Author Topic: A New AMS Thread  (Read 101187 times)  

Offline weigle1234

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #75 on: October 24, 2017, 09:53:17 pm »

For those of you that are shutting down keywords which aren't performing, how do you decide when to shut them down?

Is there a certain views that you wait for per keyword? A certain total views with the overall ad? Or a certain amount of time?


It seems most folks on this forum gather at least some data from our Advertising Campaign chart.  I have tested literally hundreds of AMS ads, and find short-term data (that less than about 2 weeks old) from that chart to be unreliable.  In fact, I am skeptical about the accuracy of almost all stats from that chart - even long-term data.  I envision our Advertising Campaign chart as merely an approximation of advertising trends.

The only reliable stats I gather come from my Sales Dashboard - and even those stats less than a few days old are unreliable.  In their defense, AMS does caution that those updates may lag by a few days.

But, IMHO, all is not lost!  I find the Historical chart data (accessed via the upper left of the Sales Dashboard) to be fairly accurate.  That data is always at least 2 weeks old since it is updated on the 15th of each month - the latest stats being for the month of September.

By cross-referencing Historical chart data with Sales Dashboard chart data for specific time frames you should find closely matching stats - which, at least for me, lends credibility to the long-term data of both charts.  Also, the Historical chart has several neat options which I find to be helpful.  I highly recommend checking it out.

Speaking for myself, having to wait for reliable data from AMS takes patience, but is the only way to go for hope of keeping up with their game.

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    Offline weigle1234

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #76 on: October 25, 2017, 12:08:20 am »
    In a previous post, I stated; "I envision our Advertising Campaign chart as merely an approximation of advertising trends."

    The reason I made that statement is because I have encountered many instances of glaring errors with that chart data - much of which data may send the unwary in wrong directions.

    An example is an ad I started earlier today.  The Advertising Campaign chart indicated that a Click had occurred within minutes of the ad being placed into Running, and after it had garnered but few Impressions - which is possible, but highly unlikely.

    A more glaring example is an ad which was about 2 weeks old.  According to the Advertising Campaign chart, that ad had garnered a sale.  I then checked my Keywords to ascertain which Keyword was responsible for my good fortune.  Turns out it is a Keyword with few Impressions.  That is fine - the only problem being it is a Keyword that received no Clicks but, for an unknown reason, has produced a sale.  I have come across many such instances.

    Of my hundreds of test ads, almost all were initially placed in Manual mode with 2-Cents bids.  My Advertising Campaign chart never indicated even a single sale for any of those ads.  Yet AMS faithfully transferred royalties to my bank account for sales which, according to the chart, had never occurred.  However, both my Historical chart and Sales Dashboard chart indicate those sales as having occurred.

    The BIG problem being, I have no reliable way of knowing which ad(s) produced which sale(s).  Pretty hard to get a sense of direction here.  Guesswork does not sit well with me when it comes to making (or losing) money.

    Lately, I started placing test ads with 5-Cents bids.  At least some sales from those ads are actually showing up on my Advertising Campaign chart, but sporadically, and definitely not all of them.  Same old same old!

    Much of this leads me to question the wisdom of testing individual Keywords - Adding, Pausing, changing Bids, whatever.  Is it pure happenstance that any such changes actually affect ad response?  Or, is it mere wishful thinking when any Keyword change actually produces more Impressions, Clicks, or Sales?

    Along that line of thinking, can anyone on this forum explain how AMS can possibly determine which individual Keyword(s) receive Impressions, Clicks, and Sales - let alone how many of each?  To me it seems a near mathematical impossibility to do so with any level of confidence.  As a physicist I know how to work numbers, and do statistical analysis.  It sure would be gratifying if someone could give me even a hint as to how AMS is able to perform such miracles.

    Happy AMSing!

    Offline Megan Crewe

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #77 on: October 26, 2017, 08:43:39 am »
    Does anyone have thoughts/experience to share on running AMS ads for pre-orders? I see R.E. Conary shared some results here, and those don't look very promising (13 pre-orders out of 668 clicks which cost nearly a dollar per click, if I'm reading that right). Is that typical? Has anyone gotten a decent ROI with pre-order ads? And difference in results with pre-orders between Sponsored Product ads and Product Display?

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    Offline rikatz

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #78 on: October 26, 2017, 10:25:27 am »
    So it was pointed out recently that the old AMS thread has become a bit unwieldy and I was wondering if it would make sense to start a new thread where we sort of summarize what we can agree on and then go from there.  I'll take a first shot at what I think is the general consensus from that other thread and then others can chime in on what I missed or got wrong and then we can go from here until we get all convoluted again.

    - A successful ad should have about 1 click per thousand impressions (some have a better ratio and sometimes it can go as high as 1:2500 or so, but the higher you go the more likely the ad will stop running)
    - The ads don't run on a straight highest bidder wins model. There's a performance and relevance aspect to which books are shown and which ads run that none of us really know the ins and outs of.
    - The estimated sales amount reported on the AMS dashboard is the sale price of the book, not what you earn.
    - This amount includes ebooks as well as paperbacks sold through KDP Print or CreateSpace. It does not include paperback sales if you're the one responsible for shipping them.
    - The AMS dashboard does not account for KU borrows and does not show what you earn for pages read if a book is borrowed after someone clicks on the ad.
    - Someone can click on an ad and come back to buy the book later and AMS will count that towards the ad. (This can be as much as 10-14 days later.)
    - AMS will also count sales of related books (like book 1 in a series where the ad was for book 3) towards the ad's performance.
    - People have had success with both Sponsored Product and Product Display ads and using both low- and high-bid strategies.
    - In general, if you bid more you should see more impressions and better ad placement.
    - Some have found that a low-bid ad that's allowed to sit for a month may ultimately start delivering impressions even if it doesn't do anything initially.
    - For Sponsored Product ads, look to authors, book titles, and generic genre-appropriate keywords like "romance" for your keywords
    - Competitive genres like romance or thriller will likely require higher bids than more niche areas like non-fiction
    - Depending on the price of your book, you should see a sale for every ten to twenty clicks.
    - While it's tempting to use the ACoS value to judge your ads, don't. There's enough of a delay between costs being reported on the AMS dashboards and sales being reported as well as the mix of ebook/print sales in the reported numbers that you can be easily misled by following this number.
    - It's better to establish a baseline for your book's sales before you start running the ads and then look at sales reported on your KDP dashboard as well as CreateSpace sales reported while the ad is running. If you're in KU, compare your baseline rank to your rank once the ads are running to see if there are borrows that have happened as a result of the ad that haven't yet resulted in page reads.

    Alright. That's a good start. What did I miss or get wrong?

    I would agree with all of the above except the statement that "AMS counts sales of related books towards an ads performance." Twice now, I have had an ad for the second book in my mystery series get hot. The first time, 7 out of 11 books sold were for the first book in the series and the second time, 6 out of 18 sales were for the first book and 3 out of the 18 were for the second book. None of these sales were counted toward the total number of sales attributed to the ad, which to date lists a total of 16 books attributed to the ad.


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    Offline VayneLine

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #79 on: October 27, 2017, 09:52:21 am »
    I think the price must be going up.  I used to get clicks at around .10cents and now nothing even up to .15cents.  I can only imagine big names are dumping .20 or more a click.

    Anyone else see this?

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    Offline A past poster

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #80 on: October 27, 2017, 01:57:22 pm »
    I just went searching for one of my own books on Amazon so I could pull the ASIN and the Sponsored Product ad for the book was listed above the book in the search results, almost guaranteeing that anyone looking for that book in particular would click on the ad instead of the search listing. Ugh.
    A similar thing happened with one of my books. I second your UGH!

    Offline Kay7979

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #81 on: October 27, 2017, 02:02:34 pm »
    Does anyone have thoughts/experience to share on running AMS ads for pre-orders? I see R.E. Conary shared some results here, and those don't look very promising (13 pre-orders out of 668 clicks which cost nearly a dollar per click, if I'm reading that right). Is that typical? Has anyone gotten a decent ROI with pre-order ads? And difference in results with pre-orders between Sponsored Product ads and Product Display?

    I got impressions and clicks but no sales until after the book went live. But you might do much better. On the bright side, my KENP for the first two books in the series went up from the time I started the ad for book 3, and the day of launch I started getting some KENP for the new book, so I think a few KU readers were ready and waiting for it.

    Offline NatPane

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #82 on: October 27, 2017, 02:37:44 pm »
    I just went searching for one of my own books on Amazon so I could pull the ASIN and the Sponsored Product ad for the book was listed above the book in the search results, almost guaranteeing that anyone looking for that book in particular would click on the ad instead of the search listing. Ugh.

    I commented about this weeks ago and was told that was a good thing. Good to see I wasn't crazy to think otherwise.

    Offline A past poster

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #83 on: October 27, 2017, 02:56:09 pm »
    I commented about this weeks ago and was told that was a good thing. Good to see I wasn't crazy to think otherwise.
    Before the ad was under one of my books. Now it's above another book, like Cassie's.

    Offline NatPane

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #84 on: October 27, 2017, 05:05:35 pm »
    Before the ad was under one of my books. Now it's above another book, like Cassie's.

    I just don't see the logic of putting the ad there in the first place, whether it is above or below your book. Is this where we want readers to click on our ads, when they've already found our books?

    Offline NoLongerHere

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #85 on: October 27, 2017, 09:41:12 pm »
    Bye
    « Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 04:27:04 pm by NoLongerHere »

    Offline ThrillerWriter

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #86 on: October 28, 2017, 10:35:42 am »
    Just ran the same for serial killer thriller and FBI thriller. I didn't see any sponsored ads at all, which I don't love either. So, not happening for everyone. The Zon works in mysterious ways.

    Offline NoLongerHere

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #87 on: October 28, 2017, 11:35:05 am »
    Bye
    « Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 04:26:24 pm by NoLongerHere »

    Offline ireaderreview

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #88 on: October 28, 2017, 11:45:18 am »
    Most systems tend towards this state -

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

    This quote from the CEO of Restoration Hardware blew my mind. and then I realized that same was true for us - nearly all the sales we were getting via google Adwords were from people already searching for us

    Here:

    Quote
    Restoration Hardware delightfully colorful CEO, Gary Friedman, divulged the following striking anecdote about the companys online marketing strategy, and the state of online ad spending in general (courtesy of @parsimony16). What Friedman revealed in brief was the following:
    [W]eve found out that 98% of our business was coming from 22 words. So, wait, were buying 3,200 words and 98% of the business is coming from 22 words. What are the 22 words? And they said, well, its the word Restoration Hardware and the 21 ways to spell it wrong, okay?
    Stated simply, the vast, vast majority of online ad spending is wasted, chasing clicks that simply are not there.

    And testing this confirmed - nearly all Google Adwords sales were people already looking for us
    Warning: When we reduced Adwords Traffic, magically organic traffic also got reduced. So when optimizing, please keep in mind that sometimes you have to pay a small fee to play in the ecosystem. You can't optimize too much

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    Offline BillyDeCarlo

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #89 on: October 28, 2017, 12:15:52 pm »
    Seems like every day I see something else that makes me question my sanity for using AMS ads. Are they profitable? That's the main question. Who knows!? Can't trust the ACos or sales numbers really until the 15th of the next month. Incredibly hard to use, unreliable, bare-bones analytics and targeting, sheesh. Hopefully they start losing more and more advertising revenue to CPC offerings like Facebook and BookBub, both of which I really like and seem to be getting results from, and update.


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    Offline Laran Mithras

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #90 on: October 28, 2017, 03:11:32 pm »
    I remember not long ago this year that the ppc was .05-.50 cents. Seems like getting the ads now are $1.00 or more.

    More and more expensive to ad for declining results.  :(

    Offline NatPane

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #91 on: October 29, 2017, 05:38:17 am »
    Just to be clear, I'm talking about the search results page not on a book page. This is when you go to Amazon.com and search for "Cassandra Clare" or whatever and it comes back with book suggestions. It's one of the best places to have your ads show because it looks like part of the search results and so people think your book is what they were looking for. Problem is, they used to show two or three of these Sponsored Ads at the bottom of each page of search results, but today I saw my Sponsored Ad as the first result and my normal book listing as the second result. No reason for someone to click on the second result, which is free, so I end up paying for people to go to my book when they would've done so for free if that ad wasn't the first entry.

    I'm not sure I understand this and I wonder why. It suddenly dawned on me though, that maybe it's because my book is not part of a list whatsoever. I've often wondered about this. When it's searched it shows up alone. It's in a deep dark dungeon all by itself. And when I have an ad, it's my book and my sponsored ad. Of course this way it will never be seen. Doesn't stop my irritation as to where the sponsored ad is placed.

    Offline katherinef

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #92 on: October 29, 2017, 03:23:36 pm »
    I wish I didn't see them, but they're somehow getting through AdBlock (without book covers). If anyone knows what I need to do to block them completely like the ones in search results, let me know. Never mind. I think I got rid of them. ;D
    « Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 04:48:46 pm by katherinef »
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    Offline Kay7979

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #93 on: October 31, 2017, 07:39:31 am »
    When I went in to create a new ad, I see no place to write the ad text. The steps seem to bypass writing the ad. Am I blind, or is something screwed up?

    Offline Kay7979

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #94 on: October 31, 2017, 08:33:50 am »
    It should be the last thing you do, at the very end. (I believe. I didn't log in to double check.)

    That's what I thought. But after the section for adding the keywords the choices are cancel, save as draft, or launch campaign. I have no campaign unless they let me write the ad.

    Edited to ad that I just tried doing the "copy" function, and once I put at least one keyword in the box, it brought up the screen with my former ad copy. I altered the ad and hit "launch campaign."
    « Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 08:53:40 am by Kay7979 »

    Offline amdonehere

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #95 on: October 31, 2017, 08:38:55 am »
    Have you guys noticed that the book covers of the SP ads are now the same size as the Also-Bots? The SP ad covers are much clearer now too.

    Offline Laran Mithras

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #96 on: October 31, 2017, 03:19:18 pm »
    Have you guys noticed that the book covers of the SP ads are now the same size as the Also-Bots? The SP ad covers are much clearer now too.
    Amazon increased the size on almost everything 10% just a day or two ago.

    Offline Philip Gibson

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #97 on: October 31, 2017, 06:31:27 pm »
    Edited to ad that I just tried doing the "copy" function, and once I put at least one keyword in the box, it brought up the screen with my former ad copy. I altered the ad and hit "launch campaign."

    I've never used the copy function so that is interesting.

    So when we use the "Copy" function, we can change the keywords and ad text.

    Is there any part we can't change?  Like overall keyword bid for example?

    Philip

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    Offline Megan Crewe

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #98 on: October 31, 2017, 08:31:05 pm »
    FYI, I had read in at least one AMS thread here that pre-order purchases don't show up on the AMS dashboard. That's not true anymore, at least. I've had a Sponsored Product ad running on a (pen name) pre-order for the last five days, and the dashboard started showing an Est. Total Sales number a couple days ago. And the keywords the sales are attributed to match the Also Boughts now showing for the book, so the reporting seems to be accurate.

    For this experiment, I can also say that it is sometimes worthwhile to run AMS ads on a pre-order. My main goal was to populate Also Boughts with good comp titles ahead of release. I was prepared to take a somewhat sizeable financial hit in exchange. But it looks like the ads are pretty close to paying for themselves. And this is on a full-priced title with no advance reviews yet. (I'm sending out ARCs this week and will be curious to see if that seems to increase the ROI.) So I'm paying very little and getting my book positioned well before it's even out. Win-win!

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    Offline Kay7979

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #99 on: November 01, 2017, 07:42:02 am »
    I've never used the copy function so that is interesting.

    So when we use the "Copy" function, we can change the keywords and ad text.

    Is there any part we can't change?  Like overall keyword bid for example?

    Philip

    No, you can change keyword bids too. Give it a try, if only as an experiment. You can save it as a draft if you don't want to actually launch a new campaign.

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