Author Topic: A New AMS Thread  (Read 102040 times)  

Offline khotisarque

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #825 on: August 11, 2018, 09:07:43 am »

Plus, I came upon a book the other day that had 166 pages of sponsored ads featured beneath it. I ask you, who scrolls past the first 5 to 10 pages? I mean if you are displayed on page 144, who cares?


As you say, these low placements are worthless, but since they generate no clicks they are also free.  If AMS ran an honest auction, by which I mean a limited number of slots and highest bidders get them, the whole process would be more transparent.  But their meddling by judging 'appropriateness' and their perception of 'historic effectiveness' and their own erratic sales attributions distorts the auction process.

I guess Ammie no longr sends their A team to the book department.
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    Offline khotisarque

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #826 on: August 11, 2018, 09:16:52 am »
    Out of curiosity, has anyone else been excommunicated from AMS for alleged failure to pay a bill?  I got an e-mail from AMS saying something [undefined] had prevented an automatic payment.  Their bill had never been presented for payment; had it been it would have been paid.  I wrote back and AMS replied to my e-mail acknowledging that their accounting system appears to be screwed up.

    I guess it's worth what we pay for it, which is close to zero.  Chaos reigns.
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    Offline weigle1234

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #827 on: August 11, 2018, 12:06:25 pm »
    .......inching up the spend on it to see if I can scale it up.

    Auto ads (as well as with most others) can be scaled up - usually with good results.  But gradual bid increases are the right approach.  Otherwise, it is easy to get burned by being overly optimistic, by starting out with high bids.

    That approach especially applies to Product Display (PD) ads.  They usually take at least a week, or two, to gain traction.  But once they gain traction, Click rates soon begin to rapidly accelerate - entering Clicking Frenzies - where you can can get stung big time in short order if your conversion rate is poor.

    My conversion rates on SP ads are about average (e.g., 1:15).  However, the same ads run via PD have much worse conversion rates.

    A few months ago I ran 5 different PD ads with 10-Cents bids (my DIY genre has light competition).

    At about the 4-week point, they all entered Clicking Frenzies.  At the peak of their Frenzies, the ads were producing Clicks at over 30 times the rate of even my best SP ads!

    Normally, that would be great news.  However, my conversion rates were poor.  I terminated all the ads since I felt they were out of control.  I was lucky to have done that - turns out the ads were break-even at best.  They probably would have turned out to be big-time losers had I bid higher than 10-Cents.
    « Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 12:14:00 pm by weigle1234 »

    Offline weigle1234

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #828 on: August 11, 2018, 02:15:39 pm »

    (I'll admit the automatic targeting ad has a higher bid and I haven't added too many keywords to the manual targeting one, though. ;D But I don't know if that explains the noticeable higher conversion rate of the automatic one.)

    Way back when (about 18 month ago) I ran my very first ad via Auto, with 25-Cents bid.  I finally terminated the ad after a run of several months.  The ad appeared to be about break-even; because I made the mistake of believing my AMS Advertising Campaigns chart sales data; which I have found to be flaky (at best).

    The ad had garnered about 720 clicks.  Since then I have discovered that my conversion rate for that book is about 1:15.  Thus, the ad most likely produced about 48 sales.  With an average CPC of 12-Cents, the ad cost was about $86.40.  Royalty would have been about $168.00 (about $3.50 per sale) - for net of $81.60 ($168.00 - $86.40) - ROI of 94% (81.60 / 86.40).  Not bad for an ad which, according to my AMS chart data, was showing about break-even.

    Actual ROI would be even greater than 94% if Pages Read is taken into account.  I estimate that Pages Read for my books may account for only an additional 10%, since all my books are DIY.  From what I gather on various forums, Pages Read for novels is probably much higher than 10%.

    A factor in favor with Auto ads is CTR, which I have found to be almost twice that of my SP ads.


    Offline weigle1234

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #829 on: August 11, 2018, 02:51:32 pm »


    I guess it's worth what we pay for it, which is close to zero.  Chaos reigns.

    IMHO - in general, Amazon's business practices suck.  I have never seen anything like it during my 30+ years in the business world.  The decision to excommunicate you was probably made by a low-level (i.e., incompetent) rep - which is inexcusable for a company the size of Amazon.

    At the very least, the decision should have been directed to someone at a much higher level of authority (assuming even they are competent).

    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #830 on: August 14, 2018, 08:05:13 am »
    Bumping this thread just to remind folks that it exists and that posting here about AMS will help keep the overall board from devolving into tons of separate threads about AMS and will also consolidate info on AMS ads in one place for those who come along later.

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    Offline MichaelRyan

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #831 on: August 14, 2018, 11:50:07 am »
    Anybody have an advice on running Product Display ads?

    I have dozens of them going, some about 8 weeks old now, some fresher.

    I've tried narrow focus, but the only ones that seem to get clicks are the ones I allowed Zon to target automatically, and those had terrible ROI numbers.

    I've heard you can run many many of these, actually, I think in this thread somewhere Cassie said, "If I was going to use PD, I'd run a ton of ads."

    Okay, but has anyone down this with success?  And if so, does anyone mind sharing what the key is?  I've tried bidding high with a narrow target (like one author) and also with a some ads at the limit of keywords.  Nothing seems to get traction.


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    Offline randallcfloyd

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #832 on: August 14, 2018, 11:52:44 am »
    Anybody have an advice on running Product Display ads?
    Which kind of product display ads are you running? Interest ads or product ads? All of my success has come through the Product Display interest ads, and I'm only bidding between .10 and .15 per click.
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    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #833 on: August 14, 2018, 12:04:28 pm »
    Edited to say: Sorry guys. Based on new ownership at this site and their response to legitimate author concerns I've chosen to withdraw from participation here.
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 11:51:40 am by Cassie Leigh »

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #834 on: August 14, 2018, 12:06:02 pm »
    Which kind of product display ads are you running? Interest ads or product ads? All of my success has come through the Product Display interest ads, and I'm only bidding between .10 and .15 per click.

    I didn't know there were two types of PD ads.  I'm currently running one, which I assume, based on context, is a product ad.
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    Offline MichaelRyan

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #835 on: August 14, 2018, 12:38:25 pm »
    There's two options.
    Target by product, a system similar to keywords, except you have to pick an actual inventory item (the limit I believe is 750 items).

    Target by interest: Science fiction/Fantasy: Science Fiction: Dystopian for an example.

    I've tried (and am trying both).

    The broad one got me a lot of clicks, but the sales weren't high enough to justify leaving it on....and unlike SP ads or PD-specific products, you can't turn off a single item.



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    Offline MichaelRyan

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #836 on: August 14, 2018, 12:58:35 pm »
    Try changing the end date for one of the ones that isn't moving to something within the next week and see if that makes it move.

    Okay, I altered the end date to next week on four ads to see if I get some traction.

    Date Started        Impressions        Clicks
    8/3                      114                      2
    7/13                    8730                    18
    7/13                    2414                     6
    6/7                      1494                     1


    I wonder if anyone has a metric on a "good" PD ad? I mean, impressions per day?
    I have a few SP ads that were at 30K, 50K, and 70K impressions yesterday which seems like the range you've got to be in to get any decent sales.

    I've noticed on the PD ads, if I only have a small target range of products, I get no (or very little) impressions, so it's not like (seemingly) I can just have 100 PD ads each with a small target (which would seem ideal because then I could taylor the ad copy to match the target better).

    Well, speaking of metrics, what's considered a good impression count for an SP ad on a daily basis?

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    Offline randallcfloyd

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #837 on: August 14, 2018, 02:41:33 pm »
    I didn't know there were two types of PD ads.  I'm currently running one, which I assume, based on context, is a product ad.
    In order to run successful product display product ads you need to have a bunch of products together to get traction. If you are only linking to one author, and a couple of that author's books, then you aren't going to get many impressions, since there just wont be that many eyes on the products in the first place. If you have an author you're targeting, you need to target EVERYTHING that author has done, from ebooks, to audiobooks, to box sets, to hardcovers, to paperbacks, to movies.

    It will take a while to get a decent grouping of products together for your PDP ads, but short of having a high volume of products, you just aren't going to get impressions, regardless of your bid, when they aren't there to begin with.
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    Offline weigle1234

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #838 on: August 15, 2018, 07:34:13 pm »
    Try changing the end date for one of the ones that isn't moving to something within the next week and see if that makes it move.

    Per your advice, I just set the End Date for one of my latest group of 7 PD-I ads to August 23, (i.e., 8 days from now).  All ads started Running July 11, with 0 Impressions thus far.

    If doing that does not show signs of life, I will soon thereafter shoot for 5 or 6 days with another of the 7 ads.

    I have had very mixed results with PD-I ads.  Those which eventually gained traction, soon went APE (wild Clicking Frenzies) - which would have been great news, but for the fact that my Conversion Rates were poor.  (They are at least average with all my SP ads.)

    Thanks for your efforts on this forum.

    Offline weigle1234

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #839 on: August 15, 2018, 08:12:22 pm »

    I wonder if anyone has a metric on a "good" PD ad? I mean, impressions per day?


    I have run a total of less than 50 PD-I ads, only 10 of which ever gained traction.

    Those that did went APE (into Clicking Frenzies) at about the 4-week point.  The most extreme example of those 10 ads was one that produced 6,036 average daily Impressions during an interval of a just a few days - with CTR of .63%.

    My typical SP ad produces about 1,000 average daily Impressions, with CTR of .10%.

    Thus, that PD-I ad was performing at 38 times the level of my typical SP ad (6.036 x 6.3) during those few days!

    Problem was, my PD-I ads have poor conversion rates. Fortunately, I realized that the PD-I ads were out of control, and quickly terminated them.  In spite of all that I still made a few bucks (very few); nothing in line with the risks involved.

    I am convinced that the Real Money lies with PD ads, but I need to do a lot of work on improving Conversion Rates (which are decent with my SP ads).

    Offline sailingthevoid

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #840 on: August 16, 2018, 02:43:05 pm »
    Hi folks! I've just started to dip my toe into the murky, confusing waters of AMS, and I first want to thank everyone for the discussion in this thread, and especially Cassie for writing her excellent Easy AMS book. Thanks!

    So here's my fun question which I don't think has been answered in the thread - what does it mean when the dashboard shows an ad has a status of 'Daily budget spent'... but the ad has no impressions, and a Spend of $0.00?  :D

    Just Amazon wackiness?
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    Offline sailingthevoid

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #841 on: August 16, 2018, 03:22:54 pm »
    I'm going to hazard a guess and say the stats haven't caught up to the budget info. Check your KDP dashboard to see if sales have increased. Also, check the AMS Billing History to see what AMS has charged you so far.

    No sales, no billing  info :D The ad's only been up about five hours, too! I'll ignore it and assume it'll settle down tomorrow, next week, in a month... :)
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    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #842 on: August 16, 2018, 03:32:06 pm »
    Edited to say: Sorry guys. Based on new ownership at this site and their response to legitimate author concerns I've chosen to withdraw from participation here.
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 11:52:02 am by Cassie Leigh »

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    Offline sailingthevoid

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #843 on: August 16, 2018, 03:36:44 pm »
    Yeah, I've seen that happen the first day of a brand new ad when the reporting hasn't caught up. If you have enough sales to cover whatever your budget was, then you can go ahead and bump the ad to keep it running for the day. If not, it'll show your spend by sometime tomorrow. (And glad you liked the book!)

    Thanks for the input! What the heck, I'll bump it from $5 to $10 for today and see what happens. You've got to potentially spend money to potentially make money, right? :D
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    Offline Parker Rimes

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #844 on: August 17, 2018, 04:05:35 pm »
    I've only just noticed the BID + button on the Campaign Management page of my book. Is this a new thing? It allows AMS to increase my bid by 50% if they think it might send my title to the top of the search results. I'm going to to try it. Does anybody else use this?


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    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #845 on: August 17, 2018, 05:51:43 pm »
    Edited to say: Sorry guys. Based on new ownership at this site and their response to legitimate author concerns I've chosen to withdraw from participation here.
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 11:52:13 am by Cassie Leigh »

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #846 on: August 17, 2018, 07:38:20 pm »
    Interesting thing I've noticed, which really has nothing to do with our placing ads, but might have something to do with ads in general.

    My MG adventure books are available in both ebook and paperback formats.  The sponsored product ads that run with my ebook page are basically in the same vein and genre as my book; that is, geared toward kids 11-14.  However, in the page for my paperback version of the same book, the sponsored product ads are for books that look different, geared toward older kids.
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    Offline C. Rysalis

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #847 on: August 18, 2018, 07:39:23 am »
    Can anyone confirm that reviews make a large difference for the clicks to sales conversion?

    I'm getting a substantial amount of clicks per impression (sometimes as many as 1 click per 150 impressions), but they don't convert to sales. Sure, both books are in KU, but I'm not getting a significant amount of page reads either. So I suspect that the lack of reviews is scaring would-be buyers / borrowers away.

    I don't think the blurb / look inside are to blame.

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    Offline DrewMcGunn

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #848 on: August 18, 2018, 07:57:27 am »
    Can anyone confirm that reviews make a large difference for the clicks to sales conversion?

    I'm getting a substantial amount of clicks per impression (sometimes as many as 1 click per 150 impressions), but they don't convert to sales. Sure, both books are in KU, but I'm not getting a significant amount of page reads either. So I suspect that the lack of reviews is scaring would-be buyers / borrowers away.

    I don't think the blurb / look inside are to blame.

    There's been a lot of speculation on the value of reviews, but we simply don't know with any degree of certainty how interconnected reviews are to conversion of clicks in AMS.

    Do I think lots of reviews help with ads? Sure. But I can't prove it. I've looked a lot of books with lots of reviews that are sitting around the 500,000 mark. If reviews had a direct correlation, then those books would be much higher in ranking. Now, it's likely that there's no ad spend going on with those books, but it's difficult to know.

    Every reader is a bit different. When I'm looking for something to read, I'll actually look at a few of the reviews (if there are any reviews) before making a decision. Heck, I won't usually read a book that doesn't have reviews, unless it's in a series I've already started reading. There are others here that swear off reviews and want to read a book w/out looking at reviews. So, YMMV.

    If you're concerned about a lack of reviews, check your back matter and make sure there's a clear call to action at the back. Also, consider using a service like Hidden Gems. While they market it as an ARC service, I used it after my book went wide to get a few more reviews. My genre isn't well represented, so I think they sent it to 10 reviewers and I received maybe 6 reviews. For folks in Romance or Who-done-its , there are a lot more reviewers willing to review in those genres.

    I do enjoy a good thread about the social proof that reviews have... just at the moment, I'm not sure the benefit is universal.
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    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #849 on: August 18, 2018, 10:50:32 am »
    Edited to say: Sorry guys. Based on new ownership at this site and their response to legitimate author concerns I've chosen to withdraw from participation here.
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 11:52:28 am by Cassie Leigh »

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