.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 24, 2017, 10:27:29 PM
Having a lazy streak, and having spent the past hour searching these postings for an answer to the following question, I will take the easy way out and just ask it anyway:

Since we are limited to 1,000 keyword entries, and long-tail-keywords count as a single entry, why not string two single word keywords together to form a single long-tail entry (thus allowing 2,000 keywords)?

Several months ago I spent quite a bit of time coming up with keywords and search terms for my paperback offerings.  Perhaps my reasoning is askew, but it seems those same keywords should also be relevant for my AMS ads.  At any rate, by copying and pasting I can up with 440 keywords in short order.  In reference to my first question, would it make sense to form 220 long-tail-keywords from those to double the allowable single-line entries?

How all this gibberish makes sense.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Silly Writer on May 24, 2017, 11:14:53 PM
Having a lazy streak, and having spent the past hour searching these postings for an answer to the following question, I will take the easy way out and just ask it anyway:

Since we are limited to 1,000 keyword entries, and long-tail-keywords count as a single entry, why not string two single word keywords together to form a single long-tail entry (thus allowing 2,000 keywords)?

Several months ago I spent quite a bit of time coming up with keywords and search terms for my paperback offerings.  Perhaps my reasoning is askew, but it seems those same keywords should also be relevant for my AMS ads.  At any rate, by copying and pasting I can up with 440 keywords in short order.  In reference to my first question, would it make sense to form 220 long-tail-keywords from those to double the allowable single-line entries?

How all this gibberish makes sense.

Give one a whirl...

Go to Amazon and type in one of your long-tail-keywords and see what pops up. That's the best test you can do.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 24, 2017, 11:29:12 PM
I have been having a really confusing experience, for a change, with the ad system. It seems to me that sometimes an ad needs to start with a high bid in order to start getting impressions, and only then can I lower the bid methodically and eventually still get impressions and clicks at a lower cost.

Presently, I have one ad running as an interest ad, the in the Parenting/Relationships category. I started it around 15c, got no impressions or clicks. I had to raise it and raise it until it was closer to 40c or so before it started to get action. Since then, I have been able to lower it all the way back to 9c and it still gets around two thousand impressions per day.

Now, here's where it gets confusing. I started a new ad for another book, in the Nonfiction AND Parenting/Relationships categories. I started it at 15c. Nothing. Have made my way up to 31c. Still no impressions. But the other ad, which is also in the Parenting/Relationships category, is still getting consistent impressions and clicks. At 9c/click. How is that possible? Anybody want to venture a guess?

YES
Someone else noticed it! Thanks for sharing this  :D
I just upped my bids on a few of my ads for the same reason - had two similar ads, except one had 0.25 for all keywords, and the other only for 25 of them, and the former got 4 times more impressions after 24 hrs. Also, yeah, the first ads I made (at 0.25) picked up really fast, but the more I experimented (and lowered the bid, trying to be smart), the worse it was.

As for your question, no idea! Except for the ad's history somehow affecting it, and also, is the book price the same? I noticed that cheaper books get way more impressions.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 25, 2017, 04:04:43 AM
Funny, in my past two ads, the most effective keywords were quite generic:  adventure, history, historical, tween, American revolution, etc.  Author names and other series titles didn't get much action, if any.  I'll still include them in my new ad, and I'm going to add new words targeting other big audiences as well.  Casting a wider net, so to speak.  Fingers crossed!    8)

Well, it took 14 hours, but Amazon reviewed my ad.  And rejected it.   >:(  Luckily I happened to be online when the email came in, so I immediately copied the ad and 'fixed' the things they objected to.  Hopefully it won't take another 14 hours for review.

Lesson learned:  ad rejected for these reasons:

- The ad contains inappropriate capitalization.
- The ad copy contains repetitive punctuation marks (for example, "!!!")

My text included the phrase "how did THAT happen?"  Apparently the all-caps word is a no-no.
Also, I used two dashes:  "ages 11-14--also available in paperback."   I changed it to a comma... even though it's grammatically flawed.   ;)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 25, 2017, 04:23:35 AM
Well, it took 14 hours, but Amazon reviewed my ad.  And rejected it.   >:(  Luckily I happened to be online when the email came in, so I immediately copied the ad and 'fixed' the things they objected to.  Hopefully it won't take another 14 hours for review.

Lesson learned:  ad rejected for these reasons:

- The ad contains inappropriate capitalization.
- The ad copy contains repetitive punctuation marks (for example, "!!!")

My text included the phrase "how did THAT happen?"  Apparently the all-caps word is a no-no.
Also, I used two dashes:  "ages 11-14--also available in paperback."   I changed it to a comma... even though it's grammatically flawed.   ;)

WOW!!  Fastest approval in history??  In only about 20 minutes I got my approval.   8)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on May 25, 2017, 07:51:12 AM
I've been running these ads since last summer. The longer I run them, the less I know what makes them work. I'm at the point where I've thrown all theories out the window, and am now just throwing in whatever just to see what sticks.

Seriously, there's no method to the madness. There's no logical theory to be deducted. What works, suddenly stops working. What works for one person, doesn't work for another. What works for one ad by the same person, create another ad with the same KWs and those KWs stop working. Books in directly related genre get no impression, but books in completely unrelated genres fill up the carousel.

I'm sure Amazon has an algorithm in there somewhere. A big data company like Zon doesn't just let things run without reason. But whatever it is, it simply isn't deductible by mortal minds.

So, after months of trying to work with the system, I'm really now just throwing things in to see what sticks.

My biggest worry is when I reach 1000 KWs. What then? Do I pause the non-working KWs in that campaign, keep running it with the KWs that work, and start a new campaign with brand new KWs? I'd have 2 ads for the same book running concurrently then. In the past it had been reported that having 2 campaign for the same book gives you lower impressions because the ads are competing with each other. But what's one to do when they limite KW count, and won't let you delete?

I don't know. I just don't know.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: gljones on May 25, 2017, 08:41:30 AM
Yes I agree, AMS clearly has a mind of its own.  Stuff stops working that was working. Things that make no sense and shouldn't work, actually have success.
I've come to the conclusion that I have to keep shuffling things around, adding/pausing keywords, moving bids up and down, starting/stopping campaigns etc.. etc..

My ads do well then start to fade so I have to stay on top of it. 
My guess is the code that controls AMS is constantly adjusting itself based on the data, which of course is constantly changing. So it appears to us that AMS behavior is constantly changing.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 25, 2017, 08:48:20 AM
I don't think it's a coincidence that shortly after I added new keywords to my one nonfiction title, whose sales had stalled, two copies sold.  This is a niche title that AMS ads have helped massively, but not lately. Stirring the pot seems to be important to keep the ads effective.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Seneca42 on May 25, 2017, 08:49:29 AM
Hi. Been lurking in this thread for a while. From what I can gleam, the bid system is like buying stocks (not sure who here has experience in that). Your bid is what you are willing to pay, but you need to only beat all other competing bids in that particular moment to get the position. So if you bid ten cents, and the next highest bid is five cents, then you will get that position probably for 6 cents, which is why, if you get a click out of that one, Amazon will report the cost at 6c. Make sense?

In theory that's how AMS is supposed to work.

The problem is the carousel. Different spots on teh carousel, I believe, have different bid prices. So a page with a carousel with say 50 pages of ads, will cost different to be on page 1 of the carousel than on page 50.

Which then makes it nearly impossible to really assess what you should bid. 5c might get you on page 50, but $1 or more might be required to get on page 1.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaGrave on May 25, 2017, 08:53:45 AM
I decided to try running an AMS ad earlier this month.

Right now the cruddy reporting has me pulling my hair out. I mean, if they can charge me for how many clicks I got, why can't they report it properly on my dashboard?

May 20 I was charged, but my dashboard didn't show that many clicks until today, but the total cost for those clicks is less than what they charged for me (and there's also been more pending charges in the payment history since Monday... so there's more clicks that aren't showing up at all, clearly past the 3 days it may take to show).

I feel like I'm being overcharged.  >:( But hoping it's just the horrible reporting. But again, if they know how many clicks I've really gotten and know how much to charge me, how hard is it to actually keep the reporting dashboard updated???

Ugh.

In other words, don't trust your dashboard... AT ALL.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 25, 2017, 10:44:49 AM
I've been running these ads since last summer. The longer I run them, the less I know what makes them work. I'm at the point where I've thrown all theories out the window, and am now just throwing in whatever just to see what sticks.

Seriously, there's no method to the madness. There's no logical theory to be deducted. What works, suddenly stops working. What works for one person, doesn't work for another. What works for one ad by the same person, create another ad with the same KWs and those KWs stop working. Books in directly related genre get no impression, but books in completely unrelated genres fill up the carousel.

I'm sure Amazon has an algorithm in there somewhere. A big data company like Zon doesn't just let things run without reason. But whatever it is, it simply isn't deductible by mortal minds.


IKR it drives me mad!  ???

Also, the system is buggy as hell. I just found another bug (they still haven't fixed the one where ads showed without text, I even sent them a few authors whose books ALL showed without the ad copy, and they said they're working on it)
I noticed that my book 1 shows 1 less review and just 4 stars instead of 4.5 in an ad, while in Also bought it's accurate. What the hell, I personally don't even look at books with just 4 stars, but 4.5 is a different story!
So annoyed with this thing right now, honestly. How can I test different ad copies if I make a copy of an ad, and it suddenly doesn't get imps at all? I'm going to just set up two mega ads for my 2 books and let them be and remove the ams ads bookmark from my browser, because it's a waste of time to try to understand them.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Lorna_Reid on May 25, 2017, 11:58:47 AM
Just started my first campaign and have had no sales yet, just a lot of impressions on about three of my twenty or so keywords :( Half the time the dashboard won't display anything for me to even see. I had to ditch Firefox and use Chrome to be able to see my dash to see just how poorly I was doing! :D
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: My Dog's Servant on May 25, 2017, 05:56:49 PM
For the ad I restarted on May 16 with the intention of letting it run for a month without fiddling to see how it did....

At this point (end of day, May 25...or 9 days in), it's making money IF I add in borrows and other sales (this is for a $0.99 first in series, so just about impossible to pay for on sales alone).  It took three or four days to get going, then had been doing very well....until it slowed abruptly today.

The odd thing was, when I was poking on Amazon, I wasn't seeing ANY sponsored books on ANY page for ANY author I looked at. None. Don't know if it's me, a temporary glitch in the system that might explain the abrupt slowdown, or what.   Anybody see the same?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 25, 2017, 06:24:36 PM
For the ad I restarted on May 16 with the intention of letting it run for a month without fiddling to see how it did....

At this point (end of day, May 25...or 9 days in), it's making money IF I add in borrows and other sales (this is for a $0.99 first in series, so just about impossible to pay for on sales alone).  It took three or four days to get going, then had been doing very well....until it slowed abruptly today.

The odd thing was, when I was poking on Amazon, I wasn't seeing ANY sponsored books on ANY page for ANY author I looked at. None. Don't know if it's me, a temporary glitch in the system that might explain the abrupt slowdown, or what.   Anybody see the same?

I had two ads suddenly pick up, but that was clicks only. Nothing showing on my KDP dashboard yet.

The third ad has been going gangbusters since I re-enabled it on the 21st. Mostly clicks but seven sales and four full page reads. With 224 clicks, I'm bound to see a lot more page reads ... or at least I'm hoping so.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Michael Eli Vineberg on May 25, 2017, 06:47:40 PM
In theory that's how AMS is supposed to work.

The problem is the carousel. Different spots on teh carousel, I believe, have different bid prices. So a page with a carousel with say 50 pages of ads, will cost different to be on page 1 of the carousel than on page 50.

Which then makes it nearly impossible to really assess what you should bid. 5c might get you on page 50, but $1 or more might be required to get on page 1.

Yes, you are right. Has anybody figured out how the carousel and non-visible pages tie into impressions? Is it possible to get false impressions?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BVLawson on May 26, 2017, 07:58:02 AM
Just wondering what the consensus might be (if any) on the amount of time to run an ad - most of mine I've had running with no deadline until they seem to stop working and then I pause them or create new ads. This is usually about a few weeks to a month or so. But have you found shorter runs are more effective? Or longer? This has taken on a bit more urgency since Amazon has decided to max out my daily budgets all of a sudden - without any corresponding jump in sales. Pulling my hair out.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 26, 2017, 08:17:33 AM
Just wondering what the consensus might be (if any) on the amount of time to run an ad - most of mine I've had running with no deadline until they seem to stop working and then I pause them or create new ads. This is usually about a few weeks to a month or so. But have you found shorter runs are more effective? Or longer? This has taken on a bit more urgency since Amazon has decided to max out my daily budgets all of a sudden - without any corresponding jump in sales. Pulling my hair out.

I'm quite sure I'm in the minority, but the ads I've run have all been for a maximum of 10 days, usually more like 6-7.  For example my current ad went live yesterday (Thursday) and will run until the end of the month (Wednesday).  I always run them to include a weekend, when most people likely have time to browse and shop for books.

But again, I'm probably the outlier; a lot of people here seem to run ads for weeks, if not months.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 26, 2017, 08:26:46 AM
I started mine in late October and most have been running continuously since, but with keywords and pricing tweaked on a frequent basis. I do pause some for weeks at a time. I've only terminated one ad; for that one, I allowed Amazon to determine all the keywords. It didn't do anything for sales, so I stopped it. But in fairness, that particular book hasn't done well with manual keywords, either. It's a stand alone, and I suspect most sales come from people who've read my other books. From time to time, I un-pause my ad for it and pick up another sale or two that way. But because it's a romance I'd have to bid really high to get significant impressions and clicks. I think the long tail from my other books is more cost efficient. Similarly, after my push during a launch, I paused ads for books two and three in a series, but jacked up the Daily Spend Limit on book one. This tactic seems efficient; it's getting lots of page reads and is leading in sales.

tl;dr: I keep ads for my tentpole titles running for months if they're making money, and pause the ads for lesser titles, reviving them occasionally.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Eugene Kirk on May 26, 2017, 09:54:08 AM
What's considered a typical/good impression to click ratio for a given keyword?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Hasbeen on May 26, 2017, 10:40:52 AM
Ok I've been running my ads since the 13th of this month. I've got impressions for each champaign well into the five figures. Clicks are in the double digits for all of them. I'm averaging .10 a click.

But I only have 3 sales across all the campaigns. My sales and page reads went up the first week now they are slowly sliding downward. 

Are impressions (keeping your books in front of potential readers) a good enough reason to continue a campaign? Or should the measure of success be the sales you've gotten from the campaign be the real measure?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 27, 2017, 08:40:34 AM
So I got click-bombed yesterday. I do an end-of-day check and saw that one keyword (an old title from famous same-genre author) had suddenly jumped from what should have been (based on earlier campaigns) ~600 Impressions to 15,000! And from probably ~3 clicks to 31! And no sales. And all overnight. So I immediately paused that keyword. All other keywords looked normal (and look normal today). Luckily, I have a $1 daily spend limit on this campaign and a minimum Bid on this specific keyword, so the damage was controlled. But it jumped up my aCoS.
 
Anybody else notice something similar recently?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on May 27, 2017, 08:53:16 AM
So I got click-bombed yesterday. I do an end-of-day check and saw that one keyword (a title from famous same-genre author) had suddenly jumped from what should have been (based on earlier campaigns) ~600 Impressions to 15,000! And from probably ~3 clicks to 31! And no sales. And all overnight. So I immediately paused that keyword. All other keywords looked normal (and look normal today). Luckily, I have a $1 daily spend limit on this campaign and a minimum Bid on this specific keyword, so the damage was controlled. But it jumped up my aCoS.
 
Anybody else notice something similar recently?

Just out of curiosity - did you check to see if they had a release or promo or something that could have resulted in more exposure? And your sales wouldn't show up for three days due to the normal lag...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 27, 2017, 09:24:51 AM
SNIP... Just out of curiosity - did you check to see if they had a release or promo or something that could have resulted in more exposure? And your sales wouldn't show up for three days due to the normal lag...

Hmmm... to your first question, I can't see anything. That book was published in 1987, and googling around doesn't show any promo activity. BUT... I had forgotten to check my KDP dashboard (distracted with another issue), and sure enough, there's a sales jump on the same day (and resulting drop in Sales Rank). So yeah, I might see that reflected in the AMS sales in next day or two; we'll see.

But here's another curious thing: on that keyworded book, I'm NOT in the Sponsored carousel NOR in the Also Boughts. What would explain that? (other than that I'm looking now, 12 hours after I paused that keyword last night, but that wouldn't affect Also Boughts, unless they're also delayed; ADDED: and my book's Also Boughts do NOT show this 1987 book)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 27, 2017, 09:35:56 AM
... Are impressions (keeping your books in front of potential readers) a good enough reason to continue a campaign? Or should the measure of success be the sales you've gotten from the campaign be the real measure?

Well, AMS sales (with an ACoS at or under your royalty %) is the "pure" measure of campaign success, but there are the "soft" measures that only you can attach value to. Like sales bumps from KU borrows, increased reads (if in KU), and the general visibility you talk about. But I look at Clicks way more than Impressions. If you're getting clicks, you're at least connecting.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: IreneP on May 27, 2017, 11:58:20 AM


But here's another curious thing: on that keyworded book, I'm NOT in the Sponsored carousel NOR in the Also Boughts. What would explain that? (other than that I'm looking now, 12 hours after I paused that keyword last night, but that wouldn't affect Also Boughts, unless they're also delayed; ADDED: and my book's Also Boughts do NOT show this 1987 book)

Okay - so different people see different things in the carousel based on how they got there (for example through a search etc) - and don't forget that AMS keywords are "broad"  - so just looking at that exact book probably doesn't give you the whole picture on who sees the ad based on that keyword. I think it's kinda cool when I see my book underneath other books, too - but I always remember that other people on that same page might see something different while people on completely different pages I know nothing about might also be seeing it and also that I might show higher or lower in the carousel throughout the day.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 27, 2017, 02:25:42 PM
I'm in the exact opposite corner. No clicks at all for three days over three ads. One book is showing a decent amount of page reads, at least.

No sales anywhere for any book over the last three days.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: weigle1234 on May 27, 2017, 03:05:21 PM
Well, AMS sales (with an ACoS at or under your royalty %) is the "pure" measure of campaign success, but there are the "soft" measures that only you can attach value to. Like sales bumps from KU borrows, increased reads (if in KU), and the general visibility you talk about. But I look at Clicks way more than Impressions. If you're getting clicks, you're at least connecting.

Does AMS Kindle allow running two ads for the same book at the same time; if one ad is presented in Automatic mode and the other in Manual?

If that is allowed, them split-run (A/B) testing may be possible simply be pricing each book differently - by an insignificant amount, but enough to be detectable by monitoring the Sales Dashboard’s eBook Royalty on the day of sale.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 27, 2017, 03:32:37 PM
Okay - so different people see different things in the carousel based on how they got there (for example through a search etc) - and don't forget that AMS keywords are "broad"  - so just looking at that exact book probably doesn't give you the whole picture on who sees the ad based on that keyword. I think it's kinda cool when I see my book underneath other books, too - but I always remember that other people on that same page might see something different while people on completely different pages I know nothing about might also be seeing it and also that I might show higher or lower in the carousel throughout the day.

Good points. At first, I thought for sure this was a scam since I have this author's name and his more recent and closer-to-home titles also in keywords, and those keywords are acting normally (and not great). But digging into this, I now see that this particular title in Kindle is an official "Amazon Best Seller" (orange banner) while the others are not. And this one has a REALLY low price currently: $1.99 vs. his other similar ebooks at ~$13.99 -- these are 1,000+ page books. AND, this book title (OK, it's "Sarum" by Edward Rutherfurd) is ranked #22 OVERALL in the Kindle store, and it's #1 in all the listed subcats. So it's undeniably really popular right now. And I'm linked to it, apparently, by AMS keyword. So I guess it's possible that my AMS ad is showing on this really popular book. And maybe I should not have paused it! But because my AMS dashboard is still showing 0 sales in last 24 hours, I just don't know. But if the sales suddenly appear, then this could be the reason. And when/if that happens, I'll be unpausing that keyword! (if I don't just do it now)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 27, 2017, 03:39:14 PM
Serum is one of my faves.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 27, 2017, 03:45:34 PM
Sarum has been advertised on BookBub and possibly also on ENT this week. Can't remember if I saw it twice but I think so. Could be on other ad newsletters as well. That's the source of the traffic for that title, and for your clicks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 27, 2017, 05:13:43 PM
Sarum has been advertised on BookBub and possibly also on ENT this week. Can't remember if I saw it twice but I think so. Could be on other ad newsletters as well. That's the source of the traffic for that title, and for your clicks.

That's it! Thanks. Am re-enabling keyword now and hoping the sales lag on AMS will prove it a wise decision. On va voir, mes amis!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 28, 2017, 12:02:13 AM
Dropping by to say that ad copy matters. I finally came up with what I think is a very good ad copy (compared to the previous ones), and now I'm getting more clicks with just 1 ad vs 10.
Don't be afraid to find that special thing about your book and shove it in customers' faces.
Now I'm content with just letting it be for a whie  :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on May 28, 2017, 03:14:15 AM
Is there a place to get the current positioning/stats for a book in the Kindle and paperback for Amazon? On the book page you can see the positioning in a few categories, but not the overall position in the Kindle store and for the paperback.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 28, 2017, 03:35:37 AM
Is there a place to get the current positioning/stats for a book in the Kindle and paperback for Amazon? On the book page you can see the positioning in a few categories, but not the overall position in the Kindle store and for the paperback.

What do you mean you can't see it?
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,376 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on May 28, 2017, 03:49:39 AM
What do you mean you can't see it?
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,376 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Thanks, I guess I was meaning more like all versions - paperback, audio, kindle all in one page. Seems like Amazon is moving that way by consolidating paperback sales into the KDP dashboard, but that's just sales, I don't think it shows overall rank and other metrics.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 28, 2017, 10:25:37 AM
Thanks, I guess I was meaning more like all versions - paperback, audio, kindle all in one page. Seems like Amazon is moving that way by consolidating paperback sales into the KDP dashboard, but that's just sales, I don't think it shows overall rank and other metrics.

Oh. Well, I'm fine with checking Kindle and paperback separately. They've got enough issues to fix as it is.

By the way, they haven't replied to my last email, but the bug with different rating/reviews in also bots and ads has been fixed. (Which could explain me getting more clicks, but I don't think it would make a big difference.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 28, 2017, 05:40:34 PM
My current ad has been running since Thursday.  Adding a bunch of new keywords ("widening the net") has been very successful, as the new keywords dominate the number of impressions.  These words also have most of the clicks, although that's not saying much, as the clicks column seems to be pretty anemic.  Based on the book's ranking, I know I've sold at least one paperback, which was my goal, but don't know if it's more than one.

So, time will tell if this ad is as successful this time as it has been in the past.  My fingers are crossed but I'm not expecting a whole lot.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 28, 2017, 07:17:47 PM
My current ad has been running since Thursday.  Adding a bunch of new keywords ("widening the net") has been very successful, as the new keywords dominate the number of impressions.  These words also have most of the clicks, although that's not saying much, as the clicks column seems to be pretty anemic.  Based on the book's ranking, I know I've sold at least one paperback, which was my goal, but don't know if it's more than one.

So, time will tell if this ad is as successful this time as it has been in the past.  My fingers are crossed but I'm not expecting a whole lot.

I've added two clicks for three ads over the last three day. Anemic isn't the word for it.  :'(
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 28, 2017, 08:08:04 PM
My sister's ad for her health book has been running with strong numbers ever since August. She doesn't fuss with it much because why broke what's working? Anyhow here's a screenshot:

(http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff123/thisishermosa/Screen%20Shot%202017-05-28%20at%207.47.58%20PM_zpsihva5ubo.png) (http://s237.photobucket.com/user/thisishermosa/media/Screen%20Shot%202017-05-28%20at%207.47.58%20PM_zpsihva5ubo.png.html)

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 28, 2017, 09:29:05 PM
My last post on this: "That's it! Thanks. Am re-enabling keyword now and hoping the sales lag on AMS will prove it a wise decision. On va voir, mes amis!"

RE: my Click-Bomb update: AHA! Sure enough. There was no change in my AMS Sales this AM, but right after Noon EST (for U.S. store), 7 new sales suddenly appeared on the Campaign line. And with no change in the Spend and no more Clicks, I was pretty sure those sales were delayed reports from AMS (and they matched well the KDP Sales of two days ago). But, adding to the mystery, the actual "Sarum" keyword was still showing 0 Sales, and with no additional Sales showing beyond what I already had, that told me that the Keywords list metrics were also lagging (the Campaign metrics). And whaddya know: when I checked at the end of the night just a while ago, there were 6 new Sarum-keyword Sales and a new one from another keyword. And my CoS nicely dropped. So what I originally thought was a scam was really an unexpected benefit to a keyword I only added as a long shot. So you never can tell with these keywords -- when in doubt, add them!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: novelist11 on May 29, 2017, 07:56:22 AM
I noticed alot of my clicks occur after midnight. That seems odd to me. Has anyone else seen this happen to them?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on May 29, 2017, 09:21:06 AM
My sister's ad for her health book has been running with strong numbers ever since August. She doesn't fuss with it much because why broke what's working? Anyhow here's a screenshot:

(http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff123/thisishermosa/Screen%20Shot%202017-05-28%20at%207.47.58%20PM_zpsihva5ubo.png) (http://s237.photobucket.com/user/thisishermosa/media/Screen%20Shot%202017-05-28%20at%207.47.58%20PM_zpsihva5ubo.png.html)

Impressive.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Eugene Kirk on May 29, 2017, 09:50:55 AM
Looks like my question got lost in the shuffle so I'll ask it again.

What sort or impression to click ratio is considered good?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 29, 2017, 10:07:17 AM
I've had keywords that had a CTR of 14% but sold zero books and one keyword with a CTR of 0.02% that did sell books, so I'm not sure what the answer to that would be. :)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Harald on May 29, 2017, 10:15:26 AM
Looks like my question got lost in the shuffle so I'll ask it again.
What sort or impression to click ratio is considered good?

For me, Clicks per Sale is more important than Imprs per Click, but "good" to me is:
-- 500-700 Imprs per Click
-- 10-15 Clicks per Sale
And that's in Historical Fiction genre. YMMV.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 29, 2017, 10:53:36 AM
Looks like my question got lost in the shuffle so I'll ask it again.

What sort or impression to click ratio is considered good?

There's really no hard and fast rule. As Harald said, click to sales ratio is more important.

I have a rule of thumb that I use (suggested by Rick Gualtieri) that works for me. If my spend on a particular keyword hits $2 without a sale, I pause it. I stick to that whether I'm spending 15c per click or 50c per click. When I'm getting up around $1.50 spend on a keyword, I'll scale back my bid on that word to maybe squeeze out a few more clicks.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 29, 2017, 12:17:50 PM
Things seems to be shifting right now, too, and I'm seeing more clicks per thousands impressions than before, but the rule of thumb I've historically used has been that I shut down any keyword where I don't have at least one click per 2,000 impressions and that my really good keywords usually have about 1 click per 500 impressions.  And I look for keywords where I have about 1 sale per 10 clicks, but my good ones usually get a sale for every 5 clicks or so.  I also shut down any keyword where I've spent more than I would make from one sale of the book and I haven't seen a sale on my KDP dashboard.  (Unless the book is in KU and the book/author that's the keyword is in my also-boughts indicating borrows.)

I've actually seen huge surge in ad spend on ads in the last week or so.  I started a couple new ads a few days ago and one (a sponsored product ad for a romance) has maxed out its budget each day even when I raise the budget.  The other (a product display ad for non-fiction) blew through about $35 in a day because I chose to spend as quickly as possible.  Another ad that I started in November has been maxing its budget as well.  But I was bidding pretty high to get those results...
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: alexabooks on May 29, 2017, 01:01:43 PM
Anyone else got a bump in clicks/sales today? I upped my daily budget a dollar, 'cause why not, if I already got 4 times more sales than yesterday.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Decon on May 29, 2017, 01:07:50 PM
Looks like my question got lost in the shuffle so I'll ask it again.

What sort or impression to click ratio is considered good?

Mine varies between 1000 and 2000 impressions per click and more importantly 10-20 clicks per sale. I varies from book to book of the five I have in AMS.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 29, 2017, 01:44:59 PM
I'm having a 4x bump in sales as well.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 29, 2017, 06:01:10 PM
Looks like my question got lost in the shuffle so I'll ask it again.

What sort or impression to click ratio is considered good?

My view of a "good" impression to click ratio varies wildly and is mainly driven by the resulting sales, or lack of.

However, I do have a "bad" impression to click evaluation.  That is: 2,000 impressions to 1 click.  If a keyword's performance gets that 'bad', I pause it on the assumption it is targeting the wrong audience.

Not sure it matters though since we only pay for clicks, not impressions.

Philip
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 29, 2017, 06:03:04 PM
So anyone heard about AMS possibly rolling out in the UK?

I published a book on AMS ads today and when I did I noticed that there was one that was free that looked like it was published by Mark Dawson, so I downloaded it and read it (mostly geared towards getting people to his website and actually written by one of his people), but it mentioned that AMS were going to soon be rolling out in the UK.  I know Mark said elsewhere that he'd been talking directly to Amazon about AMS and was wondering if anyone else had heard this and when it might be happening.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' on May 29, 2017, 07:38:21 PM
So anyone heard about AMS possibly rolling out in the UK?

I published a book on AMS ads today and when I did I noticed that there was one that was free that looked like it was published by Mark Dawson, so I downloaded it and read it (mostly geared towards getting people to his website and actually written by one of his people), but it mentioned that AMS were going to soon be rolling out in the UK.  I know Mark said elsewhere that he'd been talking directly to Amazon about AMS and was wondering if anyone else had heard this and when it might be happening.

I only heard it from Mark. It will definitely be a good thing if it does happen.

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Steven McKinnon on May 30, 2017, 02:03:02 AM
Extremely enlightening thread, thanks Harald and everyone else who's contributed.

Happy to hear that AMS will be rolled out to .co.uk, definitely the biggest market for my book (and the authors it's similar to).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jean Paul Zogby on May 30, 2017, 06:57:39 AM
HI,
Quick question.
Would it make sense to have two (2) Sponsored Ads both running with automatic targeting but with slightly different ad copy? Or would they compete against each other?

I did that last week, and noticed that they both get good impressions (around 20,000 per day), but the sales alternate. On Sunday Ad1 gets 5 sales, Ad2 zero, then Monday Ad2 get 4 sales, Ad 1 zero, and so on!
Has anyone experience that? or can explain what is happening?
thanks
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 30, 2017, 07:27:53 AM
I've never tried two ads with automatic targeting at the same time.  Lots of folks on this thread have talked about how it seems that multiple ads don't seem to increase impressions over what you'd get from just the one ad and that sometimes a second ad will get no impressions.  I've run two ads on the same book with impressions and sales going to both on a regular basis, so sometimes it just varies.

Not sure in your case why you're seeing sales all on one ad and then all on the other if you're getting impressions and clicks on both ads every single day.  (Are you getting clicks as well on both ads each day?)

I will say that I've seen sales appear on an ad that was paused rather than the active ad that generated the sales.  So, in my case, I had an ad for a book that had run for months.  I did a 99 cent promo and paused it and ran a separate ad for the promo.  At least two of my 99 cent sales of that book showed on the original ad.  I believe this is because Amazon tracks when someone clicks your ad and then they credit that sale to the ad if the customer ends up buying the book within x number of days.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 30, 2017, 08:12:50 AM
I had an ad for a book that had run for months.  I did a 99 cent promo and paused it and ran a separate ad for the promo.  At least two of my 99 cent sales of that book showed on the original ad.  I believe this is because Amazon tracks when someone clicks your ad and then they credit that sale to the ad if the customer ends up buying the book within x number of days.

Interesting.  That would account for my ACoS improving (therefore indicating sales) during times when I know sales came from another source.

If your theory is true, it would be instructive to know how many days lag there could be between original click and crediting the sale to that click.

Someone might know this.

Philip

Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 30, 2017, 08:31:07 AM
Turns out they state it in the Seeing How Your Ads Perform discussion at https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/A29SDHM2KNHV0N.

In case that link doesn't work, they define total sales as "Sum of sales attributed to your campaign; each time a customer clicks on your ad and purchases your book within 14 days. It takes three days after your first click for this data to begin showing in your report. This data includes sales of co-authored books."

(I had thought it was seven days only not fourteen.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: victorine.vien on May 30, 2017, 08:55:57 AM
Thank you for sharing! I'm about to release my first book soon, and have been looking into AMS as well :-) Question: Is there a way to set this up before you start running the ads? Or it just goes live immediately?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: GrandFenwick on May 30, 2017, 09:23:49 AM
The ad goes live as soon as it's approved (which can take 1-3 days). But after it's approved, you can always pause it.

However, to set up an ad, your book has to be released (someone correct me if I'm wrong).
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jim Johnson on May 30, 2017, 09:25:16 AM
Just saw this pop up in an Amazon email. Looks like standard info, but might be useful to someone, esp as an easy one-pager to print off and post in your workspace:

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/ams/Keyword_Strategy_Guide._V510659875_.pdf/ref=kdpnlmay
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: AlexaKang on May 30, 2017, 09:48:33 AM
Just saw this pop up in an Amazon email. Looks like standard info, but might be useful to someone, esp as an easy one-pager to print off and post in your workspace:

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/ams/Keyword_Strategy_Guide._V510659875_.pdf/ref=kdpnlmay

Wow, Jim. This is super helpful! Thanks!

I never had much luck having an author & book as the same KW. Always had to do them as 2 separate KWs but I hate that because sometimes the author's other books don't match mine. But Amazon's recommending to do it like "author's book" (ie Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice)? Will this really work?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jim Johnson on May 30, 2017, 10:39:33 AM
Wow, Jim. This is super helpful! Thanks!

I never had much luck having an author & book as the same KW. Always had to do them as 2 separate KWs but I hate that because sometimes the author's other books don't match mine. But Amazon's recommending to do it like "author's book" (ie Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice)? Will this really work?

I wouldn't make them one keyword. I separate the title from the author as two separate keywords. I think the one-pager that Amazon put together is a little unclear in that respect--I think they're suggesting using the author name and title as keyword, but not as one keyword. Also, despite what they say near the top of the page, I don't think we're supposed to use "Kindle" as a keyword." (Though "unlimited" is okay.)
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 30, 2017, 11:07:14 AM
Wow, Jim. This is super helpful! Thanks!

I never had much luck having an author & book as the same KW. Always had to do them as 2 separate KWs but I hate that because sometimes the author's other books don't match mine. But Amazon's recommending to do it like "author's book" (ie Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice)? Will this really work?

The one page 'guide' is a little vague, but I guess if they wanted to keep it to one page, it had to be.  One thing I'd note is that it's not extremely explicit that this info is for ads, and not keywords for the book itself.  I know we all know that, because this thread is about AMS ads, but someone seeing that chart without a lot of context might not pick up on that fact.

As far as keywords and author names, I see what you mean about an author's books maybe not matching yours.  In your example, Pride and Prejudice wouldn't be a great fit if your book refers to the Royal Navy in 1811....  but Persuasion would be.  In that case it would still be a good idea to use both Jane Austen and Persuasion as separate keywords in an ad.  If Pride & Prejudice fans happen to run across your ad, there's no harm in that.

In my current ad, I added another very successful author name and one of his series titles (although he has a number of series), and his name is by far getting the most impressions.  Not too sure yet if the impressions are leading to clicks, but....  you can't get sales if you don't get clicks, and you can't get clicks if you don't get impressions.  So toss those author names in there.  I even added popular TV shows and books/movies that have a similar target audience.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 30, 2017, 11:18:03 AM
Thanks for that Jim, that is interesting.  I've never tried it before but I'm going to try the "ASIN 123456789" approach and see if that works because I was never able to make titles work on my fiction ads and putting something like "Firebrand" is problematic since there's a recent fantasy release I would want to target but also a sci-fic release I wouldn't.

And, yes, Kindle is a prohibited word but I think what that first category was saying was to pull in best sellers or really popular authors into your keywords.

The best luck I've had is with generic words like "fantasy" or "contemporary romance" and then author names.  I've tried worlds like "pern" that are related to series I wanted to target and it just didn't work for me.

As for the question on the last page, I think you can advertise pre-orders as well.  But you need a book listed and available through your KDP dashboard to use AMS as an author.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: PaulineMRoss on May 30, 2017, 02:03:29 PM
However, to set up an ad, your book has to be released (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Actually, you can set up an ad on a pre-order book, too, which is kind of useful.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: khotisarque on May 30, 2017, 08:14:52 PM
Harald, are you reading this?  Strange thing today.  I started two new campaigns, for similar books, day before yesterday.  They have largely overlapping sets of keywords.  Views today are : book A, about 45000, book B about 1200.  Yep, 40:1 ratio.  So I compared the keywords.  The default on one set was 0.20, on the other 0.25.  so it is reasonable to expect the lower bids to get fewer views, which was generally true.  But that much lower?  Then I looked at a subset where I had set the bids on book B much higher, for a variety of reasons.  There were thirteen shared keywords.  On all 13, the views were dramatically lower for the higher bid!  I'm talking up to 0.85 vs 0.25 bids, and up to 100 times LOWER views for HIGHER bid.  13 times out of 13.  Now, would somebody please tell me the Zon's algos are not screwed up?
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: loraininflorida on May 30, 2017, 09:57:46 PM
I don't think the Zon's algos are screwed up. I think first and foremost the Zon's algos do what is good for the Zon.

I also think that the longer you have advertised a book on AMS, the more the algorithm tends to push you to the back of the carousel no matter what your bid is unless you are getting the number of sales that the algorithm deems acceptable.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Jena H on May 31, 2017, 05:22:01 AM
I know I got sales over the weekend, but AMS still isn't registering them.   >:(   Honestly, I don't understand what's so hard about that.

Anyway, today's the last day of my ad, so the click/impression data is almost complete.
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: BVLawson on May 31, 2017, 06:34:12 AM
Maybe the algorithms aren't screwed up, but they are certainly puzzling. I have four different ads going for the same book right now as a test (same bids, same spend, slightly different copy, and slightly different KW), and Amazon always spends the budget early in the day on the same one - the one that's least effective, according to the ACoS. I keep trying to get in there early enough to pause it, but it must happen in the wee hours. Guess I'll have to try again before six a.m.!
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: LilyBLily on May 31, 2017, 07:37:53 AM
I've only occasionally spent my daily limit. When I have, usually I've upped my limit to re-start the ad. Yet I don't see an immediate response on the dashboard, not even that the ad status is now changed to Running. A lag on that? No way of knowing. 
Title: Re: AMS Ads Learning
Post by: Cassie Leigh on May 31, 2017, 07:53:52 AM
I've only occasionally spent my daily limit. When I have, usually I've upped my limit to re-start the ad. Yet I don't see an immediate response on the dashboard, not even that the ad status is now changed to Running. A lag on that? No way of knowing. 

Yeah, there's a bit of a lag.  I have an ad that's been maxing out its budget for most of the last week.  I change the budget and it still shows as daily budget spent but when I go back in five minutes later it usually shows as running again.  There was a day I moved that ad from $5 to $10 to $25 to $35 to $50 as it blew through its budget.

I had another max out its budget but wanted to pause it so it would stop running and couldn't so just ended up terminating it.  It was spending $10/day but only resulting in two sales per day.

Both for romance tit