Author Topic: A New AMS Thread  (Read 102042 times)  

Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #850 on: August 18, 2018, 11:36:39 am »
Maybe having at least a review matters, but how many people look to see total number of reviews unless they're on the fence about making the purchase?

Both books have 0 reviews right now - I suspect that even just a handful would make a difference. I booked a slot with Hidden Gems but their schedule was filled up all the way until March  :o

I also did a big promotion campaign (which cost 800$ for both books together  :'( ) but there weren't enough sales to break into the superhero top 100 except once, briefly, on the very last day. 15-20 sales per book a day barely allowed me to float in the 15-20K rank range for a few days. So there was no lasting effect, and I can't count on sales to generate reviews.

I hear you about the possible disconnect, though. I didn't think there was one, but... hm. I could be missing something. Thanks, at any rate!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 11:39:30 am by C. Rysalis »

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    Offline sailingthevoid

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #851 on: August 19, 2018, 04:25:15 pm »
    Folks,

    It's *extremely* early days in my AMS experience, so probably far too early to be drawing any conclusions - but I thought I might share my initial results in the hope that those of you with more ads under your belts might spot any red flags and suggest a course correction before my ad spend gets out of hand! Without further ado:

    Background:
    I have a three-book space opera/sci fi adventure series. 1 and 2 were published about five years ago, then I took a break from writing, got back to it, and released book 3 just last week. In that time sales had dropped to absolute zero, with me doing no promotion. Good ad baseline! 1 and 2 are $4.99, 3 is at $2.99 for the launch. They're all in KU, with zero page reads before my AMS experiment.

    Ads:
    • I read Cassie's AMS book and this thread and decided to dive into AMS. I've set up an SP ad for each book.
    • I created a list of ~750 keywords, by gathering common Kindle store searches on 'space opera X' and 'sci fi Y', and by scraping Goodreads 'top space opera' lists for author and book names.
    • For per keyword CPC bids, I went with KDP's recommendations. This gave me a huge range from $0.06 for some authors up to about $1.26 for 'sci fi adventure'  :o
    • I initially set a $5 per ad per day limit, but the ads blew through that in half a day. So I've upped my budget to $10 for each ad, which so far has lasted until ~11pm. I can just about afford to experiment with this for a while.
    Results so far:
    Okay, so it's literally been two days. I told you it was extremely early! But the results so far aren't quite what I was expected, so I'm wondering if I've gone awry.

    Book   /  Imp   /  Click   / aCPC   /  Spend    / Sales  / KENP
    Book 1: 56,438   37   $0.55   $20.32             4            182
    Book 2: 89,115   44   $0.58   $25.40             0             0
    Book 3: 56,132   29   $0.48   $14.04              2             0

    Thoughts:
    • I've got way more impressions than I expected to get. Yay? But not the 1:1000 click/impression or better ratio that this thread talks about. More like 1:1800 or 1:2000.
    • My aCPC is a bit higher than I expected too, but the figures above are actually trending down - they were all in the $0.62 to $0.91 range for most of yesterday.
    • Being in KU makes effect very tricky to judge, doesn't it? I've got six sales from 112 clicks, which is about 1:18, but clearly at least one borrow of book 1. Could be ten borrows, or fifty. Or two  :)

    So far all I've done to adjust is pause a few keywords that had 3000+ impressions but no clicks, which were fantasy authors that shouldn't have been in my list in the first place. Any and all feedback greatly welcomed, including telling me I just need to leave the ads to settle down for a couple of weeks!

    Cheers!
    Dan
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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #852 on: August 19, 2018, 04:54:29 pm »
    Folks,

    It's *extremely* early days in my AMS experience, so probably far too early to be drawing any conclusions - but I thought I might share my initial results in the hope that those of you with more ads under your belts might spot any red flags and suggest a course correction before my ad spend gets out of hand!

    A few thoughts...

    First, I ignore AMS's recommended bids. Nothing trumps my own data.

    Second, I'm constantly looking for ways to expand my keyword territory so I can exploit opportunities missed by others.

    Third, if I wrote series, I'd figure out the percentage of people who buy and read through it.

    Fourth, I'm always testing copy and keywords. For example, I created 140 campaigns this morning for one book, mostly for testing purposes. I bid high and gather data quickly.

    Fifth, I follow 20+ (self-imposed) rules whenever I audit my campaigns. These rules simplify decisions. They address impressions, clicks, conversions, bids, etc. I strongly suggest coming up with a set of rules to guide your audits.

    You'll hear a lot of specific advice, such as "you need to convert 1:8," "if you don't get 1 click per 1,000 impressions, terminate the keyword", etc. Personally, I ignore that advice. I'm not saying you should do likewise. But keep in mind, there are many approaches to AMS. When you find one that works for you, hit it hard.

    Good hunting!

    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

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    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #853 on: August 19, 2018, 05:37:05 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, 11:52:44 am by Cassie Leigh »

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    Offline Einnie

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #854 on: August 20, 2018, 12:50:18 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.

    I've had the same problem. My one ad had 150k impressions and 270 clicks... but only 4 sales, 3 of them were... paperbacks?  :o

    My KU page read changes from day to day so I don't know what's influencing that. It could be that it's still a new book.

    Real head scratcher.

    I do have 7 reviews now. They're not all 5 stars, but they're all positive. I haven't seen any change in sales since the reviews started coming in. I'm assuming the reviews came from the free promotion I ran.

    I've paused the ad, copied the entire thing (it has around 500 keywords), and slapped on it a new ad copy just to see if that changes things up a bit.

    It's really annoying that there isn't a more effective way to test an ad copy, I tried dividing my keywords into subjects and then tailoring an ad copy according to the subject. But then those ads simply wouldn't run. I waited 10 days, tried to raise the bids, but again, nothing.

    Offline sailingthevoid

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #855 on: August 20, 2018, 04:29:20 am »
    First, I ignore AMS's recommended bids. Nothing trumps my own data.

    Second, I'm constantly looking for ways to expand my keyword territory so I can exploit opportunities missed by others.

    Third, if I wrote series, I'd figure out the percentage of people who buy and read through it.

    Fourth, I'm always testing copy and keywords. For example, I created 140 campaigns this morning for one book, mostly for testing purposes. I bid high and gather data quickly.

    Fifth, I follow 20+ (self-imposed) rules whenever I audit my campaigns. These rules simplify decisions. They address impressions, clicks, conversions, bids, etc. I strongly suggest coming up with a set of rules to guide your audits.

    You'll hear a lot of specific advice, such as "you need to convert 1:8," "if you don't get 1 click per 1,000 impressions, terminate the keyword", etc. Personally, I ignore that advice. I'm not saying you should do likewise. But keep in mind, there are many approaches to AMS. When you find one that works for you, hit it hard.

    Good hunting!

    Super, thank you!

    For me that level of clicks per impressions would signal something isn't working with your targeting versus your cover and ad copy. That's probably going to lead to the ad falling off and no longer delivering that high number of impressions not to mention the cost. Your average cost per click is a little higher than I like to see on my own ads. If you were getting good sales at that level I'd say continue on with that but you're not. I'd also probably try to back off and just advertise book 1 right now.

    Great stuff, thanks!
    The Unity Sequence

    Offline chrisanthemum7

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #856 on: August 20, 2018, 09:28:27 am »
    I don't know what happened, but it seems like ever since I tried to make a FB ad at the beginning of this month, I have been completely shut out of AMS's good graces. I started to get "sticky", to the point where my daily ad budget was also decreasing while my rank stayed the same. When I tried to add momentum by putting the budget I wasn't using into FB ads, instantly, the book plummeted, and my ads seemed to become ineffective overnight, and this just two weeks after a book release. I tried to give the FB ads a chance, but after a few days things were still slow going while my book was dying on Amazon. My CTR on FB was 10% but my relevance score never got past 3, and nothing seemed to be converting into sales. I've never seen anything like it. It sounds crazy, but it feels like I'm on some kind of list of problematic people or something. Nothing I've done in the past works or even makes sense. I just wish I would've rode the wave til the end and not tried to change the formula at all, then I would know for sure that it's me and not the system. But I'm literally afraid to use FB ads for any reason. I've got a little $ 3/day promo running for my FB page getting good results, but I'm tempted to shut that off too for fear that it's somehow related. I put all three of my books in KU in a panic. I had one great month and now it's like all three books are lumps of coal??? I could jack up the bid even more on a $.99 book, but I simply can't afford to advertise it well enough to just get it back to the visibility it was getting just three weeks ago. I used a free day yesterday and got higher in the Free Ranks than I ever have, then I wake up and my book is already back to where it was before the promo. It's like it became invisible. It makes no bloody sense.
       
     
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    Offline Jena H

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #857 on: August 22, 2018, 02:19:34 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.

    The PD ad referred to above was due to expire later this week, but I terminated it today.  It was a complete flop.  Which is okay, since as scientists say, "even negative results are results."  Of course, if there really are two types of PD ads, maybe I should look into the other one.  How does one distinguish or choose between the two, I wonder....
    Jena

    Offline MichaelRyan

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #858 on: August 22, 2018, 04:34:28 pm »
    Of course, if there really are two types of PD ads, maybe I should look into the other one.  How does one distinguish or choose between the two, I wonder....

    There's product target ads where you stick in products like keywords essentially.
    There's "interest" ads where you choose from a drop down:  Literature: Coming of Age (for an example, I don't know if that one exists, but the terms are broad not narrow).


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    Offline C. Rysalis

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #859 on: August 22, 2018, 05:05:47 pm »
    I've had the same problem. My one ad had 150k impressions and 270 clicks... but only 4 sales, 3 of them were... paperbacks?  :o

    My KU page read changes from day to day so I don't know what's influencing that. It could be that it's still a new book.

    Real head scratcher.

    I do have 7 reviews now. They're not all 5 stars, but they're all positive. I haven't seen any change in sales since the reviews started coming in. I'm assuming the reviews came from the free promotion I ran.

    I've paused the ad, copied the entire thing (it has around 500 keywords), and slapped on it a new ad copy just to see if that changes things up a bit.

    It's really annoying that there isn't a more effective way to test an ad copy, I tried dividing my keywords into subjects and then tailoring an ad copy according to the subject. But then those ads simply wouldn't run. I waited 10 days, tried to raise the bids, but again, nothing.

    Thanks for sharing... this sounds very strange, even if we take borrows into account.

    Small update: an author friend of mine is running a Facebook ad for Superluminary and it's way, WAY more cost effective than AMS. It's so effective (at 5$ a day) that I'm making a profit on the first book alone.  :o

    Olivia Rising

    Offline Jena H

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #860 on: August 22, 2018, 05:36:43 pm »
    There's product target ads where you stick in products like keywords essentially.
    There's "interest" ads where you choose from a drop down:  Literature: Coming of Age (for an example, I don't know if that one exists, but the terms are broad not narrow).

    I honestly don't remember what choosing interest-based targeting entailed.  But I think you're right, and the categories are very broad.  Which means you might as well stand in the food court of the nearest mall (because people are there to buy something, after all) and hawk your book that way.    ::)
    Jena

    Offline MichaelRyan

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #861 on: August 22, 2018, 06:11:10 pm »
    I honestly don't remember what choosing interest-based targeting entailed.  But I think you're right, and the categories are very broad.  Which means you might as well stand in the food court of the nearest mall (because people are there to buy something, after all) and hawk your book that way.    ::)

    Perhaps, but some of the categories are things like "dystopian" and while that can range from Handmaid's Tale to The Walking Dead...it's still narrow enough that you can find readers crossing over inside that and "apocalypse" for instance.

    The category "mystery" on the other hand seems way too broad, but you can also narrow down some of this to things like "kidnapping" or other crime related topics.

    It's definitely going to result in worse CTR than the narrow stuff, but at the right bid price, it could still be profitable, presumably.

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    Offline Nobody222

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #862 on: August 23, 2018, 02:34:20 am »
    Is anyone here using Headline ads? How have they treated you? They are very expensive, but they definitely highlight the books on the AMZ's search engine.

    Offline Lennon

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #863 on: August 23, 2018, 07:15:43 am »
    They added it within the last week along with the option of using more types of keywords and getting keyword bid suggestions and keyword suggestions when starting a new Sponsored Product ad.

    For my high bid ads I'm not going to use it because that 50% is a lot. For low bid ads I have. But really in the US you should already be bidding where you were willing to pay because it's a mature market. (In the UK on the other hand I have it turned on for all my ads because I bid lower than I am willing to pay.)

    How are you advertising in the US and UK? Has something changed recently where US authors can do AMS ads in the UK? Or is there some kind of work around?

    Online Carol (was Dara)

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #864 on: August 24, 2018, 12:45:07 am »
    I have a silly technical question I'm hoping somebody knows a solution to. When I create a Sponsored Product campaign (under  the new dashboard) and select Manual Targeting, I upload a file of keywords. Even though I enter a Default Keyword Bid, the keyword boxes next to each individual keyword turn red and leave me unable to launch the campaign until I type a custom bid into the boxes opposite every individual keyword. Apparently, they want to override my default bid, even though I don't want them to.

    I was setting up a lot of ads tonight, with 100+ keywords for each, and the repetitive motion of copy/pasting the (same) bid I wanted into each separate box killed my wrist and took an eternity. I really feel like there must be an Apply to All option but the only one I'm seeing is for Suggested Bid, which I don't want to use. Is there some way I can avoid having to enter custom bids into every individual keyword box? It sounds like a whiny problem but my wrist and elbow are aching so badly after hundreds of copy/pastes, I can hardly type anymore. Surely there's some work-around I'm just not seeing, because I'm obviously not doing this as intended? I know that lots of authors with dozens of ads upload keyword files, but I'm sure they aren't copy/pasting their bids thousands of times?

    Offline Parker Rimes

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #865 on: August 25, 2018, 07:33:22 pm »
    They added it within the last week along with the option of using more types of keywords and getting keyword bid suggestions and keyword suggestions when starting a new Sponsored Product ad.

    For my high bid ads I'm not going to use it because that 50% is a lot. For low bid ads I have. But really in the US you should already be bidding where you were willing to pay because it's a mature market. (In the UK on the other hand I have it turned on for all my ads because I bid lower than I am willing to pay.)

    I haven't actually noticed Amazon utilizing it yet, I bid low most of the time although I'm going to experiment with doubling the daily spend, or higher, to tie in with other promos being launched.


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    Offline Simon Haynes

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #866 on: August 26, 2018, 02:31:08 am »
    I am at the point of giving up on AMS. As a number have people have said, I have no clue what is going on with it but at the moment, it simply is not giving me sales.

    Same. It's took much of a black box.

    The UK AMS site has definitely brought in sales, and my US AMS ads work on and off, but compared to Facebook and Bookbub CPC advertising the system is a complete mess.

    Perhaps it works better for people in KU, but I'm wide and so it makes sense for me to spend my ad dollars where I can reach a bigger audience, and have them buy my works from their chosen bookstore.

    Believe it or not, my number one complaint about AMS is that I can't hide or delete all the unused and terminated ads. The clutter drives me crazy, and prevents me creating more ads because the old ones still linger. Call it a mental issue or whatever you want, but I want to start with a clean slate, see only the ads I'm running, and nothing else. (I know I can sort the list, but that's not the point.)


     

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    Offline Jena H

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #867 on: August 26, 2018, 05:26:49 am »
    Great, I'm just thinking of starting another ad, and everyone else is giving up.   ???   Just my luck!

    Specifically, I was wondering whether I should copy a previous ad that did pretty well (relatively speaking), or start a new one from scratch, using many of the same keywords and even maybe the same text as the previous ad.

    But now I'm not sure if I should even bother.   (The bad thing is, this book doesn't qualify for a lot of other ad sites, so AMS was my safest--and least expensive--bet.)
    Jena

    Offline Simon Haynes

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #868 on: August 26, 2018, 05:41:29 am »
    Well if everyone gives up it'll leave the field wide open for you ;-)
     

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    Offline Jena H

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #869 on: August 26, 2018, 06:34:44 am »
    Well if everyone gives up it'll leave the field wide open for you ;-)

    Yes, that thought had occurred to me....    ;)
    Jena

    Offline DrewMcGunn

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #870 on: August 26, 2018, 07:07:23 am »
    I wonder if other people are experiencing a problem I've noticed lately.

    Before the new change in the way we can now see the bid averages for keywords, my aCPC was about 1/2 of my max bid. Now on popular keywords (book, book, book as an example), I'm at 80% of max. On popular authors in my genre, I'm over 90% of max.

    I'm definitely spending more per click than I was a month ago.

    According to the AMS  dashboard, I haven't created an add with an aCOS below 100% since April. I'm in KU, and around 1/2 my income comes from that, plus 3 out of 4 people who buy book 1 go on to buy book 2, so my readthrough gives me more flexibility than some have. I have a fairly high confidence I'm making money with my ads, but I detest the opacity of AMS.
    I do not accept nor do I consent to KBoards/VerticalScope's Terms of Service which were implemented without proper notification. I reserve all rights to my content under Title 17 of the United States Code. If VirticalScope or its successors do not delete this account then by permitting it to remain on the forum, they are agreeing to my terms.  My content is exclusively my own and may not be used to market or derive income from the content shared. Disputes between me and VirticalScope and its successors will be resolved by the laws of the state of Texas.
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    Online Anarchist

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #871 on: August 26, 2018, 07:34:07 am »
    I wonder if other people are experiencing a problem I've noticed lately.

    Before the new change in the way we can now see the bid averages for keywords, my aCPC was about 1/2 of my max bid. Now on popular keywords (book, book, book as an example), I'm at 80% of max. On popular authors in my genre, I'm over 90% of max.

    I'm definitely spending more per click than I was a month ago.

    According to the AMS  dashboard, I haven't created an add with an aCOS below 100% since April. I'm in KU, and around 1/2 my income comes from that, plus 3 out of 4 people who buy book 1 go on to buy book 2, so my readthrough gives me more flexibility than some have. I have a fairly high confidence I'm making money with my ads, but I detest the opacity of AMS.

    There's a lot of stupid money in AMS right now. That's due, in part, to AMS's suggested bid of $0.75.

    Lots of authors using AMS's suggested bid as a guide are probably going to go belly up in the next three months. That bid price is unsustainable for authors who lack big backlists, big mailing lists, and/or big advertising budgets.

    Another problem is that authors are bidding on the same keyword territory. But that's a whole 'nuther story.





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    Offline DrewMcGunn

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #872 on: August 26, 2018, 07:59:31 pm »
    There's a lot of stupid money in AMS right now. That's due, in part, to AMS's suggested bid of $0.75.

    Lots of authors using AMS's suggested bid as a guide are probably going to go belly up in the next three months. That bid price is unsustainable for authors who lack big backlists, big mailing lists, and/or big advertising budgets.

    Another problem is that authors are bidding on the same keyword territory. But that's a whole 'nuther story.

    I've read your thoughts on how you set up keywords, and I'd love to see under the hood of that car. ;D
    I do not accept nor do I consent to KBoards/VerticalScope's Terms of Service which were implemented without proper notification. I reserve all rights to my content under Title 17 of the United States Code. If VirticalScope or its successors do not delete this account then by permitting it to remain on the forum, they are agreeing to my terms.  My content is exclusively my own and may not be used to market or derive income from the content shared. Disputes between me and VirticalScope and its successors will be resolved by the laws of the state of Texas.
    By leaving my account intact, VirticleScope and its successors agrees to these terms. These terms supersede and replace VirticleScope's terms of use. If VerticleSpace doesn't agree to these terms, they have my permission to wipe my account, which must include any and all backups.

    Offline botolo

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #873 on: August 26, 2018, 09:01:11 pm »
    Hello Friends,

    I wonder if you can help me understand what is going on with AMS. I am promoting my wife's most recent book, Frozen Butterflies. I am targeting some authors and book titles that are in the same category as my wife's book and are in the top seller list.

    I started two campaigns, one for paperback and one for Kindle, same keywords. On day one I was super happy, I got 4 ebook sales and 1 paperback.

    Now on day 2 and 3 (Saturday and Sunday) zero sales, with clicks that continue to grow. It seems like people suddenly stopped buying while continuing clicking. Here are, for example, the keywords and analytics for the Kindle edition (I am listing only keywords that are producing clicks):

    gillian flynn - 9,393 impressions - 10 clicks - $0.84 ACPC - $10.49 sales (which is also weird, the book is $4.99)
    emily giffin - 3,517 impressions - 6 clicks - $0.77 ACPC - $4.99 sale
    anne tyler - 4,120 impressions - 5 clicks - $0.51 ACPC - zero sales
    the woman in the window - 1,253 impressions - 4 clicks - $0.88 ACPC - zero sales
    andrew sean greer - 3,975 impressions - 3 clicks - $0.44 ACPC - zero sales

    What's your opinion?

    Offline Decon

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    Re: A New AMS Thread
    « Reply #874 on: August 27, 2018, 01:14:16 am »
    Click Credit for Advertising - July 2018 ($1.72): $0.00 to use by 02/27/2019

    Anyone got the above on their billing dashboard?

    Thing is it says "click for credit" but there is nowhere to click. Below that is a box for a promotional code?????


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