Author Topic: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?  (Read 911 times)  

Offline Redgum

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Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
« on: August 20, 2019, 07:55:18 pm »
A quick question here about Amazon Marketing Services. I have used this in the past many time, but always found the results are not great, i.e., sales not noticeably higher than other novels not being promoted in this way. However, I have recently seen two or three debut titles from unknown writers go almost immediately into the Top 100 (UK Amazon). Online research brings nothing up for these titles (digital booksellers, Facebook, Twitter etc), and Top 100 means very hefty daily sales, perhaps in the hundreds, which isn't happening to unknown authors. This leads me to think that they are putting $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ into an AMS campaign, and I wondered - those who *have* had success with this, how much did it cost? What is the threshold where AMS really starts delivering results?

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    Offline Redgum

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #1 on: August 25, 2019, 07:18:18 pm »
    A quick question here about Amazon Marketing Services. I have used this in the past many time, but always found the results are not great, i.e., sales not noticeably higher than other novels not being promoted in this way. However, I have recently seen two or three debut titles from unknown writers go almost immediately into the Top 100 (UK Amazon). Online research brings nothing up for these titles (digital booksellers, Facebook, Twitter etc), and Top 100 means very hefty daily sales, perhaps in the hundreds, which isn't happening to unknown authors. This leads me to think that they are putting $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ into an AMS campaign, and I wondered - those who *have* had success with this, how much did it cost? What is the threshold where AMS really starts delivering results?

    Anyone have any success with AMS?

    Offline EmberKent

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #2 on: August 25, 2019, 07:38:57 pm »
    You may want to rephrase the question. AMS does work, and it works very well for the right book with the right keyword, investment, and audience. Some of that boils down to luck, some to timing, and some to good old fashioned marketing chops.

    The answer to your question is a fairly simple and vague "yes." Now, asking about the difference between a bad ad campaign and a good ad campaign... that's more of a challenge -- and I think you'll find a few different answers to that question as well, even between similarly successful authors.

    Off-hand, though, I can say that simply throwing money at AMS won't guarantee results, even marginal ones. Pouring $400 into a bad campaign won't yield a good return simply because you invested $400.

    Offline Tilly

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #3 on: August 25, 2019, 08:54:10 pm »
    Yes it works. Like any form of advertising it requires a bit of patience and testing to find the right keywords that deliver results. If your ad is getting clicks and no sales (or borrows for KU titles) then you have a conversion issue and something on the book page is stopping the sale.

    Offline Jena H

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #4 on: August 26, 2019, 04:07:58 am »
    Ditto what others have said.  It *can* work well, with the correct keywords, bids, book, etc.  My own ads aren't spectacularly successful (currently not so much, but in the past, more so), but I continue to tweak keywords and bids, and also, I realize that such things can be cyclical.

    Also, there's also the fact that I either can't (due to qualifications) or won't (due to cost) use most other book marketing platforms.

    As for the top-selling books you mention...  there may be other factors involved that you're not aware of which are driving the sales.  It's hard to tell and unfortunately, you may never know what an author has done or how he/she has garnered sales.
    Jena

    Offline Diana Kimpton

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #5 on: August 26, 2019, 11:21:39 am »
    I've tried AMS ads for "Plots and Plotting" but found the keywords I need to use are so expensive that it's difficult to make a campaign cost effective. Also, I'm aware that when I'm shopping on Amazon I find the sponsored ads rather irritating and tend to ignore them.

    I'm going to try a Bookbub ad soon as I do buy from those and you can target them very precisely.


    Author of more than 40 books and several scripts. Writes for adults as well as children.
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    Offline Corvid

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #6 on: August 26, 2019, 11:47:04 am »
    I've just posted something similar in another thread, but I'm thinking AMS probably doesn't really make sense as an investment unless you have a series of three books - or ideally - even longer, so you can achieve that sell-through. At this point, I'm not even certain it'd be worth me spending any money on ads unless I have a series featuring one character that spans 5 books or more. I will admit though, the business end of writing is not my strong suit, so I could stand to be corrected on this.


    Offline Jena H

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #7 on: August 26, 2019, 12:12:40 pm »
    I've tried AMS ads for "Plots and Plotting" but found the keywords I need to use are so expensive that it's difficult to make a campaign cost effective. Also, I'm aware that when I'm shopping on Amazon I find the sponsored ads rather irritating and tend to ignore them.

    I'm going to try a Bookbub ad soon as I do buy from those and you can target them very precisely.

    I usually don't come near to the "suggested bid" for keywords.  I tweak my keyword bids up or down--by a cent or two--every week or so, but still, I don't bother with their "suggestions."   ::)

    Also, I have a relatively low daily budget, which keeps the costs down.  If your budget maxes out one day or another, it's not that big a deal.
    Jena

    Online alhawke

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #8 on: August 26, 2019, 01:03:13 pm »
    I have all but given up on AMS. I have had much better luck with Bookbub ads, though I have to make my own creative if I want to get the most clicks (the ad art can be fun, but, like Kboards  ;), can take time away from writing). Everybody's different, but I haven't had much luck despite researching matching authors, titles and keywords through AMS.

    Incidentally, I just got an email this morning saying that Goodreads was ending their advertising service.


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    Offline Flying Pizza Pie

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #9 on: August 26, 2019, 01:47:34 pm »
    I've come to the realization that only one of my series and one of my stand alone books make real headway with AMS. With that in mind, I'm going to say (regarding my own books only):

    Only the best work makes money in the long run with AMS. But keep in mind that what you consider the best cover, blurb, intro, and story may not be what the masses consider the best.

    Even a stand-alone can make money with AMS.

    If a book isn't selling there are many reasons why, but if the cover and blurb are good and there's some advertising going on, it's the story. And that means the writing is bad.

    For more detail:

    I have a stand-alone non-fiction that sells 100+ copies per month (paperback and Ebook) plus page reads when I spend $100 a month in advertising. It sells half that when I don't and I'm afraid if I stop it will dwindle to nothing  :o

    I have a stand-alone fiction that has similar stats with/without advertising.

    I have a series of four books that is dead in the water with/without advertising.

    I have a series of three books that sells moderately without, but sells more than 100 copies of each monthly with $200 in AMS.

    I have six fiction books that sell almost the same whether I advertise or not - all wide.

    I have seven other books that are all stand-alone, some fiction, some non, and they are dead in the water with/without advertising.

    You can't sell a dead horse, but you can ride a long way on a live one.

    I sleep just fine knowing that about 50% of my work (yeah, including my ghostwriting) doesn't sell well enough to support me. It's the average that counts, so don't quit after your first attempt. You never know when you'll do your best work, or when your best work will sell.





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    Offline Redgum

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #10 on: August 27, 2019, 07:40:35 pm »
    Thanks to all for taking the time to reply. I'm hopeless with the marketing side of things, and get along by being very prolific, but it seems to me drawing more people into a series would be a very good use of ad resources, if only I knew how to do it better. What impact does "tweaking" keywords and bids have? In the past I have used A LOT of keywords but I'm not sure if this better than going narrow and being more focused, especially when using similar authors' names/books as keywords.

    Offline D. A. J. F.

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    Re: Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
    « Reply #11 on: August 27, 2019, 09:04:41 pm »
    I've come to the realization that only one of my series and one of my stand alone books make real headway with AMS. With that in mind, I'm going to say (regarding my own books only):

    Only the best work makes money in the long run with AMS. But keep in mind that what you consider the best cover, blurb, intro, and story may not be what the masses consider the best.

    Even a stand-alone can make money with AMS.

    If a book isn't selling there are many reasons why, but if the cover and blurb are good and there's some advertising going on, it's the story. And that means the writing is bad.

    For more detail:

    I have a stand-alone non-fiction that sells 100+ copies per month (paperback and Ebook) plus page reads when I spend $100 a month in advertising. It sells half that when I don't and I'm afraid if I stop it will dwindle to nothing  :o

    I have a stand-alone fiction that has similar stats with/without advertising.

    I have a series of four books that is dead in the water with/without advertising.

    I have a series of three books that sells moderately without, but sells more than 100 copies of each monthly with $200 in AMS.

    I have six fiction books that sell almost the same whether I advertise or not - all wide.

    I have seven other books that are all stand-alone, some fiction, some non, and they are dead in the water with/without advertising.

    You can't sell a dead horse, but you can ride a long way on a live one.

    I sleep just fine knowing that about 50% of my work (yeah, including my ghostwriting) doesn't sell well enough to support me. It's the average that counts, so don't quit after your first attempt. You never know when you'll do your best work, or when your best work will sell.

    Wow.

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