KBoards | a community forum for Kindle Users and Authors

Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: CassieL on October 06, 2017, 11:30:24 am

Title: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 06, 2017, 11:30:24 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Michele Brouder on October 06, 2017, 11:36:23 am
That's a real good start. I'm following.

Also I just read somewhere that with Product Display, you should 'set it and forget it' and that it could take some time before you see any clicks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jacob Stanley on October 06, 2017, 11:50:58 am
Pretty much everything you've said agrees with my past experience.

I would also add one inference I've made over the last several months that may (or may not) be true... It seems like new ads tend to get a boost when you first launch them, like a trial period I guess, but that doesn't hold true if you keep launching new ads for the same book repeatedly during a short period of time. There seems to be a diminishing returns thing going on there.

And if you let an ad rest, or stop advertising a particular book for several weeks, when you start advertising again it gets another chance to be brand new.

I've also found that it's a good general practice is to try to keep Amazon's best interests in mind with your ad. Basically, they like ads that make a profit for them. So if your ad is making tons of money for you, but you're using tiny bids and getting a bad CTR, you're probably taking up valuable carousel space, and Amazon will gradually phase your ad out. But that doesn't mean small bids can't work, you just need a good CTR. Sales conversions might even factor into it as well, but it's hard to be sure.

In a weird way, keeping an ad alive and thriving is almost like caring for a plant, and it seems like over time you're fighting against a tide that slowly pushes old ads down in favor of new ads, very similar to the way new release books gradually push older books further down in the charts.

For myself, I haven't been able to achieve anything truly consistent with AMS ads. I've had some ads that did great for a long stretch, others where I lost money. Right now I'm not running any at all, but overall I've made a small profit with my Amazon ads, and I'm getting better with them.

Sometimes I feel like the rules are constantly changing. I think Amazon are still tweaking the baseline algorithm for their ads, so trying to work out a reliable strategy is equivalent to shooting at a moving target.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 on October 06, 2017, 12:01:25 pm
Thanks for summarizing results and starting a new thread.

What is your opinion of running AMS ads for more than one book in a series?

I've run an ad for book one since it launched last fall, and my CTR is not stellar. Around one click per 1500, and I have 1,000 keywords. I've run an ad consistently on book two since the launch this April, with 1000 keywords (for the most part not the same ones used for book one) and the click rate is about the same, but I get less sales attributed to this book. I recently started a new ad for book three, on preorder. Only 150 keywords so far, lol. No sales attributed to this ad yet, although my click rate is about one in 775. Maybe no one buys preorder books from relatively unknown authors via AMS? Am I wasting money running ads for all three books? With all these keywords at work, I hope to drive KU borrows if not a lot of sales.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: vvcam on October 06, 2017, 12:06:02 pm
I also read that your ad must comply with Amazon’s Book Ads Creative Acceptance Policies (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/AdProductsWebsite/downloads/Kindle_Authors_and_Book_Publishers_Creative_Acceptance_Policies.pdf) and it's better to pause than terminate an ad.

And...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on October 06, 2017, 12:08:12 pm
- 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.

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

Has anyone determined if audio-book sales are counted?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 06, 2017, 12:29:53 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gertie Kindle on October 06, 2017, 12:49:53 pm


I don't think they are. On my romance title my audiobook sales picked up while I was running AMS, but I never saw any sign that those sales were getting credited to the ads.

I just restarted an ad and have only gotten audiobook sales from it. Those sales are definitely not showing up on my AMS dashboard. At least I assume they are coming from AMS because I've been running no other ads on this book and certainly not on the audio version.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DLBarton on October 06, 2017, 12:58:24 pm
Is there a resource on how to produce a successful ad--maybe some examples? Thanks for this thread!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: scaler on October 06, 2017, 05:56:58 pm
Is there a resource on how to produce a successful ad--maybe some examples? Thanks for this thread!

Seconding this. Some screenshots of ads that have done well for people would be crazy useful.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: C. Gold on October 06, 2017, 06:34:32 pm
I got a few books that cover AMS ads.

Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author's Guide by Brian D. Meeks
Learn Amazon Ads: Use AMS to Find More Readers and Sell More Books by Mark J Dawson
How to Sell Fiction on Kindle.... Michael Alvear
Make A Killing on Kindle... Michael Alvear

And I still think getting AMS ads working is a mystical process involving sacrificial offerings and full moons.  :o
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Christopher Bunn on October 06, 2017, 09:43:29 pm
And I still think getting AMS ads working is a mystical process involving sacrificial offerings and full moons.  :o

Amen. Goats, virgins, smoking volcanoes. I'd recommend trying them all.

What are some of the best clicks-to-impressions anyone's heard? Is there such a beast as 1 click per 100 impressions?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 06, 2017, 10:23:37 pm
Excellent summary. I agree with nearly all but am not sure about this:


- 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.

I advertise Book 1.  Many customers buy all five books in the series, but I do not see this reflected on the AMS reporting, only in my KDP dashboard.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 07, 2017, 05:57:07 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 07, 2017, 07:58:44 am
What is with this "edition" keyword?

I've just started Cassie's book and notice she got a sale from the keyword "edition" .  So have I.  I think others have mentioned it, too.  I'd love to know how this comes about.  Cassie removed the keyword, as have I in the past, but maybe it's more worthwhile to keep it even though it's a head scratcher.  Same with other Amazon-suggested, but odd, keywords like "1 1".

When we set up keywords, Amazon sometimes lets apostrophes through.  Sometimes not.  I just had "now I'm reading" rejected twice, but when I submitted it as "now i'm reading" it went through.

Philip

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 07, 2017, 11:18:42 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 07, 2017, 01:23:32 pm
I figure the cover of my book still drew in potential customers even though the "edition" keyword had nothing to do with the book. Most of those bizarre keywords don't generate a lot of impressions for me, but this one had 4531 impressions by the time I shut it down and only that one click that also resulted in a sale. I personally don't like to keep any keyword going that doesn't generate at least one click per 2,500 impressions even if it's generated sales for me because I think there is a performance factor in which ads continue to run.

I suspect odd, Amazon-suggested keywords, like edition and 11, are code for something  else.  Curious to know what.

What is your view of the method of running hundreds of ads at a time?  I know this is what Mark Dawson and Brian Meeks do, but to me it is too much to track since I like to get into and alter individual ads, often at the keyword level.  I currently have 23 ads running across 3 books.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NoLongerHere on October 07, 2017, 01:37:09 pm
Bye
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 on October 07, 2017, 02:25:17 pm
I’m running an AMS Sponsored Products pre-order campaign for my Rachel Cord Mysteries collection. The campaign started Sept. 10 and runs through Oct. 15. The collection release date is Oct. 15 for regular purchase and for KU readers.

This is my first major AMS campaign. I tried it a couple times before (too timidly,  :-[ I admit) with little result. Because the collection will be available for KU, my goal is to maximize impressions (get seen as widely as possible). I think the majority of clicks I’m getting are KU readers checking it out and, hopefully, they’ll come back after the 15th.

Here’s the results of the campaign as of Oct. 7 at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with 1 week remaining:

Number of Impressions: 457,981

Number of clicks: 191 from 104 of 855 keywords with an average per click (ACPC) of $0.63.

Highest ACPC: $1.41  :o

Lowest ACPC: $0.11  :)

Highest # of Impressions is 46,038 for keyword “series.”

88 keywords have ZERO impressions; 7 are paused.

Highest # of clicks is 18 for keywords “series” and “Steven King” (a misspelling but defaults to all the Stephen King books. Which is good because the ACPC is a low $0.28, whereas keyword “Stephen King” is averaging $0.76 per click).

So far, there are 8 pre-order purchases.  8)

I’ve just added another 105 keywords for 960 total.

Thanks for sharing your data. I have an ad running on a preorder, with no sales showing on the dashboard after ten days, so I assume none of my preorders are attributable to AMS. In any case, I'm hoping as you are that KU borrowers are taking note.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 07, 2017, 02:35:47 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 07, 2017, 03:35:18 pm
I think most of the people who advocate multiple ads on a book are running Product Display ads, but I'm not 100% sure of that.

Makes sense. 

I'm half way going very slowly through your excellent AMS ads book and much appreciating it.  I have my own primitive manual system for evaluating ads' performance and only use Excel spreadsheets for downloading keywords and pasting them into new ads.  All the other columns and how to use the spreadsheets for analyses are a mystery to me.

Guess I need your Excel book too, but this bit in the book description makes me think it might be beyond me at the moment:

Quote
This guide will walk you through how to do that. It assumes you know the basics of using Excel already

I don't know the basics and only recently found the download button on my AMS dashboard.


Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 07, 2017, 04:29:50 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: amdonehere on October 07, 2017, 08:56:03 pm
Thanks Cassie for starthing this new thread!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Megan Crewe on October 08, 2017, 05:08:29 am
Has anyone found a viable way of A/B testing different ad copy? The last time I tried running ads with the same keyword targets but different text, one got all the impressions, so there was no way of telling how the others would have performed in comparison (since no one saw them). I'm assuming they were competing against each other, but it's frustrating because if I use different keywords for each, there's no way of knowing whether differences in performance are due to the targeting or the ad copy. :P
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Megan Crewe on October 08, 2017, 07:16:19 am
Meeks did A/B testing with Product Display-Interest ads. They don't compete with each other, supposedly.

That's interesting to know! I've gotten better results in general with Sponsored Product ads, so would really like to be able to do more testing with those.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: amdonehere on October 10, 2017, 11:53:47 am
KEYWORD: Paperbacks

Let's talk PBs.

When I started running AMS SP ads last year, sales of my PBs bloomed. Wayne Stinnett said the same thing on a podcast.

This year, my PB sales reverted back to before I started running SP ads -- meaning: oh yes that's cute you've got a few PB sales here and there. And I look more professional having a PB option but that's certainly no bread and butter.

I'd assumed that it was just AMS ads losing effectiveness. But it occurred to me that sometime this year, I'd also stopped Expanded Distributions because Amazon decided to show the "lowest priced" retailer instead of my CS offer, if the retailer offers a lower retail price. I make next to nothing with Expanded Distribution and that p*ssed me off. So I stopped Expanded Distribution.

Now I'm wondering, was the end of the PB bloom a result of my stopping Expanded Distribution? After all, what if ED got my book shown in a lot of platforms, but the readers realize it's cheaper to order from me through CS when taking into account the cost of shipping and handling by Expanded Distributors?

So now, I've put all my books back to ED again. Problem is, I also raised the PB price from $12.99 to $14.99. This is going directly against DWS's advice about keeping PB prices low, but I don't want to make 0-5c per book through ED.

What have been happening with you all as to PB sales? Has it slow down to a halt?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on October 10, 2017, 12:05:34 pm
KEYWORD: Paperbacks

Let's talk PBs.

When I started running AMS SP ads last year, sales of my PBs bloomed. Wayne Stinnett said the same thing on a podcast.

This year, my PB sales reverted back to before I started running SP ads -- meaning: oh yes that's cute you've got a few PB sales here and there. And I look more professional having a PB option but that's certainly no bread and butter.

I'd assumed that it was just AMS ads losing effectiveness. But it occurred to me that sometime this year, I'd also stopped Expanded Distributions because Amazon decided to show the "lowest priced" retailer instead of my CS offer, if the retailer offers a lower retail price. I make next to nothing with Expanded Distribution and that p*ssed me off. So I stopped Expanded Distribution.

Now I'm wondering, was the end of the PB bloom a result of my stopping Expanded Distribution? After all, what if ED got my book shown in a lot of platforms, but the readers realize it's cheaper to order from me through CS when taking into account the cost of shipping and handling by Expanded Distributors?

So now, I've put all my books back to ED again. Problem is, I also raised the PB price from $12.99 to $14.99. This is going directly against DWS's advice about keeping PB prices low, but I don't want to make 0-5c per book through ED.

What have been happening with you all as to PB sales? Has it slow down to a halt?
I opted out of ED a long time ago. My paperback sales did well with the AMS ads for a while, but the past few months they've died.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 10, 2017, 12:46:59 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: WyandVoidbringer on October 10, 2017, 01:22:21 pm
Is there any advantage to running multiple AMS ad campaigns for one book?

I have a single sponsored product campaign running for each of my books, and I just stuff all the keywords I can think of into those. I don't really monitor those keywords at all.

The ads themselves seem to be performing okay, based on your metrics. One is at 1 click per 331 impressions, with about 1 sale every 26 clicks, and the second is at 1 click per 399 impressions with 1 sale every 22 clicks. Both have a daily cap of $20 ad spend.

Edit: Nevermind! I read back and saw that you've already answered this question.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 10, 2017, 01:27:34 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Laran Mithras on October 10, 2017, 01:29:12 pm
Is Automatic Targeting viable instead of using manual keywords? That's where Amazon auto-targets based on product info.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on October 10, 2017, 01:35:33 pm
Sponsored Product ads (and I think others as well) is that they do interfere with one another.

Is that still the case if you have a SP ad that has reached 1,000 keywords and start a new one to add keywords to, as long as you are sure you don't duplicate keywords between the two of them?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 10, 2017, 02:04:40 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 10, 2017, 02:07:36 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 10, 2017, 03:45:46 pm
Others can chime in with their own experiences. It seems that the Product Display ads you can run more than one ad at a time and they won't interfere with one another. My experience with Sponsored Product ads (and I think others as well) is that they do interfere with one another. So if you were going to run another ad, I'd say do a Product Display ad this time around but don't run two Sponsored Product ads at the same time on the same book.

I have 3 sponsored products ads for the same book with identical keywords and bid price, but different ad copy.  Each ad gets 20-30 clicks per day.

On the other hand, I recently set up an A/B test for ad copy on a different book with identical keywords and bid price but different ad copy. Only one of the ads took off - the other got almost no impressions.

So like most things AMS, it seems the answer is - No.  Identical keywords do not compete with each other.

Except when they do.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: amdonehere on October 12, 2017, 09:18:35 am
Others can chime in with their own experiences. It seems that the Product Display ads you can run more than one ad at a time and they won't interfere with one another. My experience with Sponsored Product ads (and I think others as well) is that they do interfere with one another. So if you were going to run another ad, I'd say do a Product Display ad this time around but don't run two Sponsored Product ads at the same time on the same book.

I agree with Cassie here. Best strategy for each book is to run only 1 SP ad, but you can run multiple PD ads. Caveat: you CAN run multiple SP ads if you use different KWs for each ad. I've tried that as an experiment to see if I could get the KWs that didn't take off to get impressions with a new ad. I don't recommend doing this because it drove me crazy when I needed to check if a KW had already been used in my Ad. I used to have to only check one ad. When I had 4 SP ads going I had to check every one of them (to make sure I don't end up with competing KWs and it was the stupidest time suck.)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: amdonehere on October 12, 2017, 09:22:35 am
I'm not sure Expanded Distribution is the difference. How have the ads been performing overall?

TBH not well. But it's also because I've been way to busy to diligently tweak ads these last 2 months as I'm totally busy with other stuff. Am just now returning to tidy things up and trying some new strategy. But the PB sales died off months before that and I never figured out why, except the only thing I did differently was to turn off ED.

Quote
On my fantasy series, I had six sales of book 1 in pb last month, five the month before that, but none this month. Difference there is that the books rolled out of KU and it killed my AMS ads overall.

Are you saying that when you took the books out of KU, the AMS algo actually STOPPEd showing your Ads as frequently???!!!  OR that the KU readers stopped checking out the book after seeing the AMS ads because the book is not in KU?

Quote
But I know it's not an overall drop off in PB sales, because I launched four Excel guides last month, Excel for Beginners, Intermediate Excel, Excel for Writers, and Excel for Self-Publishers and threw AMS at them. Excel for Beginners has sold 26 copies in paperback since launch and I'd attribute almost all of those to AMS ads. (Some friends have bought the Intermediate Excel titles so harder to say there and I turned off the ads on the others when the StoryBundle started.) So AMS can still work to drive PB sales.  But that was a new release/new ad.

So once again we return to: How AMS ads work is all voodoo.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on October 12, 2017, 09:37:35 am
I agree with Cassie here. Best strategy for each book is to run only 1 SP ad, but you can run multiple PD ads. Caveat: you CAN run multiple SP ads if you use different KWs for each ad. I've tried that as an experiment to see if I could get the KWs that didn't take off to get impressions with a new ad. I don't recommend doing this because it drove me crazy when I needed to check if a KW had already been used in my Ad. I used to have to only check one ad. When I had 4 SP ads going I had to check every one of them (to make sure I don't end up with competing KWs and it was the stupidest time suck.)

I keep a master spreadsheet of keywords, sorted in alpha order so that I can check it before adding it, to prevent duplicates. You can create it by exporting the keywords in your existing SP ads and merging them. I added columns for date added and to note the ones I've paused so I don't use them again.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 12, 2017, 10:34:02 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: gilesxbecker on October 12, 2017, 07:11:35 pm
Being totally new to all this management of ads, question; when it says your daily budget is spent, does that mean that your ad campaign is suspended? I am running a SP ad with some fairly high bids to get some exposure and I have got that twice. Upped daily spend, then found that it did not have my upped amount, but the old, lower amount.
at any rate, despite higher bids I am not seeing my ads anywhere, not the PD ads either. When my daily budget is reached I am assuming that the ads stop?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: gilesxbecker on October 12, 2017, 07:12:54 pm
Or do they start up again the next day?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 12, 2017, 07:30:51 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: gilesxbecker on October 13, 2017, 07:16:48 am
When it says "daily budget spent" the ad will stop running until the next morning unless you up your budget on the ad. (I can confirm this because my romance ad did this often and I'd see a rank drop and then go to AMS and see that the ad had run out of budget for the day.)

Not sure about why you're not seeing your ads. Obviously they won't show all the time, but if the ads are active and you're bidding high you should see them either on the pages of books or authors you're bidding on or in search results for them. For PD ads, they should also be on book pages or they show up on Kindles which you probably won't see.  Also not sure why your change to your budget didn't stick unless you changed it but didn't save? I've done that with individual bids before.

Thanks Cassie, exactly what I needed to know.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on October 13, 2017, 10:36:44 am
Is Automatic Targeting viable instead of using manual keywords? That's where Amazon auto-targets based on product info.
I've had no luck with Sponsored Automatic ads. Just my experience.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on October 13, 2017, 11:04:16 am
I looked at the bizarre list of keywords that Amazon generated for an "automatic" ad and wondered why anyone would pay for that mishmosh. But, Amazon will gladly take your money.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Colin on October 13, 2017, 11:45:32 am
Thanks Cassie for starthing this new thread!

Ditto.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: JDMatheny on October 14, 2017, 12:00:19 pm
Question for those more savvy than I am, which includes anybody reading this! 

I'm currently running my first AMS ad for my debut novel.  I started the campaign on the 10th of this month and so far I have a little over 10,000 impressions but only two clicks.  My understanding is a good ad should get at least one click for every 1000 impressions.  Should I let the ad ride for a time given it's only four days in or should I consider it a failure and start over?

Thanks!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on October 14, 2017, 12:19:27 pm
Question for those more savvy than I am, which includes anybody reading this! 

I'm currently running my first AMS ad for my debut novel.  I started the campaign on the 10th of this month and so far I have a little over 10,000 impressions but only two clicks.  My understanding is a good ad should get at least one click for every 1000 impressions.  Should I let the ad ride for a time given it's only four days in or should I consider it a failure and start over?

Thanks!

Let it ride, it's too soon to make a judgment. I think the algos take some time to kick in, and Amazon's reporting is notoriously behind by days. The Product Display ads take a very long time to kick in. Sponsored product ads are preferred by most here and are definitely more active. You didn't state which one you ran. I recommend reading the previous (very) long AMS Ads thread here, at least the last year or so of posts.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: JDMatheny on October 14, 2017, 12:21:24 pm
Let it ride, it's too soon to make a judgment. I think the algos take some time to kick in, and Amazon's reporting is notoriously behind by days. The Product Display ads take a very long time to kick in. Sponsored product ads are preferred by most here and are definitely more active. You didn't state which one you ran. I recommend reading the previous (very) long AMS Ads thread here, at least the last year or so of posts.

Thanks for the response!  I ran a Sponsored product ad.  I'll work my way through the other thread, thanks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jeff DeGordick on October 14, 2017, 03:21:02 pm
Question for those more savvy than I am, which includes anybody reading this! 

I'm currently running my first AMS ad for my debut novel.  I started the campaign on the 10th of this month and so far I have a little over 10,000 impressions but only two clicks.  My understanding is a good ad should get at least one click for every 1000 impressions.  Should I let the ad ride for a time given it's only four days in or should I consider it a failure and start over?

Thanks!

I'm not savvy, but I just put up AMS ads for my first novel (in a new genre; basically a fresh start) on the 10th as well, so I'll mention my stats in case you find that useful.

I'm running both a sponsored products and a product display ad. I don't know if it's partly Amazon's reporting being slow for product display ads or not, but for my sponsored products ad, I have about 4,900 impressions, and for my product display ad I only have about 50. The latter is set to showcase on 36 books that I believe are very relevant to my book, and I have a $2.00 bid, which I think is high, but maybe it's not.

All together, though, I have just shy of 5,000 impressions and 26 clicks, which I feel is pretty good. Amazon tells me I don't have any sales yet, but my ranking has jumped up from where it started, so that's either from organic sales or maybe someone borrowed the book after seeing the ad, which Amazon doesn't report.

2 clicks for 10,000 impressions seems pretty low. That suggests to me that either the ad isn't good enough (cover and tiny blurb), or maybe you're not targeting relevant keywords. If you're getting a fair amount of clicks but no sales, it's probably a case of the blurb or start of the book not being compelling enough.

Anyway, I'm new to this too, but there's my two cents.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on October 14, 2017, 04:10:16 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: icarusxx on October 14, 2017, 04:42:31 pm
Amazon is supposed to track sales related to clicks, but how good is the tracking? I'm getting sales that don't show up in AMS even after 4 or 5 days have passed, and I am fairly certain the sales came from the advertising. So how accurate is the tracking of sales related to cliicks? Much thanks for your help.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jeff DeGordick on October 14, 2017, 06:49:35 pm
Also, Jeff, yes $2 is a very high bid. Surprised you're not getting impressions with that high a bid. (I can usually get a book running pretty well on PD display ads in the 60 cent range.) Do you by chance have the ad set to only target those specific books and not do a broad match? When I've tried that, those ads have not moved for me no matter how high I upped the bid. (But I also haven't let an ad sit for weeks like some do with PD ads, so factor that into what I just said.)

I see under my ad that "Targeted Expansion" is set to "on", if that's what you mean. I'm also surprised I'm not getting more impressions. The books I chose to advertise on are ranked in the #1,000-20,000 range, so I figured maybe I was being outbid. My two clicks show that the average CPC is $1.11, which is still quite high in my opinion, but still much lower than $2.00. It's weird, because I ran a PD ad on an old book of mine for a month about a year ago, and I only selected 12 books with an $0.80 bid, and I got 210,000 impressions.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: JDMatheny on October 14, 2017, 07:01:34 pm
Yeah, that's a click ratio of 1 to 5,000 which is not good and not likely to improve. I would look at which keywords are generating impressions and shut down the one that's doing that to your ad because my personal theory is this:

Any new ad gets a certain amount of time to run without a lot of judgement from Amazon. It's probably 5-7 days or so. Maybe less, maybe more. During that time you're establishing a track record for that ad. When that free period is up, Amazon's secondary algos kick in. If the ad isn't performing well, the ad gets shut down hard. Or it becomes much more expensive to keep it going. Establish a long enough track record of poorly targeted keywords (which I suspect is what's causing this, a popular keyword that doesn't work with your book) and it's an uphill battle to gets ads going on that book. You have to pay a lot to get movement and then it takes time to show that it isn't your book that was the problem but some badly-targeted words.

That's just based upon observation and gut feel, it could be wrong. But it does fit with the fairly widely-reported fact that SP ads run well initially but die off for a lot of people after a week or so.

Also, Jeff, yes $2 is a very high bid. Surprised you're not getting impressions with that high a bid. (I can usually get a book running pretty well on PD display ads in the 60 cent range.) Do you by chance have the ad set to only target those specific books and not do a broad match? When I've tried that, those ads have not moved for me no matter how high I upped the bid. (But I also haven't let an ad sit for weeks like some do with PD ads, so factor that into what I just said.)

Thanks for the detailed response!  It's interesting, the first ad I did for the book I left into the fourth day and ended up with about 4300 impressions and 2 clicks.  At that time I had been getting burnt out and settled for a description.  After those numbers I re-did the ad to current and created what I consider to be a stronger description, but apparently that hasn't helped.  Might have to re-work it again.

Another interesting thing, I took the advice to use all author names in the best-sellers and hot and trending in my genres.  I also included automatic keywords, one of which was "book book".  Eh, whatever.  That keyword has gotten over 2500 impressions, a quarter of my total.  It also got one click.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jeff DeGordick on October 15, 2017, 01:05:56 pm
I don't think "book book" is going to help you much. Even if you got one of your clicks from it. You're going to have tons of impressions from people who aren't looking for anything close to your book.

I wrote a haunted house book, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to use the keyword "house". Well, I got tons of impressions, but no clicks. Not surprising; I don't think people looking for home decor books want a haunted house novel.

Also, if you're having trouble getting clicks, maybe you should post the ad blurb and your cover here for people to critique. Also your keywords as well would be helpful.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: JDMatheny on October 15, 2017, 06:47:14 pm
I don't think "book book" is going to help you much. Even if you got one of your clicks from it. You're going to have tons of impressions from people who aren't looking for anything close to your book.

I wrote a haunted house book, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to use the keyword "house". Well, I got tons of impressions, but no clicks. Not surprising; I don't think people looking for home decor books want a haunted house novel.

Also, if you're having trouble getting clicks, maybe you should post the ad blurb and your cover here for people to critique. Also your keywords as well would be helpful.

Yeah, it seemed weird.  I managed to get automatic keywords in with my manual ones.  I noticed it but then figured, why not.  Guess that's the wrong attitude.  The cover is the one from my signature.  The description was hard because it's so limited on characters, here it is-

"A deadly confrontation on a remote island will lead Jacob Daniels on the run from dark spirits - but are they real or imagined?  Enter the Torchbearer."

I have about 140 keywords, without the auto ones included, and they're all authors that I got from the bestseller/hnt lists from my categories.  I've really struggled to find an author/book that are like mine.  I think I'm too picky with that and need to think more generally, but it's been a pain.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 16, 2017, 06:40:18 am
Yeah, I'd turn that "book book" one off. I had a sale off of "edition" once, but its click to impression ratio was horrible so I had to kill it.

I also tend to kill keywords that have horrible click to impression ratios (worse than 1 click per 2,000 impressions).

But then, many people point out that if a keyword is getting thousands of clicks with no or tiny numbers of clicks, where's the harm since we only pay for clicks and all those impressions are free eyeballs on our book ad even if they're not optimum eyeballs?

What is your view on that?

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on October 16, 2017, 06:54:19 am
I also tend to kill keywords that have horrible click to impression ratios (worse than 1 click per 2,000 impressions).

But then, many people point out that if a keyword is getting thousands of clicks with no or tiny numbers of clicks, where's the harm since we only pay for clicks and all those impressions are free eyeballs on our book ad even if they're not optimum eyeballs?

What is your view on that?

I know you asked Cassie, but I'll chime in to reiterate what I posted in January (https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,246409.msg3430628.html#msg3430628).

Purging low-performing keywords improves your ad's historical CTR and account's historical CTR. I suspect both are signals to AMS regarding your ads' relevance to site visitors, and will affect how frequently and prominently your ads are displayed over the long run.



Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 16, 2017, 07:39:39 am
Purging low-performing keywords improves your ad's historical CTR and account's historical CTR. I suspect both are signals to AMS regarding your ads' relevance to site visitors, and will affect how frequently and prominently your ads are displayed over the long run.

For that to be true, it would mean the algorithm evaluates not only performance of individual keywords within a campaign, but the campaign itself as a whole.  And then makes decisions/takes action based on the campaign's performance, not just the performance of individual keywords.

I don't know that we have evidence that that is the case, but meanwhile I will continue culling under-performing keywords in hopes of improving the overall performance of each campaign - something very much against the advice of Brian Meeks and many others.

Love to hear Cassie's view on how she thinks it works.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: JDMatheny on October 16, 2017, 08:11:39 am
I make no claim to being great at ad copy, but I'd tweak that to something like: "After a deadly confrontation on a remote island, Jacob Daniels is on the run from dark spirits. But are they real?"

Depending on how many books you've sold you can also try yasiv.com to see what books connect to yours or use your also-boughts. (Although some of my strongest also-boughts are ones that the ads won't run on. I put them in as keywords and get no impressions.) Or look for books with covers like yours.

Thanks, I appreciate the advice!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on October 16, 2017, 08:47:57 am
For that to be true, it would mean the algorithm evaluates not only performance of individual keywords within a campaign, but the campaign itself as a whole.  And then makes decisions/takes action based on the campaign's performance, not just the performance of individual keywords.

I also think it factors in your book, how 'saleable' it is at the moment, i.e. trending/ranking. I see Amazon ads spending more money when my book is on promo and climbing in rank than when it's more stagnant. I think they are very complicated algorithms that Amazon is using.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NoLongerHere on October 16, 2017, 10:13:49 am
Bye
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 16, 2017, 11:03:49 am
Just so I can be clear...

If a keyword has, say, 1,587 impressions, that means it has won 1,587 auctions for that particular keyword.

Is that correct?

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on October 16, 2017, 11:22:41 am
Just so I can be clear...

If a keyword has, say, 1,587 impressions, that means it has won 1,587 auctions for that particular keyword.

Is that correct?

Philip

It's not an auction. The algorithms have placed it that many times, along with other ads of course. And who knows "where" on the carousel it was placed. Could be page 99.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: EmparentingMom on October 16, 2017, 11:23:07 am
Just curious: what's the most people have been able to spend per day on a single sponsored product ad?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Sunbird Books on October 16, 2017, 12:04:56 pm
Thank you for this thread and all the information within. I started using AMS ads around August playing low-ball with $2 and $3 per day ads. I think that's a great way for those just starting to learn to get their feet wet. I've been maintaining the list of keywords, adding to it every day or two, pausing the keys that rack up major impressions but don't preform in terms of clicks, and upping the bid on those that do preform and lead to sales. My highest bid is $0.26, but I've made some sales and maintained an ACoS below 50% with one click per 688 impressions on average, so you don't have to break the bank to figure it out. I actually believe it's best to play low-ball at first and really learn how the system operates before throwing down $10 or $20 a day with $2 bids. Now that I have a better grasp on things, I'm going to experiment with higher bids and daily budgets when my next book rolls out later this year.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on October 16, 2017, 04:00:06 pm
On some of my keywords, under Impressions and Clicks there is an "—" for some words, and "0" for others. What is the quantitative difference between the two nothings?   ???   This has been a puzzler for me.

I think Cassie just answered that two answers ago.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 16, 2017, 05:49:47 pm
It's not an auction. The algorithms have placed it that many times, along with other ads of course. And who knows "where" on the carousel it was placed. Could be page 99.

So what is the "auction" component Amazon talks about?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on October 16, 2017, 06:03:25 pm
This is how Amazon explains how the auction component works:

"Every time a shopper conducts a search using a competing keyword, advertisers engage in an auction using the different bids assigned to the keyword. The advertiser who has the highest bid and expected CTR wins the auction and gets the right of impression for that search."

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on October 19, 2017, 02:10:30 pm
I know it's been mentioned before, but AMS is really getting strict on their AD policy guidelines.

My latest ad was rejected for using all caps for a review attribution. I had done this on prior ads without an issue. Not so anymore.

No complaints because it was an easy fix, but now my ad is stuck in the pending review dungeon. While they say it can take up to three days to be reviewed, none of my prior ads took longer than 12 hours. I'm well into day 2.  ::)

So, the lesson here is don't get your ad rejected or they'll make you wait after you make corrections.     
 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on October 20, 2017, 09:25:20 pm

So, the lesson here is don't get your ad rejected or they'll make you wait after you make corrections.
     

I have been submitting tons of ads lately (like 5 - 10 each day) - testing various Keyword and bid combinations.  For whatever reason, within the last few days most of my ads are placed into Running within a few hours!

I never make corrections or edits of any kind.  I simply delete any rejected ads, and start anew.  Doing otherwise usually leads to problems and/or confusion for myself and/or AMS.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on October 20, 2017, 11:03:32 pm
Ever since getting involved with AMS about 6 months ago, I have done extensive ad testing (literally hundreds of unique ads).  It is a habit from my 30+ years in the mail order business, where testing of everything (from ads to promotional copy) is the name of the game for making serious money.

Early on, I discovered that using the AMS default bid level of 25-Cents led to disaster.  Usually within a month or two all 25-Cents ads lost money.

After that, my first test ads (about 200+) where set at a bid level of 2-Cents (the minimum).  With very few exceptions, all such ads have been profitable, although piddling profits.  Almost without exception I am charged a flat 2-Cents per Click.

However, I am now testing the identical ads at a bid level of 5-Cents.  The average charge is now only 3-Cents per Click; sometimes 2-Cents, and rarely 4-Cents.  However, the number of Impressions and CTR have increased significantly (sometimes dramatically) with 5-Cents bids.  It is still too early to make any permanent ad changes since I intend to continue such testing with gradually increasing bid levels.

Since my books are all in a relatively small genre (DIY), my ads seem to be effective in even loosely related sub-genres; which allows much opportunity for testing.  How everything works out long-term remains to be seen.

To garner accurate stats, each unique test ad has to remain identical, with the exception of increased bids.  Also, each 2-Cents ad must be Terminated before the corresponding 5-Cents ad is placed into Running.  Otherwise, the new 5-Cents ad immediately destroys the effectiveness of the corresponding 2-Cents ad; thus rendering all testing stats useless.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bob Stewart on October 23, 2017, 12:13:39 pm
One point I can contribute: AMS does not even track all sales of the book advertised.

I have some novellas that sell nothing unless I advertise. I can put up an AMS ad that tells me I sold two books a day. In fact, I sold 4-5 and they weren't advertised anywhere else. And they certainly didn't rise high enough in the bestseller lists to get noticed that way.

I also have one question: I usually do a daily bid of $5-10 for Sponsored Products ads and have never had it pause due to reaching my daily max. Can I assume, raising my daily spend would make no difference whatsoever?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on October 23, 2017, 12:59:37 pm
Raising your budget probably won't change things at all. You might get increased spend if you up your bids on individual keywords, but even that's not always guaranteed. It seems that getting the book to move outside of AMS can sometimes then lead to your ads delivering more. For example, I saw that happen when I did a free run on a book that put the book in the top 50 free on the Amazon store.

I can vouch for that. My AMS ads weren't doing much until I did a Kindle Countdown with promos on it every day, which zoomed it up the charts, and then my AMS ads started spending as well (and I had to up the daily cap).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: ThrillerWriter on October 24, 2017, 01:17:55 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 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!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Megan Crewe 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: VayneLine 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster 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!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NatPane 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NatPane 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NoLongerHere on October 27, 2017, 09:41:12 pm
Bye
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: ThrillerWriter 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NoLongerHere on October 28, 2017, 11:35:05 am
Bye
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: ireaderreview 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 company’s online marketing strategy, and the state of online ad spending in general (courtesy of @parsimony16). What Friedman revealed – in brief – was the following:
“[W]e’ve found out that 98% of our business was coming from 22 words. So, wait, we’re buying 3,200 words and 98% of the business is coming from 22 words. What are the 22 words? And they said, well, it’s 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
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Laran Mithras 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.  :(
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NatPane 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: katherinef 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
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 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."
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: amdonehere 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Laran Mithras 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson 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
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Megan Crewe 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!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NoLongerHere on November 01, 2017, 01:53:28 pm
Bye
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on November 02, 2017, 02:59:02 pm
AMS ads interface hasn't updated in a while. It is severely lacking compared to other websites ad interfaces. Nothing will probably result from this, but maybe we can put together a list of things we'd like to see and then email it to people at various people Amazon. Maybe, just maybe (a man can dream), it may have an effect.

So here's what I would like to see.

- I'd like to be able to breakdown my ad spend per day, so I can see how much I spent on a specific day easily.
- I'd like to be able to delete permanently campaigns from my view rather than just having them as terminated.
- It'd be nice if it tracked borrows. Maybe just say, this ad resulted in 3 borrows.

What am I missing?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on November 02, 2017, 09:15:03 pm

What am I missing?


I believe AMS is experiencing massive computer (Algorithm) problems.  Lately, lots of weird things have been happening with my AMS data.

In a recent post, I aired my biggest complaint with AMS; their basically non-existent, or at least somewhat timely, reporting of sales data in the “Est. Total Sales” column of our Advertising Campaigns chart.

Without at least estimated sales data for individual ads, it is impossible to determine individual ad effectiveness.  That all-important data rarely appears on my chart.  Is anyone else having that problem, or is it just me?

The primary purpose of any business it to turn a profit - to make money.  I assume most folks on this forum share that opinion.  Amazon exists solely for that reason - to make money.  They know precisely where each and every dollar is invested - why are we not given that same consideration - or, is it just me?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on November 02, 2017, 09:51:45 pm

I'm surprised by the number of impressions this quickly for a 10-cent ad--and especially the number for a single keyword. Is this normal or even possible? ???

UPDATE (Nov. 2 @ 6:20 p.m. EDT):My 10-cent ad has been running now for 42 hours and this one keyword has 82,456 impressions with 5 clicks. Don't understand what is happening. The keyword is an author's name and he only has five books on Amazon. Of those, my ad appears on three titles but as far back as pages 14 or 15. This doesn't explain the high number of impressions.

Any thoughts? Comments?


As mentioned in my last post - I believe AMS is in the mist of massive computer (Algorithm) problems.

With your particular situation (82,456 Impressions with 5 Clicks on a single Keyword) - IMO that is a reflection of their problem - which, hopefully, will soon be resolved.

Along that line, IMHO, many folks attach far too much importance on performance of individual Keywords - in regard to the interaction of all 3 factors (Impressions, Clicks, Sales).  I assert that it is mathematically impossible for AMS to provide useful stats in that regard.  At best, all they can offer is a rough guess as to individual Keyword performance - and I seriously question their ability to do even that.

We tend to dwell on the effects of changing individual Keywords in response to performance stats.  If such change(s) boost ad performance, our tendency is to feel gratified with our brilliance.  My feeling is that the result of such changes (good or bad) is mere circumstance.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NoLongerHere on November 03, 2017, 06:25:16 am
Bye
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Sam Kates on November 03, 2017, 11:15:37 am
Sorry to interrupt the discussion with a couple of complete newbie questions (i.e. newbie to AMS), but I suspect they're far too basic to justify their own thread.

Firstly, what exactly is an 'impression'? I assume it's every time your ad is displayed, but am not entirely sure.

Secondly, I've started a Product Display ad at a low level ($0.10) because I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing and preferred to err on the side of not spending enough than overspending. I see here that I may soon need to go in to increase that. Is that easy to accomplish? I'm looking at the ad dashboard and can't see how I would amend it.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: ThrillerWriter on November 03, 2017, 12:08:54 pm
Sorry to interrupt the discussion with a couple of complete newbie questions (i.e. newbie to AMS), but I suspect they're far too basic to justify their own thread.

Firstly, what exactly is an 'impression'? I assume it's every time your ad is displayed, but am not entirely sure.

Secondly, I've started a Product Display ad at a low level ($0.10) because I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing and preferred to err on the side of not spending enough than overspending. I see here that I may soon need to go in to increase that. Is that easy to accomplish? I'm looking at the ad dashboard and can't see how I would amend it.



An impression is each time someone views your ad.

For the product display ad, copy it, and then up the bid. You can cancel the old one if you want.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: J. Tanner on November 03, 2017, 05:37:03 pm
Secondly, I've started a Product Display ad at a low level ($0.10) because I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing and preferred to err on the side of not spending enough than overspending. I see here that I may soon need to go in to increase that. Is that easy to accomplish? I'm looking at the ad dashboard and can't see how I would amend it.

You can raise it as others have mentioned. But it's not the only choice. You might consider doing more ads. I'm assuming you're starting with your Earth Haven Book 1.

Make 10 ads at 10 cents per click with $1 max. See if one piece of ad copy you write does better than the others. (If their ads behave like usual, you don't have to worry about spending even that $10 per day.)

What you're watching for is "how many clicks on average to get a sale?"

The other thing you want to know from your past experience is "what percentage of people who buy book 1 go on to buy book 2 and 3?"

With a 99 cent book, it's hard to run a profit because 4 clicks for 1 sale is pretty unheard of, and you've spend .40 cents for those clicks that result in .35 revenue. So you need to factor in how many of those buyers go on to buy the other books in the series. Let's say half for simplicity.

And let's say your conversion of clicks to sales is more like 10 clicks for a sale. So now 20 clicks costs you $2, results in 2 sales of book 1 at $.99, and one sale of book 2 and book 3 down the road at $2.99 each. That's $2 in ads resulting in $4.35 in revenue.

Your actual math probably won't be that rosy, but that's the power of series and you want to figure out that basic break point for yourself so you can then figure out how high a bid makes sense because AMS doesn't figure this out for you. But testing at 10 cents is fine. You can even do tons of ads and try 02 cents.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Sam Kates on November 03, 2017, 05:42:17 pm
Click on the ad. That should take you to the Campaign Settings tab for the ad. About halfway down that list you should see CPC Bid with an edit button next to your current bid. Click on it, edit, save.

As for impressions, Amazon says "an impression is generated every time your ad is displayed." What that actually means has been debated quite a lot.

Yep, that works - thanks, Cassie. The dashboard looked so alien that I hesitated to click anywhere before asking around here first. I've been in this game for around five years, but am a complete novice when it comes to AMS.

As for impressions, that seems as woolly as I suspected it might be.

Thanks, again.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Sam Kates on November 03, 2017, 05:47:46 pm
An impression is each time someone views your ad.

For the product display ad, copy it, and then up the bid. You can cancel the old one if you want.

Thanks, David, but Cassie's method of simply editing the existing bid seems easier, unless there's a catch. If there are two or more ways to do anythng when it comes to technology, I'm all for the simplest one.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Sam Kates on November 03, 2017, 05:56:02 pm
You can raise it as others have mentioned. But it's not the only choice. You might consider doing more ads. I'm assuming you're starting with your Earth Haven Book 1.

Make 10 ads at 10 cents per click with $1 max. See if one piece of ad copy you write does better than the others. (If their ads behave like usual, you don't have to worry about spending even that $10 per day.)

What you're watching for is "how many clicks on average to get a sale?"

The other thing you want to know from your past experience is "what percentage of people who buy book 1 go on to buy book 2 and 3?"

With a 99 cent book, it's hard to run a profit because 4 clicks for 1 sale is pretty unheard of, and you've spend .40 cents for those clicks that result in .35 revenue. So you need to factor in how many of those buyers go on to buy the other books in the series. Let's say half for simplicity.

And let's say your conversion of clicks to sales is more like 10 clicks for a sale. So now 20 clicks costs you $2, results in 2 sales of book 1 at $.99, and one sale of book 2 and book 3 down the road at $2.99 each. That's $2 in ads resulting in $4.35 in revenue.

Your actual math probably won't be that rosy, but that's the power of series and you want to figure out that basic break point for yourself so you can then figure out how high a bid makes sense because AMS doesn't figure this out for you. But testing at 10 cents is fine. You can even do tons of ads and try 02 cents.

Thanks, J. Tanner - the notion of running additional ads alongside didn't even occur to me. Food for thought, indeed.

(I'm not running ads on The Cleansing, for reasons I won't bore you with, but on my latest release - a collection of Christmas-themed short horror stories. I know shorts are a hard sell, so wanted to advertise them in the run-up to Christmas. I don't mind a negative ROI because a couple of the stories are set in the Earth Haven world and are exposure for that series. Provided, of course, I can get eyes on the collection.)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: J. Tanner on November 03, 2017, 06:03:19 pm
Thanks, J. Tanner - the notion of running additional ads alongside didn't even occur to me. Food for thought, indeed.

(I'm not running ads on The Cleansing, for reasons I won't bore you with, but on my latest release - a collection of Christmas-themed short horror stories. I know shorts are a hard sell, so wanted to advertise them in the run-up to Christmas. I don't mind a negative ROI because a couple of the stories are set in the Earth Haven world and are exposure for that series. Provided, of course, I can get eyes on the collection.)

OK. You've got that priced at $2.99 which gives you some room to work with. Same principle applies. I like more ads with .10 bids because the math is easy enough to do in my head. :P

You need sell 1 book per 20 clicks to break even.

This is doable. Check crowd wisdom, but my guess is most people will tell you if you aren't converting 1 in 20 mildly interested parties you've got a problem with your store page: blurb, price, sample, cover attracting wrong genre reader, etc.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on November 03, 2017, 06:10:56 pm
I'm not seeing the normal delivery of AMS ads across the bottom of product pages. Is this a glitch?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Sam Kates on November 03, 2017, 06:12:26 pm
OK. You've got that priced at $2.99 which gives you some room to work with. Same principle applies. I like more ads with .10 bids because the math is easy enough to do in my head. :P

You need sell 1 book per 20 clicks to break even.

This is doable. Check crowd wisdom, but my guess is most people will tell you if you aren't converting 1 in 20 mildly interested parties you've got a problem with your store page: blurb, price, sample, cover attracting wrong genre reader, etc.

Thank you for the advice - I shall fully consider all you've said, but it will have to wait until Sunday. (It's my 53rd  birthday today, I'm a little under the weather - i.e. sozzled - and we're out again tomorrow.) I really like the idea of running concurrent ads and shall give this my undivided, and sober, attention on Sunday. Thank you, again - it's truly much appreciated.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on November 03, 2017, 09:47:39 pm
I'm not seeing the normal delivery of AMS ads across the bottom of product pages. Is this a glitch?

It was happening to me for a little bit then they reappeared.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on November 04, 2017, 09:31:21 am
It was happening to me for a little bit then they reappeared.

For over twelve hours now there's been no consistent pattern of delivery with AMS ads as well as product pages.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 04, 2017, 05:13:13 pm
I'm currently not seeing a row of Sponsored Products ads on any book.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on November 04, 2017, 05:31:29 pm
I'm currently not seeing a row of Sponsored Products ads on any book.

Philip

I noticed that last night, thought it might be my ad blocker, but it wasn't. I still can't find any Sponsored  Product
Ads carousel on any book, but my impressions and clicks keep rising, so I really don't get it.  :'(

Is anybody seeing any?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rob T on November 04, 2017, 06:00:22 pm
Very new to the book publishing business!

I am running my first AMS ad at a budget of $2 per day.

Just wondering if this is considered too "low" for anyone? Do people spend most of their advertising dollars on AMS or on other advertising platforms?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on November 04, 2017, 06:12:39 pm
Very new to the book publishing business!

I am running my first AMS ad at a budget of $2 per day.

Just wondering if this considered too "low" for anyone? Do people spend most of their advertising dollars on AMS or on other advertising platforms?

There's really no set rule. You just have to experiment. If you hit your daily limit, Amazon will send you an email suggesting you increase it.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on November 04, 2017, 06:19:17 pm
For me they're visible on Internet Explorer but not on Firefox.

You're right. I can see them on Internet Explorer, but not on Chrome.

I have no clue whatsoever why this would happen but dang, it messes up my data keeping if right now most people aren't seeing the ads.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 04, 2017, 06:24:43 pm
You're right. I can see them on Internet Explorer, but not on Chrome.

I have no clue whatsoever why this would happen but dang, it messes up my data keeping if right now most people aren't seeing the ads.

I'm also on Chrome and not seeing any Sponsored Products ads.

Do we think Amazon knows about this, or should we be contacting them?

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rob T on November 04, 2017, 06:27:49 pm
There's really no set rule. You just have to experiment. If you hit your daily limit, Amazon will send you an email suggesting you increase it.

Hmm interesting. Will definitely experiment over the next few weeks and report back on results.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on November 04, 2017, 10:37:08 pm
I'm also on Chrome and not seeing any Sponsored Products ads.

Do we think Amazon knows about this, or should we be contacting them?

Philip

This is the only email address I know of for contacting them about ads, I don't know if it works.

[email protected]
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 05, 2017, 02:25:43 am
Still not seeing any Sponsored products carousels on any book pages.  Yet my ads do continue to register clicks.  Very odd.

Are others here able to see Sponsored Products carousels?

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on November 05, 2017, 04:55:07 am
Are others here able to see Sponsored Products carousels?

I use two browsers, Firefox and Chrome. I just did an experiment by clicking on the same books on both.

Firefox didn't show the sponsored products carousel or the product display ad on any of them. They never show probably because I have an ad blocker installed.

Chrome showed them. I never got around to installing ad-blocker.

I went back to Firefox and accessed the ad-block icon (Adblock Plus) to disable blocked items on that page. The SP carousel still didn't show, but the product display ad did. Strange. Maybe Firefox doesn't support whatever Amazon uses to display the SP carousel?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rob T on November 05, 2017, 05:01:57 am
Can anyone explain what "CPC bid" is? The standard seems to be 25c? Not sure whether I should increase it or decrease it?

The following makes no sense to me:

"Daily budgets can be exceeded as a result of a rapid accumulation of clicks on a campaign as the campaign approaches the daily limit. During high traffic seasons, it is recommended that you adjust your daily budgets and CPCs to accommodate increased traffic and avoid overages. If overages to a daily budget occur, you will be charged only the maximum budget of the day. The difference will not be charged."
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NoLongerHere on November 05, 2017, 06:16:44 am
Bye
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rob T on November 05, 2017, 06:43:56 am
CPC = cost per click   This is an average over time from the moment you start the ad, so not to be trusted completely.

When you look at your billing history, click on the month just billed and you'll see how much you were charged for each ad and how much Amazon refunded to you for getting overenthusiastic.

BTW, I've never noticed it was necessary to increase my daily budget for a holiday season or special buying period. If you know the time of day you make most of your sales, you can keep your budget higher at that time of day and reduce it for other times of day. Or, if that's too much fiddling, just make sure your budget is a dollar more than it was before you saw/got a Daily Budget Spent notice.

Wow, thank you! So glad I found this website.

I will be keeping a close eye on if it hits my daily budget.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on November 05, 2017, 08:30:50 am
From the prior posts it appears that Sponsored Products ads are being seen by people using Internet Explorer or Opera (which I imagine is why we are still seeing our clicks and impressions go up), but are not being seen by people using Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

This has been going on for at least two days now from what I've seen. I guess the Amazon employees probably hit the wrong switch before leaving for the weekend. Or maybe it was like that twitter employee who turned off Trump's account before leaving... :-X
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on November 05, 2017, 12:45:53 pm
Whatever is going on, I blew through a $15 daily budget in eight hours this morning. Their algorithms are supposed to space budgets out over the day.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 05, 2017, 02:02:56 pm
I received a reply from Amazon, but she clearly thought I was saying that I couldn't see my ad. I've written back explaining that I couldn't see any ads, and that this made me wonder about the reach and effectiveness of AMS ads if some people could see them and others couldn't.

I got the same answer and responded as you did.  Watching my clicks now to see if they are drastically reduced due to lack of exposure.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on November 05, 2017, 03:21:56 pm
I have been trying without success to get product interest ads. I have some dating back to mid-September, and they still haven't run. Is anyone else having this problem?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 05, 2017, 03:25:21 pm
I have been trying without success to get product interest ads. I have some dating back to mid-September, and they still haven't run. Is anyone else having this problem?

Yes.

I'm not patient enough to wait so long and have returned to only using Sponsored Product ads which usually turn on in less than a day.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on November 05, 2017, 06:40:04 pm
I have been trying without success to get product interest ads. I have some dating back to mid-September, and they still haven't run. Is anyone else having this problem?

I am not. They usually start spending within a day or two for me, but you have to bid very high.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rob T on November 05, 2017, 08:58:17 pm
So another new question: Do you guys prefer "Sponsored Ads" or "Product Display Ads"

I gained around 20 impressions today using "sponsored ads" but no clicks yet. Not sure if I am doing it right.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on November 06, 2017, 02:40:01 am
So another new question: Do you guys prefer "Sponsored Ads" or "Product Display Ads"

Mostly sponsored but it's a topic of much debate. I recommend reading through this thread and the older "AMS Learning" thread here, as well as some of the books by the folks who hang out here, such as Cassie. It's all been hashed out on a regular basis several times. Brian Meeks is a proponent of PDA but many (including me) have tried his technique (in his book and discussed in threads here) to no avail.

AMS is a confusing, convoluted crap shoot for the most part, unless you've done the trial and error thing long enough to cultivate your own particular mix of bids and keywords that work well for your particular book and even then it's a chaotic, changing unpredictable environment (Amazon is always changing the algorithms and site in stealth mode, without the consideration of a heads up to those of us who are throwing money at them).

There's no magic formula. Test, test, test on your own book(s). With only one book, the numbers are against you, most folks only make their advertising money back by the ads pushing their read-through on other titles. Sorry to sound negative, but I'm increasingly frustrated by this experience.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rob T on November 06, 2017, 03:38:18 am
Thanks for the heads up. I will slowly be making my way through this thread and the other thread.

Interesting to note what other authors have been putting in their keyword search.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bob Stewart on November 06, 2017, 07:03:09 am
Others can chime in with their own experiences. It seems that the Product Display ads you can run more than one ad at a time and they won't interfere with one another. My experience with Sponsored Product ads (and I think others as well) is that they do interfere with one another. So if you were going to run another ad, I'd say do a Product Display ad this time around but don't run two Sponsored Product ads at the same time on the same book.

Sorry to rehash this, but I'm not clear what you mean by "interfer with one another."

If I have two ads targeting the same product pages, wouldn't they definitely be bidding against each other?

I suppose it might be that if the ad space goes for $.65 normally, you may only add a penny to that.

I have a series and have several books in it I'd like to run Product Display ads for, but if I run them simultaneously, shouldn't I target them differently?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Megan Crewe on November 06, 2017, 07:36:23 am
So, I decided to try some Product Display ads just to see how they'd do. I've had them running for a few days now and most of them show zero impressions, the only one that has any, it's around 40. I have my bid price set relatively high for this experiment... I know people have said it can take a while for them to get going, but how long is "a while"? Is it normal for there to be no impressions at all for 3-4 days?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on November 06, 2017, 07:43:53 am
Agree shorten the term to one month, bid high, and keep your eyes peeled.
What is a high bid? Could you give me an example for Women's fiction (I bid 0.17 cents)? I didn't think of shortening the length of time. I'll try it.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 06, 2017, 08:18:39 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 06, 2017, 08:21:03 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 06, 2017, 08:27:44 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on November 06, 2017, 08:46:32 am
I read the Meeks book and put up a PDP ad and a PDI ad at low bid. They sat without any activity about a month. I changed the bids to .59 and two weeks later one has 221 impressions and the other (product display by interest) has just one. I set them both at $500 and spend budget as quickly as possible. Amazon sure leaves a lot of money on the table it seems, but perhaps there are only so many placement opportunities that all of us are competing for.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bob Stewart on November 06, 2017, 10:46:26 am
...so you could theoretically target them identically and it's sort of like putting in three possible ad images and having Amazon randomly pick one of the three to display. From what others have said in these threads, there are folks running hundreds of PD ads on their books at a time.

But unless Amazon pre-selects among my ads before putting them into the bidding, I will be bidding against myself.

If I put in three ads targeting the same products, it may only increment the bid a little from what it would have been with just one. But if everyone does multiple ads like that, we'd be raising the CPC substantially.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 06, 2017, 11:50:56 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on November 06, 2017, 05:02:05 pm
Sponsored ads are back up on Chrome.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Mike McIntyre on November 06, 2017, 06:03:48 pm
Any way to change the bids on keywords at once?

I copied an ad campaign and tried to run a find/replace (e.g., raise bids from $0.10 to $0.12), but that function wasn’t allowed. Manually changing bids one at a time for 1000 keywords chews up some daylight.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 06, 2017, 06:17:46 pm
Sponsored ads are back up on Chrome.

Yes, they are.  For us anyway. I didn't notice a drop off in clicks during the supposed downtime though.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Megan Crewe on November 06, 2017, 08:27:30 pm
I threw a couple low-bid PD ads up about a week ago and just checked them and they all have less than 100 impressions right now. I haven't read the book that says this, but from other comments in the thread, it can take 4-6 weeks for a low PD ad to start running. If you want them to run faster, I've had success bumping up the bids. I don't know where you've set yours, but Amazon did just send out a guide to AMS this last week recommending that people bump their bids for the holiday season, so what might've been a high bid two weeks ago may no longer be high enough.

I just put them up to $1 for one and $0.80 for the others this morning. No new impressions since then. If I'd have to pay more than that per click then it's definite not worth it, as I'd only be making $2 per sale and even 1 out of 2 clicks resulting in a purchase would be an incredible result. :P It's too bad, because I was really hoping to at least A/B test some different ad text.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 07, 2017, 04:23:06 pm
Many have observed that using identical keywords in different ads results in one ad gaining impressions and the others gaining no or very few impressions/clicks.

I also have found that to be the case.  Except when it isn't. As is the case with my most successful ads.

Two months ago, I set up 3 Sponsored Products ads on a single book.  I used 48 identical keywords which had performed well in previous ads.  Bids per click were identical - $0.16.  The only difference between the three ads was different ad copy for each.  Results so far are:

Ad 1:  585,245 impressions.  1,444 clicks.  38 sales.  $0.10 per click.

Ad. 2: 307,645 impressions.  709 clicks.     27 sales.  $0.10 per click.

Ad 3:  183,551 impressions.   474 clicks.    19 sales.  $0.15 per click.

Ad 3 would have had many more impressions/clicks had I not paused it for 10 days (due to its high cost per click compared to the other ads) when it was the best performing of the three ads.

So, like much of AMS, certain things apply.

Except when they don't.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on November 08, 2017, 03:04:25 pm
I haven't done much tweaking with my Sponsored Manual Ads. Several days ago, I raised bids on keywords that had been producing sales when I saw they weren't on the first pages of the carousels. My sales have been down. When I checked the carousels this morning, I raised keyword bids again. Late this afternoon,  my books were still not on the carousels for those keywords (book titles). What is so puzzling is that one of the carousels had 11 pages, and the last page had room for another book.  My latest bid is 0.41 cents, yet it wasn't on the carousel, even on the last page. In another instance, the carousel had 10 pages, and the last page had only one sponsored ad on it. Has anyone else seen this?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Laran Mithras on November 08, 2017, 05:36:56 pm
What I'm seeing is complete disillusion with AMS. I don't want to wreck the thread with negativity.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on November 09, 2017, 12:54:56 am
What I'm seeing is complete disillusion with AMS. I don't want to wreck the thread with negativity.

That's how I feel about them for a variety of reasons.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on November 09, 2017, 03:46:00 am
What I'm seeing is complete disillusion with AMS. I don't want to wreck the thread with negativity.

I think there's been plenty of well-deserved negativity about AMS ads, especially lately. If they basically hadn't stopped spending my money recently, I'd do away with them altogether. I'm spending my ad money elsewhere. It's a shame they don't overhaul the whole thing. They could make a lot more money if they had something reliable and usable.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bob Stewart on November 09, 2017, 06:31:13 am
I read the Meeks book and put up a PDP ad and a PDI ad at low bid. They sat without any activity about a month. I changed the bids to .59 and two weeks later one has 221 impressions and the other (product display by interest) has just one...

My experience is similar to Billy's.

Can anyone provide current bids which are working on Product Display ads?

When I create an ad, AMS will tell me "Average bid is $0.15 to $0.20", but even if I set the bid to $.75, I see nothing, or next to nothing.

Have people just bid these up to to ridiculously high CPCs?

I never had much success with Facebook ads, but their ad manager was 10,000 more useful than AMS. If it said to bid  $.50, I would see some results there. And if I tweaked the ad, I could see the result within hours.

I don't see how anyone can use this with any efficiency.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on November 09, 2017, 06:57:46 am
What I'm seeing is complete disillusion with AMS. I don't want to wreck the thread with negativity.

I don't want to crap on AMS either, because it's basically the only promo service that allows you to run ads at full retail - and right on Amazon. Most (if not all) other promo services require your book to be free or discounted.

However, my experience with AMS continues to spiral downward. Too many issues to list.

Maybe this is nothing, but there's currently a planned maintenance outage scheduled for tonight. I know they did this recently and many of us got hopeful that perhaps they'd roll out some positive changes. I like to be hopeful this time around, too, but the Zon has a way of consistently letting me down.  :(         
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 09, 2017, 07:28:16 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Sam Kates on November 09, 2017, 08:24:30 am

Can anyone provide current bids which are working on Product Display ads?

When I create an ad, AMS will tell me "Average bid is $0.15 to $0.20", but even if I set the bid to $.75, I see nothing, or next to nothing.

Have people just bid these up to to ridiculously high CPCs?


I'm running one at the moment with a bid price of $0.40. It's been running for a week, but the impressions only kicked in after a day or two, so around five days of the ad being active. It currently has around 700 impressions and 7 clicks. This is the first time I've run an AMS ad so have no idea how good, bad or indifferent that is.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on November 09, 2017, 01:28:18 pm

Can anyone provide current bids which are working on Product Display ads?

When I create an ad, AMS will tell me "Average bid is $0.15 to $0.20", but even if I set the bid to $.75, I see nothing, or next to nothing.

Have people just bid these up to to ridiculously high CPCs?


Set bid to .75 cents. Spent over 14 dollars in half a day with 58 cent a click. Lowered bid. Can't justify that cost when I won't know for three days if it led to anything. It probably depends on genre too. The romance genre has a lot of traffic, so more chances for PD ads to run.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on November 09, 2017, 04:17:46 pm
When I first started doing AMS ads I made money from them. Then it started shifting and it eventually came to where very consistently, whatever I spent on the ads, that's how much money I earned in page reads and sales from the ads. In other words, I sold books but Amazon took all the money. I just now finished another bout of ads and for the first time I actually lost money. It was only two dollars, but sheesh, I'm getting nothing for my page reads and sales AND I'm left in the hole from it?

I'm going to try running some ads once more next month and if the same thing happens I think that will be it for me and AMS ads. All I can think of is that the structure must now be for bigger fish than me.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on November 09, 2017, 06:33:22 pm

Set bid to .75 cents. Spent over 14 dollars in half a day with 58 cent a click. Lowered bid. Can't justify that cost when I won't know for three days if it led to anything. It probably depends on genre too. The romance genre has a lot of traffic, so more chances for PD ads to run.
You'll know your daily sales if you check your Amazon report. It's the best way I've found to keep track of sales and spend for each day. Click the "Orders" tab on the Excel sheet, and you'll see how many books were sold.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Megan Crewe on November 10, 2017, 06:42:25 am
Update on Product Display bidding--upped my bids to $1 and $0.8 on four ads four days ago. The numbers started showing this morning. The one $1 bid has gotten me 3600 views so far; the three $0.80 bids have only gotten about 40 views each. :P So I guess even $0.80 isn't enough to get much traction.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 98368 on November 10, 2017, 07:06:36 am
Apologies if this has already been asked in this thread or elsewhere, but I haven't seen it addressed.

In an AMS SP ad, I understand that I'm not allowed to quote directly from customer reviews, however, it seems like I'm allowed to quote from these selfsame reviews if I first quote these reviews in the book description. At least that's the impression I get from a few back-and-forths I've had with AMS, although every time they write to me, their responses get so bogged down in jargon that I actually have no idea what is and isn't allowed. And no one I've spoken to on the phone at KDP knows the answer to this question.

Does someone here know? I'm not looking to game the system--I'm just trying to understand what the heck I can and can't do. Really, I saw no obvious harm in quoting from customer reviews. It seemed an obvious advertising strategy. Yet AMS doesn't allow it.

Thanks in advance for any info.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 98368 on November 10, 2017, 07:45:14 am
Thanks, LilyBLily. I guess I figured fair use would cover the use of a couple of words inside quote marks. If anyone else has experience with this, I'd appreciate your input. Thanks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 10, 2017, 09:37:28 am
I'm currently running 24 Sponsored Products ads and all are in profit with an average return on investment of 65%.  I've had no success with Product Display ads and no longer run them.

My average keyword bid across the ads is $0.16.  Average spend per click is $0.10.  I monitor and tweak the ads daily, upping and lowering bids, stopping and re-posting non-performing ads with different ad copy or keyword bid, etc.  It feels a lot like gardening.

All my ads are box sets that are in series of box sets which have significant sell-through.  I've never made a consistent profit with ads on low-priced, single volume, standalone books.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bob Stewart on November 10, 2017, 11:00:33 am
OK, I ran a variety of Product Display ads, targeting individual books, categories, etc., gradually upping the CPC until I got some results. Across the board, the average CPC paid is $.59-.67.

I don't see how anyone can improve on this much, unless they are in a very uncompetitive category and target an unexpectedly popular book.

For Sponsored Product ads, targeting identical authors, analogous topics, etc., my average CPC is $.10-.13.

Since it's reasonable to assume visitors coming either way are equally likely to buy, Product Display ads simply cost five times what Sponsored Product ads cost, and usually far more than what one is likely to earn in royalties.

Either certain people have some phenomenal conversion rates, or Product Display ads have been bid up to the point of absurdity.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 10, 2017, 11:34:15 am
On running Sponsored Product ads with low bids.

I average 30-40 clicks per sale at an average cost per click of $0.10.  This nets me a good profit on my $6.99 box sets due to sell-through and paperback sales of my children's books.

I'd like to do a thought experiment to see the benefit of multiple ads with low cost bids compared to a single ad with high cost bids.  Say I need 40 clicks to make a sale in either case. 

Case A: I run one ad at $0.20 per click. Therefore, I spend $8 ($0.20 x 40) to make a sale.

Case B: I run ten ads at $0.10 per click.  40 clicks = 4 clicks per ad. I spend $0.40 per ad. So 40 clicks = $4 ($0.40 x 10) to make a sale.

Does this make sense?  Am I missing something? What should I conclude from this?

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Laran Mithras on November 11, 2017, 03:32:13 pm
I terminated all of my AMS ads. Have never seen a profit no matter how I chased keyword culling. I'm likely too small-time to see any benefit.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on November 11, 2017, 05:30:57 pm
I unpaused two ads the other day, with some tweaks to keywords.  So far I'm not seeing any activity at all from one ad, but the other is showing signs of life.  (For now, at least.)  ANyway, at the moment, the keywords with the most impressions aren't the ones that have generated sales--not by a long shot.

For whatever it's worth, the keywords with the highest number of impressions by far are other author names and book series that are similar to mine, or have a similar audience.  And yet...  no sales from those high-impression keywords.  Instead--and I repeat that this is so far, as things could change-- the successful keywords are very generic ones related to genre: historical fiction, American history, etc.  There is one keyword of a book series title that has led to a sale, but it has less than 700 impressions, so that one sale might just be a lucky fluke.  (Hey, I'll take it, lucky flukes are still lucky.   ;) ) 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on November 11, 2017, 10:03:52 pm
On running Sponsored Product ads with low bids.

I average 30-40 clicks per sale at an average cost per click of $0.10.  This nets me a good profit on my $6.99 box sets due to sell-through and paperback sales of my children's books.

I'd like to do a thought experiment to see the benefit of multiple ads with low cost bids compared to a single ad with high cost bids.  Say I need 40 clicks to make a sale in either case. 

Case A: I run one ad at $0.20 per click. Therefore, I spend $8 ($0.20 x 40) to make a sale.

Case B: I run ten ads at $0.10 per click.  40 clicks = 4 clicks per ad. I spend $0.40 per ad. So 40 clicks = $4 ($0.40 x 10) to make a sale.

Does this make sense?  Am I missing something? What should I conclude from this?

Philip

If you are running multiple ads, does your Advertising Campaign chart reflect specific sales for each individual ad?  If not, it is impossible to evaluate individual ad performance.

Without that all-important information, it is easy to be naively lulled into believing total ad performance reflects reality.  Let us assume, for example, you are running 10 ads which have generated 10 sales.  Obviously, that is an overall average of 1 sale for each ad.  However, it may well be that 1 ad alone generated all 10 sales.  Running the other 9 ads is nothing but wasted money (and time).

In reality, the chances that all 10 ads are performing equally is unlikely (most likely impossible).  Without accurate individual sales data from our Advertising Campaign chart, running multiple ads is but a guessing game (a poor way to try to turn a profit, or to attempt to run any business).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 12, 2017, 04:54:38 am
If you are running multiple ads, does your Advertising Campaign chart reflect specific sales for each individual ad?  If not, it is impossible to evaluate individual ad performance.

Without that all-important information, it is easy to be naively lulled into believing total ad performance reflects reality.  Let us assume, for example, you are running 10 ads which have generated 10 sales.  Obviously, that is an overall average of 1 sale for each ad.  However, it may well be that 1 ad alone generated all 10 sales.  Running the other 9 ads is nothing but wasted money (and time).

In reality, the chances that all 10 ads are performing equally is unlikely (most likely impossible).  Without accurate individual sales data from our Advertising Campaign chart, running multiple ads is but a guessing game (a poor way to try to turn a profit, or to attempt to run any business).

Good question.

I believe I am able to evaluate the performance of individual ads to a fairly accurate degree by using both my (accurate and timely) KDP sales dashboard and the (delayed and only partly accurate) AMS reporting.  I keep a daily record of the $ amounts reported by each ad and, using the list prices of individual books (ebooks and paperbacks), and looking at both the KDP and AMS reporting, can fairly accurately calculate the number of sales per day each ad is generating over time.

Although the AMS sales reporting is not reliable as to $ amounts and can't take into account sell-through, read-through and borrows, I believe it can serve a 'binary' function in that it tells me if that ad has had sales or no sales at all over a sustained period.  If that reporting for an ad does report sales over a period of several days, I give it an asterisk (*) in my own sales reporting table.

If an ad gets no asterisks for 10 days or more, I can fairly confidently assume that ad is not working.  In the case I think the keywords for that ad are worth sticking with, I repackage the ad, i.e. I change the ad copy and/or bid and submit a new ad.

I also monitor the ranking of the books being advertised and, using the 'rank-to-sales/borrows' chart am able to gauge how many borrows a campaign is generating, although that is at the campaign level - it can't tell me the effect individual ads are having on borrows.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on November 12, 2017, 10:06:49 am
Ugh!  :o

I launched two sponsored product ads (for two different books) a few days ago, and both have performed horrendously. They are easily tied with each other for the worst performers in my AMS experience.

In the past, these ads (same keywords and bid prices) have consistently recorded tens of thousands impressions, dozens of clicks, and a few sales during the first few days. Instead, each has under 1500 impressions and only one click between them.

Either AMS is hyper-competitive right now or I didn't make enough sacrifices to the AMS algorithm gods. Both ads have stalled so I might just terminate them early.

On the positive side, they only cost me 25 cents.

Anyone else seeing similar trends? 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on November 12, 2017, 11:28:06 am
I feel bad for you, but I'm not sure a few days is enough data. I've seen loads of reports that say you have to be more patient to see results.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: TromboneAl on November 12, 2017, 11:44:17 am
Thanks, LilyBLily. I guess I figured fair use would cover the use of a couple of words inside quote marks. If anyone else has experience with this, I'd appreciate your input. Thanks.

This ad was rejected:

(https://i.imgur.com/a5uAggj.jpg)

Reason: - The ad contains references to customer reviews or star ratings. As the star ratings on Amazon are dynamic and can change rapidly, the star rating in your ad may not be correct throughout your ad campaign.

I took out "Well written thriller" and the ad was accepted.

My conclusion: quotes from reviews are not allowed.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on November 12, 2017, 02:37:58 pm
On running Sponsored Product ads with low bids.

I average 30-40 clicks per sale at an average cost per click of $0.10.  This nets me a good profit on my $6.99 box sets due to sell-through and paperback sales of my children's books.

I'd like to do a thought experiment to see the benefit of multiple ads with low cost bids compared to a single ad with high cost bids.  Say I need 40 clicks to make a sale in either case. 

Case A: I run one ad at $0.20 per click. Therefore, I spend $8 ($0.20 x 40) to make a sale.

Case B: I run ten ads at $0.10 per click.  40 clicks = 4 clicks per ad. I spend $0.40 per ad. So 40 clicks = $4 ($0.40 x 10) to make a sale.

Does this make sense?  Am I missing something? What should I conclude from this?

Philip

As you also seem to have discovered, running multiple ads (I have run hundreds) yields all kinds of useful information - but only if the results are closely monitored - which you appear to be doing.

The most frustrating aspect is that of AMS not providing useful sales feedback (more like nonexistent) for most individual ads.  With those few ads where AMS feedback does actually exist, here is what I soon discovered:

For those few ads producing documented sales on the Advertising Campaign chart, the Average Daily Increase in Impressions remains fairly constant.  However, for those ads never yielding sales data, the Average Daily Increase in Impressions steadily declines; which I perceive as evidence of a failed ad, thus Terminating it.

For example, an ad may initially yield Average Daily Impressions of 1,000 - but will steadily decline to perhaps 200 after running just 4 weeks.  In such instances (which is the norm) I terminate the ad after 4 weeks.  Also, I ignore all stats for the first week with all ads since those stats are generally meaningless due to AMS reporting delays.

On rare occasion an ad will produce a sale almost immediately; sometimes with the very first Click.  I am very careful with such ad response since an early sale is often misleading.  Unless the ad soon generates additional sales, it is easy to make the mistake of allowing the ad to continue running - soon eating up profits from the first sale.  This is especially true when placing higher bids, where AMS tends to quickly initiate a money grab with tons of Clicks, but no orders.

My take on new ads that generate very early sales is that they tend to initially attract undue attention; causing some folks to order out of mere curiosity.  I have had that happen many times.  After that first order, new ad response may quickly die off.  So, it is best to keep a close eye to avoid quickly losing early profits.

Even ads that are productive for a few months will eventually lose their effectiveness (steady decline in Average Daily Impressions and/or sales).  I eventually Terminate such ads; after which I either start an entirely new ad, or make major Keyword changes (and/or adding new Keywords) to the Terminated ad; then resubmitting it (which causes the Algorithm to throw the revised ad in an entirely new direction - often bringing it back to life).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on November 12, 2017, 03:54:52 pm

Case A: I run one ad at $0.20 per click. Therefore, I spend $8 ($0.20 x 40) to make a sale.

Case B: I run ten ads at $0.10 per click.  40 clicks = 4 clicks per ad. I spend $0.40 per ad. So 40 clicks = $4 ($0.40 x 10) to make a sale.

Does this make sense?  Am I missing something? What should I conclude from this?

Philip


What you are saying makes perfect sense (at least from my experience).

I now start most ads at the 2-Cent bid level.  If the ads appears to be working after running for at least a few weeks, I usually up the bid (usually to 5-Cents; which generally results in 3-Cents CPC).  But I monitor the new ad closely since AMS often goes ape - dramatically increasing bid count - which is great if more orders result; but often it does not.

For me, 2-Cent bids always generate a profit, and my cost per order is very low.  But, it takes forever to generate significant profits.    In summary, increased bidding is the answer to generating more profits, but ad cost per order increases - along with a very much increased risk of the ad quickly going into the red when AMS goes nuts with Click numbers.

The trick here, IMHO, is to find a compromising Sweet Spot among bid levels where everything comes together.  Much easier said than done - as most of us have discovered.  The AMS goal seems (at least to me) to be making that process as confusing and as difficult as possible!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 12, 2017, 04:27:16 pm
What you are saying makes perfect sense (at least from my experience).

The trick here, IMHO, is to find a compromising Sweet Spot among bid levels where everything comes together.  Much easier said than done - as most of us have discovered.  The AMS goal seems (at least to me) to be making that process as confusing and as difficult as possible!

After much trial and error, including a brief period when I was spending more than I was making by bidding too high, I have found my 'sweet spot' to be a bid of $0.16, resulting in average cost per click of $0.10.

It would be interesting to know if others think they have found their sweet spot for bids.

Philip

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: amdonehere on November 12, 2017, 08:32:18 pm
Copyright for customer reviews is held by the customer; that's why you can't quote them. An editorial review can be quoted just about anywhere, but I believe only as an excerpt and with attribution.

Don't writers quote customer reviews in blurbs? I thought I'd seen customer quotes in blurbs.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: TromboneAl on November 13, 2017, 07:50:32 am
Don't writers quote customer reviews in blurbs? I thought I'd seen customer quotes in blurbs.

They do, even though it is against the Amazon rules.

I have a hard time imagining a reviewer caring about copyright infringement, much less complaining. So, technically, if you quote "Well written review" somewhere it's an infringement, but c'mon.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 13, 2017, 08:18:04 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on November 14, 2017, 02:45:56 pm
This ad was rejected:

(https://i.imgur.com/a5uAggj.jpg)

Reason: - The ad contains references to customer reviews or star ratings. As the star ratings on Amazon are dynamic and can change rapidly, the star rating in your ad may not be correct throughout your ad campaign.

I took out "Well written thriller" and the ad was accepted.

My conclusion: quotes from reviews are not allowed.

To be honest, I'd say your ad looks better without the quote anyway so the amazon rep did you a favor. The quote seemed (to me) tacked on and unnecessary on a product listing, I'd bet you'll have a much better chance at selling now :D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on November 14, 2017, 09:35:49 pm

After much trial and error, including a brief period when I was spending more than I was making by bidding too high, I have found my 'sweet spot' to be a bid of $0.16, resulting in average cost per click of $0.10.

It would be interesting to know if others think they have found their sweet spot for bids.

Philip

In general, trying to find many Sweet Spots may be impossible since they will probably vary considerably from ad-to-ad.

Back several months ago, when I submitted one of my very first AMS ad, I decided to advertise my VapoKarb ebook (for a DIY fuel-saving device I developed about 30+ years ago during my many years in the mail order business).  I sold tens of thousands of copies for $10, and also gave away many thousands more as ordering incentives.  Since my VapoKarb design has long been obsolete, I offer that ebook mainly as a curiosity item for folks interested in old, but proven, technology - therefore priced at only 99-cents.

But, the primary motivation for my VapoKarb ebook was to test the waters with low-bid (like 2-Cents) AMS ads.  I never intended to make a profit with the ebook; only to use it as a test ad, and to draw attention to my other higher-priced books.  As expected, my VapoKarb ebook ad venture never made money - but, to my surprise, it lost but a few bucks (less than $8).

After a few months I decided to stop Running the ad since it had long since served its purpose.  However, because the ad had already garnered over 1,000,000 Impressions, I decided to keep it Running just to see if it would reach 2,000,000 Impressions - which it eventually did.  I then Terminated the ad.

Long story short, yesterday I decided to check long-term sales stats - referring to the Historical chart on my Sales Dashboard (referring to the Life-to-Date option).  To my surprise, I discovered that almost as many VapoKarb ebooks have sold since I Terminated its ad.  Obviously, those ebooks are selling organically.

Now I am questioning the effectiveness of the AMS ad for my VapoKarb ebook.  I spent many hours trying to perfect and run that ad, and closely monitoring its performance (in spite of the fact that AMS never provides sales data on my Advertising Campaign chart for the ad).

Even though I lost but a few bucks while the ad was Running, at least I am now earning 35-Cents for each organically sold copy - hardly enough for bragging rights.

All this is causing me to seriously question the effectiveness of my hundreds of AMS ads for my many other ebooks.  Hate to rain on anyone's parade, but this is something I definitely need to further investigate.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 15, 2017, 05:44:13 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: quiet chick writes on November 15, 2017, 07:28:59 am
Does anyone know if there is a way to change all of your keyword bids all at once? (Short of starting a new ad, I mean.) Or can I only change them one by one (times hundreds of keywords)?

Actually, even when copying keywords over to a new ad, they seem to retain the bid price they had in the last ad, so maybe even that wouldn't work to change the whole set at once.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on November 15, 2017, 07:35:47 am
Not that I know. That would actually be a usability enhancement, which AMS has no clue on. It's copy and paste, paste, paste. Another maintenance outage tonight I see, hopefully they're updating this system to provide some enhancements.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 15, 2017, 07:40:28 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on November 15, 2017, 08:35:16 am
Got a bit of a question guys, if anyone is willing to help :D

I published my first novel last week on Friday. After having basically no sales and but one borrow on KU over the weekend (because of course, why would a random, no-hype release from a nobody sell at all on its own? :P ) I started my first ad campaign via AMS yesterday after browsing through this tread. So far, so... well, I don't know. I have 444 impressions says Amazon (tho the number keeps going down when it should go up and this doesn't make sense) and 2 clicks (that number has stayed put) in 12 hours, which might not be bad. I know 2 clicks/500 impressions isn't considered bad in here, so I'm not all gloomy.

What I'm wondering is, I'm running the ad as a sponsored item campaign (because the other option requires $100 I do not currently have available) using keywords, and I'm using a reduced set of them - 9 to be precise. Only two of them are genre-related (Fantasy, Satire) while the rest are related to famous authors or works that are like mine. So far both clicks have come from the Fantasy keyword, which was honestly unexpected since I thought the more closely related impressions would generate more clicks - and from what I've seen, 2 clicks on 25 impressions for Fantasy is... impressive (for me), if not statistically significant since I might as well proceed to have 500 impressions over the next hour with no clicks whatsoever. Numbers are too small to  impress anyone as is :P

So my question - am I using too few keywords? Or should I leave it as is, is it better to have a few well-selected keywords, or should I expand them to target a wider audience at the risk of being ignored? Then again, I expected the Fantasy tag, being so wide, wouldn't bring a thing and here we are. How many keywords do you guys use on your novels?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 15, 2017, 08:53:31 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on November 15, 2017, 01:35:38 pm
Our AMS "Historical" data chart (accessed via our "Sales Dashboard") has just been updated with stats for the month of October.

For AMS newbies; "Historical" data is at least 14 days old - which I have found to be very accurate when cross-referenced with the constantly update Sales Dashboard stats (which are of the same vintage).

Following is a copy of my recent inquiry to Amazon - in reference to what I consider to be crucial information:

When referring to my AMS "Advertising Campaigns" chart, the "Est. Total Sales" data is seldom provided for my "Sponsored Product" ads.  In fact, it is never provided for any of my "Sponsored Product" ads submitted with minimum bids.

Why is that "All-Important" information usually missing?

Does AMS intend to correct that situation?

Thanks for your anticipated response.

Gordy Weigle, Kustom Power
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 15, 2017, 02:41:25 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on November 15, 2017, 07:52:19 pm
Costing like 70 to 80 cents to get on the first carousel for a lot of top romance authors.  :o

Shutting off all Facebook ads and blasting AMS ads. See how effective they can be instead. Getting between 20 and 30 cent cpc for Facebook ads, but no way to track unless I send to landing page first, and that sadly ups the cpc. Rank does drop from in the top 3,000 quickly if I turn off Facebook ads though, so they are working, just not profitable for this particular book since it isn't a series.

Time to experiment with AMS ads when Facebook ads are fully off. Have various ads and ad types. Will let you know what I find in a few days. Most likely will be that I won't be able to really make this particular book profitable as a standalone and need to make it a series : /.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: TromboneAl on November 16, 2017, 04:31:22 pm
Does anyone know if there is a way to change all of your keyword bids all at once? (Short of starting a new ad, I mean.) Or can I only change them one by one (times hundreds of keywords)?

Actually, even when copying keywords over to a new ad, they seem to retain the bid price they had in the last ad, so maybe even that wouldn't work to change the whole set at once.

Their boneheaded interface has even made it impossible to click a bid amount, paste in a new value then click the next.

A workaround for this (and many other computer problems) is a keyboard macro program. That is, you can define a set of keypresses that will be made every time you activate a macro (e.g. 0.12 <tab><enter><tab><tab>, etc.).

I use one from Macros.com (I have no connection with them).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on November 18, 2017, 03:58:23 pm
Are the ebook covers no longer posted in Sponsored AMS ads? I haven't seen any for a while.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on November 18, 2017, 04:10:51 pm
Are the ebook covers no longer posted in Sponsored AMS ads? I haven't seen any for a while.

What do you mean? All the sponsored products I see on ebooks have the covers.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on November 18, 2017, 05:24:52 pm
What do you mean? All the sponsored products I see on ebooks have the covers.

Tizzy. My bad. My ad blocker was blocking just the covers. So it showed the author names, blurbs and price but no cover. I was under the impression that since some of the ads were showing, that the covers were missing. When I disabled the ad blocker the covers were there as well. Thanks for replying. :)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rivera Sun on November 19, 2017, 07:00:54 pm
Not only are the covers there, but I've seen pages with the sponsored ads at the top and the bottom. Poor Nora Roberts isn't even first on the page. Come on. Who's going to sell more books?

The sponsored ads at the top may be coming in from other AMS platforms that offer "Headline ads" Headline ads are expensive, my experience is they run 2-3 times more than regular sponsored ads plus they are quirky. Amazon monitors keyword clicks and cancels low performance words. Problem is at least for my keywords anything over 150 impressions per click is in danger of stoppage. I had them stop one keyword runnibg at 155 impressions per clic that was creating an 11% ACoS... which is also evidence that their measure of performance of an ad is strictly ad revenue and not ad revenue plus sales revenue.  I have run 12 headline ads and all have lost money. I have 100's of KDP-AMS sponsored ads running and almost all of them make money....that's a big difference
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on November 21, 2017, 01:15:40 pm
Has anyone noticed ad text being being cut off in sponsored product ads?

I recently noticed that the last letter on one of my ads gets cut in half because it's spaced to the far right (runs off the page). I've seen this in other ads as well. It shows up in both Chrome and Firefox browsers, regardless of zoom levels. Some ads have more than one letter cut off. I emailed screenshots to AMS and they are investigating.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on November 21, 2017, 08:37:44 pm
It's not just you.  I've noticed it too.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: katie78 on November 21, 2017, 08:53:30 pm
i've never made roi with ams ads. can anyone compare use with bookbub ads?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on November 21, 2017, 10:12:34 pm
i've never made roi with ams ads. can anyone compare use with bookbub ads?

How many keywords are you using?  I've wondered if more keywords might result in more impressions, and more impressions hopefully lead to more clicks (we hope).

I'm using around 350 keywords at the moment and have been running a mildly successful AMS campaign on my freshman release.  I've been running around 300 impressions for each click, which I've read is pretty good.  My clicks to sell ratio is more on par, at 10 to 15 per sale. The single biggest challenge I've had with it to date is I've yet to break 8000 impressions.  I'm trying to remind myself that it's only been a few days since the book came out and the most important thing I can do is get the second book out (its with the editor, thank you very much  ;D ) But, goshdarnit, I want more impressions.

It's kinda of ironic, but my original intent was to hold off any advertising until book 2 in the series is complete, but decided to play around with it after releasing the book at the end of last week and I'm rather glad I did.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on November 21, 2017, 10:27:21 pm
How many keywords are you using?  I've wondered if more keywords might result in more impressions, and more impressions hopefully lead to more clicks (we hope).

I'm using around 350 keywords at the moment and have been running a mildly successful AMS campaign on my freshman release.  I've been running around 300 impressions for each click, which I've read is pretty good.  My clicks to sell ratio is more on par, at 10 to 15 per sale. The single biggest challenge I've had with it to date is I've yet to break 8000 impressions.  I'm trying to remind myself that it's only been a few days since the book came out and the most important thing I can do is get the second book out (its with the editor, thank you very much  ;D ) But, goshdarnit, I want more impressions.

It's kinda of ironic, but my original intent was to hold off any advertising until book 2 in the series is complete, but decided to play around with it after releasing the book at the end of last week and I'm rather glad I did.

Actually, since AMS charges per click, not per impression, the amount of impressions (and the amount of keywords she uses, but not necessarily which keywords) is unimportant. The only way she could have a negative ROI is if people click on the ad but don't buy her stuff afterwards, and that's not something you can fix with more or fewer keywords. Perhaps with different ones, and even then assuming her keywords are properly set up there isn't much she can do.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on November 22, 2017, 04:57:59 am
i've never made roi with ams ads. can anyone compare use with bookbub ads?

The main problem is that it's hard to tell how any ads other than AMS are doing, because you can't easily tell if those clicks ever turned into sales. I used affiliate codes but Amazon quickly caught on and threatened to shut me down. You could run one type of ad (AMS, BookBub, Facebook, etc) at a time and measure performance but there's still the organic variable.

I'm running BookBub CPC ads and they're more sophisticated than AMS (who isn't?) as far as targeting an audience, but reporting is kind of weak. No graphs, etc like Facebook has. It's hard to get BB to spend the money, just like it is with AMS. Their audience and available placements are much smaller than the gazillion people on Facebook (even after targeting book lovers, genre, authors).

On keywords, I started out with a mega-keyword strategy, stuffing every book and author in my same genre and whatever else until I had one ad maxed out at 1,000 and most of another. I realized that these were hurting the 'quality' of the campaign in Amazon's eyes and probably causing it to not get impressions because of that. And it was a lot of work.

So now I have one SP campaign that's my 'test bed' where I add in new keywords to see how they'll perform. I have my 'real' campaign that holds only the handful of keywords that have performed well. When keywords do well in the test bed, I add them to the main campaign. That seems to be working better. Keyword stuffing was unproductive and didn't work for me.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: katie78 on November 22, 2017, 08:44:35 am
i have sold with ams, just not enough. my current ad has 225 keywords, mostly authors names. bidding .25

i also hate paying amazon when they're already getting a cut of sales.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Steve Shelley on November 23, 2017, 04:32:52 pm
My first AMS campaign has been running for fifteen hours but no impressions yet.

How long does it typically take to see some action?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on November 23, 2017, 04:37:16 pm
My first AMS campaign has been running for fifteen hours but no impressions yet.

How long does it typically take to see some action?

Should do within hours. I got I think over 10,000 on the first day, but without knowing what your campaign is like it's hard to know. Maybe you have too few keywords? Or they're too generic? Or maybe you used the (horrible, terrible, borderline criminal) default list of keywords Amazon gives you that includes stuff like "book book book"? Or maybe you're bidding too low? Also what kind of campaign are you running? I assumed you're going for a "sponsored products" one, but if you're going for the other kind then it might be different.

The cause could be any of those.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Steve Shelley on November 23, 2017, 04:42:50 pm
Should do within hours. I got I think over 10,000 on the first day, but without knowing what your campaign is like it's hard to know. Maybe you have too few keywords? Or they're too generic? Or maybe you used the (horrible, terrible, borderline criminal) default list of keywords Amazon gives you that includes stuff like "book book book"? Or maybe you're bidding too low? Also what kind of campaign are you running? I assumed you're going for a "sponsored products" one, but if you're going for the other kind then it might be different.

The cause could be any of those.

Thanks for that Tizzy. Yikes, I'll need to check what's going on with it.

I only have a hundred or so keywords, and yes, I used the suggested ones too!

Back to the drawing board ...

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on November 23, 2017, 04:44:40 pm
Thanks for that Tizzy. Yikes, I'll need to check what's going on with it.

I only have a hundred or so keywords, and yes, I used the suggested ones too!

Back to the drawing board ...

The "suggested" list is mostly generic drivel. Remove most of them.

Generally the technique is using the names of authors or books that are like yours as keywords. Generic keywords rarely ever do much, because people don't really search for "fantasy novel" on amazon when they're looking for something new to read. Or at least I don't :P
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: spypoint on November 24, 2017, 11:17:14 am
Here’s something that’s stumped and annoyed me, and I'm hoping someone can help me out.

I started using AMS last year to promote my four books using product ads. I spent .20 to .25 for each click and between the book sales and the KENP reads, I was making a profit -- not a big one, but enough to convince me to refine and expand my efforts. Up until about September this year, the program was working then ... everything stopped. Very few impressions and far fewer clicks. No KENP reads. No sales.

I paused my marketing efforts for a while, then restarted testing new prices, texts and also reran some of the earlier promotions that had pulled in well. In many cases, the ads received no impressions (no matter what I bid) and in some cases there was simply a dash suggesting the campaign -- though approved -- never started. When I restarted my campaign last month, there was an initial flurry, but even that was never over 100 impressions, and then it too stopped completely. New campaigns after that received zero impressions. I’m talking impressions, not clicks. Of course, without impressions I'm getting no clicks.

My question is: what’s causing this and what can be done? Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 24, 2017, 12:15:58 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: spypoint on November 24, 2017, 02:29:10 pm
Thanks for your insights, Cassie. I ran two sponsored ads and they pulled for a few days (14K with 9 hits; 2.5K, no hits) and then they stopped. About 90 keywords selected. The sponsored ads -- when they worked -- had a better click ratio. Do these things routinely end on their own? Is it possible my account has been somehow flagged and they won't run my ads anymore. Does this really happen?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 24, 2017, 05:30:52 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on November 24, 2017, 10:21:58 pm
I've decided to wean myself from depending on an impossible-to-prove belief that KU page reads might be coming from keywords that never produce sales. I've paused all the nonperforming keywords on all my ads: keywords with zero sales, with low impressions, with low clicks, with higher spend than net earnings, and keywords whose sales totals have remained the same for a while even as spend has increased. Either my wonderful AMS experience will now crash and burn, encouraging me to go wide with more titles, or there will be no change in sales and page reads while there will be an increase in net profit because of less waste. Either way, I think I'll be ahead.

From a logical standpoint, I'd say if a keyword isn't producing sales it likely isn't producing many borrows either. After all, both stem from interest, so it stands to reason that good keywords for your book should produce both, not only one. Bad keywords should, at the same time, produce none (or very few, since even the worst keyword can on occasion produce a sale.)

Do let us know how it goes, tho. But your logic does seem sound.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: katie78 on November 25, 2017, 08:35:30 am
what is your impression to click ratio?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 25, 2017, 02:41:46 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: katie78 on November 26, 2017, 09:02:56 am
Was this a general question or were you responding to someone up thread?
was hoping everyone would chime in.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on November 26, 2017, 09:11:37 am
was hoping everyone would chime in.

In my case, about 1/750.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 26, 2017, 10:43:12 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on November 26, 2017, 02:33:36 pm
was hoping everyone would chime in.

About ten days ago, I launched my debut novel (in my sig line) and against my better judgement went ahead and decided to play around with AMS.  My original plan had been to get book 2 out before advertising, but the lure of climbing into the sandbox of AMS was too strong.

Over the first two or three days I put around 350 words into the key words.  Not really knowing what I was doing, I put everything in at 12 cents and let it run for a few more days without making any changes.  The number of impressions built slowly, but my click ratio was very solid. Eventually I noticed I was getting some traction on a few key words, so I bumped those words up, ranging from 18 cents to as high as 36 cents.

The impressions have climbed quite a bit more as the campaign has continued (only on day 11).  My top two key words account for 36% of my click-throughs, and 12% of my impressions.

Over all, I've got less than 21,000 impressions, but 107 clicks, for a ratio of 195 impressions per click.  I started with $2 per day and raised it to $5, after capping out a couple of times.

I confess, I'm not sure how to really evaluate the success of the campaign, because the report only shows 4 sales, but I've accumulated enough page reads in KU to account for 15 books, and I've racked up a few more book sales over that, enough so that my ranking has ranged between 25k and 40k over the past week.

I've re-read this thread several times and am a bit confused if there is a consensus about whether the ACoS accurately reflects sales from your ads (allowing for adequate time to filter into the reports).  I'm curious about more experienced authors' thoughts on whether ACoS eventually catches all sales that can be traced back to a click.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on November 26, 2017, 04:14:06 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 27, 2017, 09:32:31 am
I think ultimately the Estimated Sales reported on the AMS dashboard that most authors use (not the one that's available if you provide physical distribution of your books, I can't speak to that one) which is what feeds into ACoS (but ACos is something I try to ignore because of its flaws), ultimately does reflect all paid sales of the book advertised that were a result of a customer clicking on that ad and that occur within about a week of the click happening. And I'm fairly certain it also captures all paperback sales that meet those criteria.

What it doesn't reflect are any audio sales or any KU borrows and subsequent page reads.

And it seems that it also fails to account for when a customer buys an entire series at once. If they click on the ad and buy all the books in the series, it seems to only reflect one of those sales.

I suspect it also may not capture all purchases of other books in the series that were driven by the ad although Amazon says that it should. (So you advertise book 3 and a customer buys book 1. I think they do capture most of those, but not all.)

And it doesn't capture any sales that result from increased visibility from running the ads. If you hit higher in organic search results, for example, that doesn't get credited to the ads even though it is a result of running them.

That's how I think it works, others may differ.

I often have multiple sales of my paperback children's books on the same day, but only ever see one of those sales recorded on my AMS dashboard.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on November 27, 2017, 08:04:04 pm
TOPIC: Reviving dead ads.

After running a Sponsored Products ad for several weeks until it eventually goes 6 days without a click (meaning the ad is no longer being served and getting impressions), and if I believe those keywords to be worthwhile, I copy and paste those keywords into a new ad with an alternate ad copy.

This has always resulted in the new ad picking up impressions and clicks for those keywords again.

Has anyone else found this?

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: katie78 on November 28, 2017, 08:27:47 pm
thanks, guys. mine are fluctuating between 1/75 and 1/600. i do realize there are multiple factors and everyone's different.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: amdonehere on November 29, 2017, 11:28:55 am
I have some new "data" to share.

A year ago when I started running AMS ads, my paperback sales increased by a lot. I noticed that the AMS ads ran on the paperback pages too for my books.

Now we all know the AMS ads results have not been as great as it used to be for all the reasons already discussed here. But as far as paperback goes, what happened to me was, I had clicked all the relevant boxes on CS for expanded distributions. Several months ago, there was a thread here on Kboard where someone said expanded distribution is a rip off because we make so little in royalties, etc. And all sorts of discussions about pros and cons, and pricing, ensued. I won't go into all that as the discussion is not relevant here.

What is relevant is that after that discussion, I unchecked all the expanded distribution channels. What followed was that I had several months where I had NO paperback sales. None. But since I don't sell tons of PBs (as most Indies don't), I chucked it up to just readers weren't buying PBs.

Nonetheless, it kept nagging at me as strange that I had no PB sales at all. Since I am running AMS ads, my ads do show up on Amazon book pages for PBs too. I logically thought readers were just not buying, but that reason didn't sit right with me.

Anyway, as a test, I clicked all the expanded distribution channels again about 2 months ago. I also upped my PB book prices from $12.99 to $14.99, to make sure I make decent royalties in case the books are sold via expanded distribution by other sellers.

I then forgot about this (PB sales not a priority honestly). Today I was in CS to update a book description. Voila! My sales report shows PB sales. This is with my price increase.

So I'm thinking that the expanded distribution must be the culprit here. I don't know how, but without it, I wasn't selling any PB books.

It's not that the sales figures will enable me to quit my day job or anything, but I think that if we're already spending $$ on AMS ads, it sucks to lose out on potential PB sales.

My report today then is that keeping your PB book in expanded distribution in fact will help with PB sales if you're running AMS ads.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on December 02, 2017, 06:47:54 am
I am seeing some crazy and seemingly impossible things with AMS. First, I like to download a spreadsheet and compare keyword performance from say, a week ago to the same keyword today. A couple of times I've had a LOWER number of impressions on the new spreadsheet. So, apparently Zon thought some people saw some ads, but they really didn't. Or they un-saw them. Or something of a magical nature, at any rate. I'm not sure how that is supposed to work. It's made me raise an eyebrow a few times.

So last week, I started a new ad campaign; lots of keywords copied from an older campaign, with new words added. Today, I saw a sale on the new campaign. Except we haven't sold any books since the campaign started. There were some borrows and page reads, but those have never showed in AMS before, so I don't think that's what it was. I looked at the keyword, and noticed it was one from the old campaign. Thinking maybe AMS had gotten the two campaigns muddled a bit and were crediting a sale on the keyword from a while back in the old campaign, I checked to see if a book had sold for that keyword. It hadn't. It had never even gotten any clicks in the old campaign. That piqued my curiosity, so I looked to see how many clicks it had gotten in the new campaign. Turns out, it hadn't gotten any clicks in the new campaign, either, and only one impression. The CPC showed as zero, so I wasn't charged for this mysterious, invisible sale. There was no rank boost, so I really don't know if there was a sale or not. Amazon doesn't give us much data to begin with, and now I don't think the data we do get has any meaning behind it.

Anyone else seeing any Twilight Zone anomalies?



Edited for stupid typos.
I've seen things like a sale for a paperback that never happened. There's more, but I'm sure we've all seen questionable figures. There is nothing we can do about it.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Steve LeBel on December 02, 2017, 07:05:53 am
Quote
Anyone else seeing any Twilight Zone anomalies?

The thing I'm seeing is a disconnect between the KDP sales graph and the spreadsheet report.  I asked them to explain why the two weren't the same.  Here is KDP's explanation:

I would like to inform you that orders listed on the chart are recorded and show up in your Sales and Royalties report as soon as customers buy your books.  Orders become sales after we process customer payments which usually takes sometime. However, If a customer's credit card is delayed or declined, it may take longer for their order to become a sale.  In this case, I checked and see that the payment is not processed from the customer's end yet. In this case, the book order is not turned into sale and this is the reason its not showing in the royalty reports page.  Once the payment is processed from customer's end it will turn into sale and it will reflect on the royalty reports page.


What bothers me is the frequency with which that seems to be happening.  That makes it very difficult to rely on the data.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on December 04, 2017, 06:59:05 pm
I have two SP ads (1 for each of two books) that initially got about 50,000 impressions each in their first couple of weeks. It's now been about three months and both have settled down to about 1500-2500 impressions and maybe 1 to 2 clicks per day. I've thought about starting more SP ads for these two books but I've read what people have said about SP ads competing with each other. Question: should I be happy with this performance or would it be wiser to shut them down and put up new ads? Thanks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on December 05, 2017, 03:05:36 am
I have two SP ads (1 for each of two books) that initially got about 50,000 impressions each in their first couple of weeks. It's now been about three months and both have settled down to about 1500-2500 impressions and maybe 1 to 2 clicks per day. I've thought about starting more SP ads for these two books but I've read what people have said about SP ads competing with each other. Question: should I be happy with this performance or would it be wiser to shut them down and put up new ads? Thanks.

I would say don't shut them down.  Just run new ads for the same books.  Rotate ad copy. Find new keywords using KDP Rocket or Google ad words.

I currently have 36 ads running, most of which are on one book (first in series).  Many of those ads now get between just 1 and 5 clicks per day but still bring in the occasional sale.  I only stop an ad if it goes 6 days without a click, although I may re-use the keywords with different ad copy if I think the keywords should be worthwhile. 

I've had a stellar start to this month with return on investment averaging over 200%.  I put this down to 3 factors:

1. Running dozens of AMS Sponsored Products ads and continuing with those that only get 1 or 2 clicks per day.
2. Using the ads to promote first in series (buy through and read through are both large)
3. Sales of the more expensive paperback versions.

Not a huge income from the sales but looking like I can, for the first time, establish a living income from sales of my books.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: katie78 on December 05, 2017, 10:47:42 am
my ams ad shows multiple purchases, but they don't show up on my kdp sales dashboard and it has been days.

also, my daily budget was $1, but it has spent over $11 in 4 days. when i sent an inquiry, they said they'd look into it and get back to me by the 8th.

is this normal?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Douglas Milewski on December 05, 2017, 01:16:49 pm
I'm seeing some definite dashboard wonkiness. My graph and my recent sales disagree. So, it's not just you.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: quiet chick writes on December 07, 2017, 07:14:30 am
I don't know what to do about my AMS ads. I think I might just kill them completely. They were great at first, very profitable even, for a while (from late 2016 through summer of 2017), but now I haven't had a sale from them in months. Only clicks, no sales. They just suck money. Old ads, new ads, they all stopped selling completely and I have no idea why. Same book covers, same ad copy, same rates (although I have tried both putting rates up and down). The books are selling as expected with other promotions, but not AMS. Plenty of clicks, though, which is costing me.

The last sale attributed to any of my AMS campaigns was back in September. Since then:

Ad A, for F&B, fresh ad, 24 clicks, no sales
Ad B, for EWTF, fresh ad, 43 clicks, no sales
Ad C, for F&B, older ad (sold 3 previously), ~50 new clicks since September, no new sales
Ad D, for EWTF, older ad (sold 17 previously), ~30 new clicks since August, no new sales

Across the board, they're all about 1 click to 1000 impressions, which I hear is average enough.

The novels are regularly $4.99 and used to get a sale per about ~20 clicks. I used to get a sale per ~10 clicks at 99c. But now, even when the books are discounted, still no bites over a combined ~150 clicks.

I don't get it why they just stopped dead like that.

And I'm out about $20 in clicks that haven't gotten me any sales, which is not the most money I've ever wasted on a dud promotion, but still. I don't like to flush money down the toilet.  ???
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on December 07, 2017, 08:14:28 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on December 07, 2017, 08:15:10 am
We can only guess at what is happening, but take a look at the SP ads on any book page.  Far too many to cycle through, poor or zero relevance; they do not attract me, now that the novelty has worn off.  Huge competition for 'visibility' but no unglazed eyeballs.  AMS is undoubtedly making money, so they won't change the process.

Essentially, AMS has allowed the product to become degraded and ineffective.  If their cash flow drops enough, they may reform or they may just drop the concept for authors.  Meanwhile, it sells books for established names and provides limited low-cost exposure for the rest of us if our expectations are low and our spending is cautious.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: quiet chick writes on December 07, 2017, 11:03:37 am
When I pulled my fiction books from KU I found I wasn't getting enough paid sales off of them anymore to pay for the clicks. I tried new ads, I tried high bid, low bid, etc. I'm still able to get the ads to work on fiction that's in KU (I put some new titles in), but they're definitely not as profitable as they were a year ago. Non-fiction still seems to be working okay for me. I do think the ads are more difficult to run on older books that have had ads running for a while than they were at this time last year or even this past spring. (So typical Amazon pattern of favoring newer material...) The other thing is that AMS seem to perform better if you have some sort of momentum on a book already, either organic sales or other promo that get your book moving.

I'm not in KU at all, and I know that's not helping me make these ads turn a profit. It didn't use to matter, but I guess it does now.

We can only guess at what is happening, but take a look at the SP ads on any book page.  Far too many to cycle through, poor or zero relevance; they do not attract me, now that the novelty has worn off.  Huge competition for 'visibility' but no unglazed eyeballs.

I was just wondering about this, and I bet you're totally right. Readers are probably sick of seeing them.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: katie78 on December 07, 2017, 03:08:48 pm
I don't know what to do about my AMS ads. I think I might just kill them completely. They were great at first, very profitable even, for a while (from late 2016 through summer of 2017), but now I haven't had a sale from them in months. Only clicks, no sales. They just suck money. Old ads, new ads, they all stopped selling completely and I have no idea why. Same book covers, same ad copy, same rates (although I have tried both putting rates up and down). The books are selling as expected with other promotions, but not AMS. Plenty of clicks, though, which is costing me.

The last sale attributed to any of my AMS campaigns was back in September. Since then:

Ad A, for F&B, fresh ad, 24 clicks, no sales
Ad B, for EWTF, fresh ad, 43 clicks, no sales
Ad C, for F&B, older ad (sold 3 previously), ~50 new clicks since September, no new sales
Ad D, for EWTF, older ad (sold 17 previously), ~30 new clicks since August, no new sales

Across the board, they're all about 1 click to 1000 impressions, which I hear is average enough.

The novels are regularly $4.99 and used to get a sale per about ~20 clicks. I used to get a sale per ~10 clicks at 99c. But now, even when the books are discounted, still no bites over a combined ~150 clicks.

I don't get it why they just stopped dead like that.

And I'm out about $20 in clicks that haven't gotten me any sales, which is not the most money I've ever wasted on a dud promotion, but still. I don't like to flush money down the toilet.  ???
do you use authors as keywords? best-sellers in your genre changing faster than you update your list?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: quiet chick writes on December 07, 2017, 04:13:47 pm
do you use authors as keywords? best-sellers in your genre changing faster than you update your list?

I have lots of authors and book titles on there (or well, ~250 keywords, most of which are author names), both best-sellers and some moderate sellers too. I'm in literary/women's fiction, which I think is pretty steady compared to some genres. The best-sellers are usually pretty constant. At least the ones I'm using are.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on December 07, 2017, 04:57:27 pm
I have lots of authors and book titles on there (or well, ~250 keywords, most of which are author names), both best-sellers and some moderate sellers too. I'm in literary/women's fiction, which I think is pretty steady compared to some genres. The best-sellers are usually pretty constant. At least the ones I'm using are.

I don't write in the same genre, but in my ad, author names are not very effective.  (Even so, I do have some very prominent author names and book titles/series as keywords.  Because you never know.)

Anyway, what I've found works for me is to imagine exactly who I want to read my books and use those words as keywords.  For example, for women's fiction, you might want to use words such as "friendship, womens friendships, womens relationships, morning coffee, mature woman," etc.  You're probably already doing that, but just want to point out that I've had more luck with these more general terms than with author/book names.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on December 08, 2017, 08:24:34 am
I recently noticed that the last letter on one of my ads gets cut in half because it's spaced to the far right (runs off the page). I've seen this in other ads as well. It shows up in both Chrome and Firefox browsers, regardless of zoom levels. Some ads have more than one letter cut off. I emailed screenshots to AMS and they are investigating.

An update on this issue (in case anyone was wondering). I received this reply today:

"After further investigation, the marketing team was able to identify what is causing the cut off text and they have reached out to the websites technical team to resolve this issue. It is taking longer than normal for this to be resolved and we appreciate your understanding as the teams work quickly to fix this."

One of my SP ads is in limbo until it's fixed, because it looks like it has a typo the way it's displayed.

You might want to check your active ads to make sure this issue isn't effecting them.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: katie78 on December 08, 2017, 04:24:39 pm
I have lots of authors and book titles on there (or well, ~250 keywords, most of which are author names), both best-sellers and some moderate sellers too. I'm in literary/women's fiction, which I think is pretty steady compared to some genres. The best-sellers are usually pretty constant. At least the ones I'm using are.
i'm in women's fiction, too. i try to keep my list updated with the top 100 author names as it changes somewhat week to week.

i find promo advice very genre dependent. is women's/contemporary fiction a less typical indie genre?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: quiet chick writes on December 09, 2017, 09:54:03 pm
Anyway, what I've found works for me is to imagine exactly who I want to read my books and use those words as keywords.  For example, for women's fiction, you might want to use words such as "friendship, womens friendships, womens relationships, morning coffee, mature woman," etc.

Yes! These do get some hits. It's harder to guess what phrases people might search with, but they do work sometimes. "chick lit" "love" and "marriage" have gotten some clicks for me, and even a couple of sales. It's hard to imagine people search for such vague things, but I guess they do!

Also try those mysterious subcategories that are listed when you look at someone's book. You can't necessarily place your book in them, but you can use keywords either in KDP or in AMS ads to get a hearing in those subcats.

Good idea! There's a couple more keywords I could add.

i'm in women's fiction, too. i try to keep my list updated with the top 100 author names as it changes somewhat week to week.

That's interesting. Do you leave them on the list after they're not bestsellers anymore?

My best-producing keyword for sales of one of my women's fiction titles costs $0.34 as an average. On a daily basis it may cost more. My bid is much higher, and I also have that book priced at $5.99, but KU accounts for at least 50% of the action, and my cut of the KU for that title is just over $2.00. That means I lose money on the transaction if it takes more than 6 clicks of that particular keyword to get me a full read. The conundrum is that other keywords may be producing more reads and at a lower cost, but I have no way of knowing because Amazon won't tell. That ad overall is profitable.

Wow, costs $0.34? I bet that adds up fast! I have to say, I'm probably bidding way too low to show up for many of the better selling women's fic authors, and nobody's going to click through 40-something pages to get to my book. And without being in KU, I'm always going to make half of what everybody else is making on these things. 

Ah well, I know I need to get my head down and finish more books anyway.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Harald on December 10, 2017, 09:08:19 am
Hey Cassie... I guess you're referring my old "AMS Ads Learning" thread, and you're right: at 74 pages, it's a bit unwieldy! ;-). Glad you started up this one. Real quick, here's an update from me on my Drip-Drip Strategy for a single running campaign for a $0.99 series opener (historical fiction novella):
* 253 consecutive running days
* 413 keywords, 33 of which are selling
* still keeping my bids low: aCPC is $0.02; range of selling keywords: 0.02-0.05
* all selling keywords are under 35% ACoS
* overall campaign ACoS is 23% so paying for itself in "raw" terms (+ bonus of KU reads, follow-on sales, etc.). Trickle Effect continues to work.
* 500 Impressions per Click; 11.7 Clicks per Sale
* am busy working on my Omnibus edition so only checking in on this campaign x1/week and recording major stats and adjusting keywords as needed. Once 500-page omnibus is out will probably pause this and shift attention to the larger book.

Will now go back and read/skim over your 12 pages. Pray that you don't get to 74! :)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on December 14, 2017, 06:04:47 pm

Anyway, what I've found works for me is to imagine exactly who I want to read my books and use those words as keywords.


If an ad showing no sales on the Advertising Campaign chart is Paused, will sales that possibly occurred just before Pausing eventually be shown?

On December 8 I got the bright idea to combine productive keywords from several ads for the same book into a single test ad.  I decided to choose only keywords that had garnered at least 2 Clicks, each with a CTR of at least .10% (1 Click/1,000 Impressions).  I was able to collect a total of 426 unique Keywords matching those requirements.  I theorized that such a test ad might produce an overall CTR of close to .10%.

Long story short, the ad did even better than expected - in fact it went nuts.  As of today (December 14) it has garnered 151,728 Impressions and 153 Clicks.  That is average Daily Impressions of 25,288 (151,728 / 6 - with a CTR of .1008%) - the best results, by a huge margin, that I have experienced with any ad.

The BIG problem is - so far the ad is showing NO sales!  For that reason, I just Paused the ad.  If I continue Running the ad and no sales occur, I will obviously lose a bundle. 

We all know that AMS sales data usually lags by at least a few days.  And, even worse, they often never provide that data for any specific ad.  A very poor way to conduct business IMHO - makes me question their motivation behind such tactics.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: KelliWolfe on December 14, 2017, 06:34:50 pm
My ad effectiveness has dropped off sharply since this summer for both my Olivia Blake books and for a YA romance series I write under a different pen name. Both catalogs are all in KU.

Given the number of titles completely unrelated by genre or subject that come up in the immediately visible ads every time I browse through books I'm wondering if readers are starting to tune the list out as largely irrelevant. There are also two different sponsored products lists on each book page - one directly under the also bought list and then another way down under the about the author section. I seriously doubt that 99% of people ever scroll down far enough to even see that second list, although I'd bet money that Amazon considers their appearance on the page an impression for their algorithms' sake. If your books show up in that second list they might as well not be displayed at all.

And of course these lists bump the also viewed list and the featured recommendation lists which are actually useful to readers way down the page...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: quiet chick writes on December 14, 2017, 07:20:18 pm
If an ad showing no sales on the Advertising Campaign chart is Paused, will sales that possibly occurred just before Pausing eventually be shown?

Yes, if the clicks led to sales, they will show up when paused after a couple/few days.

The BIG problem is - so far the ad is showing NO sales!  For that reason, I just Paused the ad.  If I continue Running the ad and no sales occur, I will obviously lose a bundle. 

This sounds just like my problem at the moment. 107 clicks have posted between two ads since I last had a claimed sale in September. I've paused them on and off to see if the sales would catch up, but none ever showed up. There was even a period when both books were discounted for 99c, selling fine through external ads, but not a single AMS claimed sale. So I'm supposed to believe that none of those 107 people who clicked snapped up a copy, not even for 99c? What gives?

My hubby said they're probably bot clicks, lol! (but not lol!)  :-\
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on December 14, 2017, 09:20:31 pm

Yes, if the clicks led to sales, they will show up when paused after a couple/few days.


Thanks for the reply - looks like I play the old Waiting Game - with hope that something good eventually springs from that Paused ad.

A couple days ago (Dec 12) I placed a similar ad; with the exception of choosing Keywords that garnered but 1 Click, CTR of at least .10%, and 825 unique Keywords.  Likely I will also end up Pausing that ad since it already shows signs of being a Runaway (or Bot Infected, as your husband suspects)!

I hesitate testing anything that relies on responding to Keywords yielding but a single Click.  I long ago discovered that some orders often are the result of mere curiosity.  A single Click sometimes yields a solitary order very early on, with no additional follow ups; which I perceive as a curiosity order (perhaps even an order placed by mistake).

But, I have become very adept at cranking out ads by the dozen, with generally good results.  I have had a fair degree of success with Keyword-Stuffed ads.  I maintain dozens of such files, totaling several thousand Keywords appropriate to a genre for each book (and sub-genres).

I go along with the thinking of Jena H - "Anyway, what I've found is to imagine who I want to read my books and use those words as keywords."

I also submit test ads based upon combining several  separate such files - using Nth Name Select to keep Keyword totals below the limit of 1,000.  For example, combined files totaling 5,000 Keywords may yield 4,000 unique Keywords after dupes have been deleted.  By using an Nth name factor of 4, I end up with 4 separate files of 1,000 unique Keywords.  I have found that such ads, if not run concurrently, will yield entirely different results.  It then becomes a matter of retaining the more productive ads - along with follow-up testing in hope of refining their results even further.

Nobody but AMS really understands how their Algo works.  IMHO, it is easy to Over-think the Keyword process.  The time-tested, and often proven, method of Trial and Error often yields the best results.  I had good luck doing that during my many years in the mail order business.  IMHO, testing, testing, and more testing is the name of the game.

Along the same line of thinking, nobody really understands how the human mind works (not even AMS).  You never know what will, or will not, trigger folks to place orders.  Sometimes the craziest concepts end up being the biggest money-makers.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on December 14, 2017, 10:00:48 pm
Does Amazon put certain bestsellers in the top spots of the sponsored ads sections or are those authors spending that much that they always have those spots and with multiple books of theirs? Inglath Cooper tends to have at least, sometimes even 3 books, on almost every major women's fiction book page I go to on the first sponsored carousel. She even has her own books in the top spot in her own sponsored section. It will have her also boughts and then she'll have a book in her own book's sponsored section.

Some deep pockets if she is spending that herself.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on December 16, 2017, 07:02:50 am
It's my understanding that Amazon rewards high-selling books--and presumably authors--with better placement, or rather, with more frequent ad placement. All the competing bids might be around the same dollar figure, but her better sales boost her to the top because Amazon rightly infers that her books will sell better than someone else's even if that other person's bid was higher.

This is presumably (everything with AMS is "presumably"!) why your ads don't budge even if you up your budget substantially.

I certainly have proof of that recently. I made what appear to be three mistakes in a row: I slowed sales on a title by upping its price, then I lowered the ad budget for a few days while all the mess was happening with reporting. (I still think reporting is bonkers.) I believe the nail in the coffin, though, was that I paused the ad for a few hours. Whatever; the ad slowed down and has not recovered despite upping the budget and later tweaking the keywords. That's a catastrophe for my series since the ad for the first book sells all the rest. I may have to concoct an entirely new ad and see if I can get any motion on it.

This has all been my experience lately as well.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on December 16, 2017, 08:16:21 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on December 17, 2017, 06:49:44 pm
I recently had a sale for $10.95 show up on one of my AMS ads. There was only one click for this sale. It made no sense since the price of the paperback for this book is $14.99. I have since had two more paperback sales on another book for $10.95, but only one corresponding sale recorded on my Create Space dashboard. Is anyone else seeing this sort of business happening?
Title: Is this new?
Post by: DrewMcGunn on December 17, 2017, 09:13:37 pm
Was looking at my main AMS campaign this evening and I noticed on the Keywords section, there were two fields I haven't previously noticed.  In between the Keyword selection and the Campaign Settings, I now have two more options.  Keyword Analytics and Campaign history.  I don't recall either of these options being present on the campaign management screen and I thought I would ask here to see if I'm just mistaken (which often happens) or perhaps the Zon has heard our cries and has given us new tools to analyze the success of our AMS campaigns. 
Title: Re: Is this new?
Post by: DrewMcGunn on December 17, 2017, 09:53:22 pm
Alas, I don't have them. Amazon must be testing.
I've done a bit more research and I think it may have something to do with the chrome extension "Machete"
I do like the data.  Being able to see how many clicks each day, and how much each of those clicks cost, and then eventually, what sales those clicks brought me.
darn... and here I was hoping Amazon was actually listening to us.
Title: Re: Is this new?
Post by: Jena H on December 18, 2017, 05:48:38 am
I've done a bit more research and I think it may have something to do with the chrome extension "Machete"
I do like the data.  Being able to see how many clicks each day, and how much each of those clicks cost, and then eventually, what sales those clicks brought me.
darn... and here I was hoping Amazon was actually listening to us.

I don't have this 'extra' info either, but I've often wished for more in-depth info in the reporting.  Sometimes I tweak bids (from .25 to .26, etc.) and wish I could see the number of clicks that come both before and after I make the change, and other tiny details like that.
Title: Re: Is this new?
Post by: DrewMcGunn on December 18, 2017, 07:52:59 am
I don't have this 'extra' info either, but I've often wished for more in-depth info in the reporting.  Sometimes I tweak bids (from .25 to .26, etc.) and wish I could see the number of clicks that come both before and after I make the change, and other tiny details like that.
There are folks here that are far more experienced than I regarding finding the sweet spot for gaining traction, but I have noticed when I moved my bid on a particular word to .26, it moved me onto the first page of the carrousel for the moderately active keyword. While that word is losing a fair amount of money according to the ACoS, over all, the campaign has hovered between 60 and 70%, which to me makes a few loss leaders worth it, especially when I have no idea how many of the KU reads are a result of which AMS keyword.

Obviously, if you're in a highly competitive genre like Romance, .26 may not get you anywhere near the first page of most readers' carrousel, so YMMV.
Title: Re: Is this new?
Post by: Jena H on December 18, 2017, 02:47:17 pm
There are folks here that are far more experienced than I regarding finding the sweet spot for gaining traction, but I have noticed when I moved my bid on a particular word to .26, it moved me onto the first page of the carrousel for the moderately active keyword. While that word is losing a fair amount of money according to the ACoS, over all, the campaign has hovered between 60 and 70%, which to me makes a few loss leaders worth it, especially when I have no idea how many of the KU reads are a result of which AMS keyword.

Obviously, if you're in a highly competitive genre like Romance, .26 may not get you anywhere near the first page of most readers' carrousel, so YMMV.

My ad isn't for a romance, but I check the dashboard a couple times a week.  If a keyword is performing pretty well, I might raise it a penny (.25 to .26, for example, or whatever), or vice versa if I'm spending too much on a keyword with little or no return.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on December 18, 2017, 08:25:44 pm
So... I've had a sponsored product campaign (carbon copy of the one I'm currently running - wanna restart it so I can see actual details of how it fares using my new book cover) stuck as "pending review" for over 24h now. The last two campaigns I started a month ago took less than half that. Is this normal? Anyone else having this experience?

Also I'm considering starting a Product Display Ad for my book, directly targetting the two or three authors closest to my book along with the specific subcategory, but the minimum $100 budget puts me off. I can always cancel it even if I haven't reached $100, right? AMS can be so obtuse at times :\
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on December 18, 2017, 09:11:54 pm
So... I've had a sponsored product campaign (carbon copy of the one I'm currently running - wanna restart it so I can see actual details of how it fares using my new book cover) stuck as "pending review" for over 24h now. The last two campaigns I started a month ago took less than half that. Is this normal? Anyone else having this experience?

Also I'm considering starting a Product Display Ad for my book, directly targetting the two or three authors closest to my book along with the specific subcategory, but the minimum $100 budget puts me off. I can always cancel it even if I haven't reached $100, right? AMS can be so obtuse at times :\
24 hours is little on the long side. The AMS campaign I set up around a month ago, was approved within 8 hours or so, if memory serves me correctly.
I'd like to hear back from you in this thread if you decide to start a product display ad.  Your results would be of interest to most of us who read this AMS thread.

BTW, love the new cover.  I'm glad you listened to the feedback on the thread you started for cover feedback.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on December 18, 2017, 09:42:39 pm
24 hours is little on the long side. The AMS campaign I set up around a month ago, was approved within 8 hours or so, if memory serves me correctly.
I'd like to hear back from you in this thread if you decide to start a product display ad.  Your results would be of interest to most of us who read this AMS thread.

BTW, love the new cover.  I'm glad you listened to the feedback on the thread you started for cover feedback.

Yeah, they approved it like fifteen minutes after I posted but indeed it was far too long.

I think I'm gonna bite and try product display. I know for a fact I'm in a small niche (I'm 400th on my main category and haven't sold anything in like a month) so more targeted ads might do better than the wider, keyword-related ones. I think I'll set it up tomorrow tho, I'm falling asleep on the PC as is and I feel I should rewrite my author bio - it's too funny atm which might come across as unprofessional. Gonna try rewriting it first since I'm sure I can find a middle ground, then run the ads. I'll update you guys here with how it goes if I end up doing it :D

And thanks on the cover comment! :D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on December 18, 2017, 09:56:47 pm
I had a $200 budget on one PD ad and couldn't get AMS to spend more than $10.65 in two months. Finally terminated it. To get any action, you have to use a fairly short term (maybe only one month), bid high, and then watch like a hawk just in case AMS goes nuts and tries to spend your whole $100 in a day.

That's precisely my fear! Guess I should try during the xmas break when I can refresh that thing every five minutes if need be in order to kill it timely.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on December 19, 2017, 05:38:20 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Amyshojai on December 19, 2017, 02:33:23 pm
Hmnnn. Most of my ads I set a $10-15/day budget. I've only had a couple (in the past week or so) run out of budget and I bumped higher. Probably holiday shopping increasing the clicks...and most certainly the sales!

I've had no luck with the fiction. But the nonfiction has worked well.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on December 20, 2017, 07:26:44 am
So... I've had a sponsored product campaign (carbon copy of the one I'm currently running - wanna restart it so I can see actual details of how it fares using my new book cover) stuck as "pending review" for over 24h now. The last two campaigns I started a month ago took less than half that. Is this normal? Anyone else having this experience?

Also I'm considering starting a Product Display Ad for my book, directly targetting the two or three authors closest to my book along with the specific subcategory, but the minimum $100 budget puts me off. I can always cancel it even if I haven't reached $100, right? AMS can be so obtuse at times :\

I don't think you should worry about this. You're being charged per click. My PD ads are basically stalled. In the past month, they've gathered a total of 2 clicks, and if you do get a lot of clicks (and therefore spend a lot of your budget) you'll hopefully get a lot of sales. Generally, people want Amazon to spend more of their money on the ads, not less.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: quiet chick writes on December 20, 2017, 08:21:31 am
Weird, so after being basically dead for three months, my ad just revived itself for no apparent reason at all. It went from 2k impressions/day to around 10k/day, with a good click ratio. And the ad claimed two sales.

I can't even guess why it started back up again. I ran a promo recently for my other book, but not the book this ad belongs to.  Not complaining, but I'm ready to quit trying to decipher these things. They are very mysterious.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: amdonehere on December 20, 2017, 11:06:18 am
Weird, so after being basically dead for three months, my ad just revived itself for no apparent reason at all. It went from 2k impressions/day to around 10k/day, with a good click ratio. And the ad claimed two sales.

I can't even guess why it started back up again. I ran a promo recently for my other book, but not the book this ad belongs to.  Not complaining, but I'm ready to quit trying to decipher these things. They are very mysterious.

The AMS Ads work in mysterious ways!!!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: amdonehere on December 20, 2017, 11:11:56 am
So one of my book's sales have slow to a crawl and I've been thinking all's going to hell. Then I went in to add a few new KWs today and Lo and Behold! Turns out I'd paused this ad for I don't even remember how long. Probably since last month as I ran some other outside promo on it, and forgot to turn the ad back on.

Once again, it's proven to me that AMS ads do promote continuous sales. Not huge spikes or anything, but the daily grind.

I also paused all ads on another book on Monday as a test to see if AMS ads really do anything. This book has all the right also-bots and a long sales history that should feed the algo. Well, Within a day, sales and ranking stated to tank below anything I'd ever seen since the last time I paused ads to run a similar test about a year ago. In a panic I of course turned the ads back on again and now things are picking up a bit again.

So Amazon has gotten me on hook and in a bind like a drug addict. I basically cannot sell consistently without running these ads.

OTOH another thread is saying that there's lag in reports, so maybe that's the real problem? IDK. It's all a mystery to me.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on December 20, 2017, 11:32:43 am
So one of my book's sales have slow to a crawl and I've been thinking all's going to hell. Then I went in to add a few new KWs today and Lo and Behold! Turns out I'd paused this ad for I don't even remember how long. Probably since last month as I ran some other outside promo on it, and forgot to turn the ad back on.

Once again, it's proven to me that AMS ads do promote continuous sales. Not huge spikes or anything, but the daily grind.

I also paused all ads on another book on Monday as a test to see if AMS ads really do anything. This book has all the right also-bots and a long sales history that should feed the algo. Well, Within a day, sales and ranking stated to tank below anything I'd ever seen since the last time I paused ads to run a similar test about a year ago. In a panic I of course turned the ads back on again and now things are picking up a bit again.

So Amazon has gotten me on hook and in a bind like a drug addict. I basically cannot sell consistently without running these ads.

OTOH another thread is saying that there's lag in reports, so maybe that's the real problem? IDK. It's all a mystery to me.

That was a brave experiment to perform since it meant you were losing sales, even for a short period.

I've been tempted to do the same but don't have your financial nerve.  I know that AMS ads do bring in substantial sales for me, but I strongly suspect that I am also getting sales from other sources. But no idea to what extent. The only way to know for sure would be to do what you did and pause the AMS ads for a while.

I'm just reluctant to mess with something that is currently working for me, even if its somewhat beyond my understanding.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Saboth on December 20, 2017, 11:39:53 am
I'm curious how people in KU cope with not knowing where 50% of their sales are coming from. My ad is running at about 150%, but I'm also getting more borrows than sales. It seems impossible to know which keywords are doing well when you can only see 1/2 to 1/3 of your sales, and KU borrows are invisible. Has Amazon ever said if they will allow us to see our own borrows? Heck, if I could just see how many page reads are being generated from certain keywords, that would help.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on December 20, 2017, 11:58:13 am
It's certainly the case that AMS reporting often under-reports sales caused by a specific campaign or keyword.  However, I don't think they ever over-report.  At least, I've seen no evidence of that.

So I have selected my 10 best keywords, each of which I'm sure has produced multiple sales.  I'm monitoring their performance (clicks) for 10 days, after which I will raise the keyword bid on each from $0.16 to $0.26.

Then I'll monitor them for 5 to 10 days to see if raising the bids improved the keywords' performance (impressions and clicks). I should be able to see what effect raising the bids had.

Will the keywords continue to perform at the same level?  Will they get more clicks on average? Will results be mixed?  Will the change somehow cause their performance (impressions and clicks) to tank?

If the latter, I will be unhappy.

What do you think?  What effect have others found on raising bids on performing keywords?

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kyle Alexander Romines on December 20, 2017, 02:10:53 pm
Hello all. I'm fairly new to AMS ads, and hoping to learn from the wisdom here.

I have two product display ads running currently, one by interest, and one by product. One ad started 12/16, the other 12/14. One shows just 6 impressions, the other 0. I'm currently reading Brian Meek's book, and it says it takes a week or two for theses ads to kick in. Does that hold true, or is it that my CPC bids are too low? My 'by product' CPC is 30 cents, and my 'by interest' ad is 28 cents. (Both obviously have the $100 budget.) Should I give it a bit more time to see if the ads kick in, or should I increase my CPC? Any advice is much appreciated. 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on December 20, 2017, 02:15:14 pm
Hello all. I'm fairly new to AMS ads, and hoping to learn from the wisdom here.

I have two product display ads running currently, one by interest, and one by product. One ad started 12/16, the other 12/14. One shows just 6 impressions, the other 0. I'm currently reading Brian Meek's book, and it says it takes a week or two for theses ads to kick in. Does that hold true, or is it that my CPC bids are too low? My 'by product' CPC is 30 cents, and my 'by interest' ad is 28 cents. (Both obviously have the $100 budget.) Should I give it a bit more time to see if the ads kick in, or should I increase my CPC? Any advice is much appreciated.

I read the Meeks book months ago and followed the advice with a few Product Interest ads by interest and product. All they did was sit there, and sit there still they do. I think it's hooey. Almost no impressions to speak of. Could be because there are limited opportunities to place, and probably lots of competition now, as opposed to when Meeks drew this conclusion. Maybe it will improve after the holidays, when there are more devices in circulation, who knows.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kyle Alexander Romines on December 20, 2017, 02:39:03 pm
I read the Meeks book months ago and followed the advice with a few Product Interest ads by interest and product. All they did was sit there, and sit there still they do. I think it's hooey. Almost no impressions to speak of. Could be because there are limited opportunities to place, and probably lots of competition now, as opposed to when Meeks drew this conclusion. Maybe it will improve after the holidays, when there are more devices in circulation, who knows.

Thanks for the feedback, Billy. It's a shame to hear that. I love your covers, by the way.

Unless your subgenre is super competitive, those should be high enough bids. Try shortening the lifespan of the ad. Doing that sped up clicks for one of my PD ads.

I will try that, Lily! I appreciate the advice. The genre is horror.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on December 20, 2017, 02:40:58 pm
Hello all. I'm fairly new to AMS ads, and hoping to learn from the wisdom here.

I have two product display ads running currently, one by interest, and one by product. One ad started 12/16, the other 12/14. One shows just 6 impressions, the other 0. I'm currently reading Brian Meek's book, and it says it takes a week or two for theses ads to kick in. Does that hold true, or is it that my CPC bids are too low? My 'by product' CPC is 30 cents, and my 'by interest' ad is 28 cents. (Both obviously have the $100 budget.) Should I give it a bit more time to see if the ads kick in, or should I increase my CPC? Any advice is much appreciated.

You might try joining Brian Meeks' Facebook group on Amazon ads:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/407283052948198/?ref=bookmarks

All of these issues are discussed there, and many others. According to numerous comments on the timeline, this time of year is very bad for the ads, particularly PD ads. Supposedly (hopefully), after the holidays, the big publishers are done pushing their expensive books and the little people like us might get our ads shown. My PD ads have been entirely dead in the water for at least the last month.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kyle Alexander Romines on December 20, 2017, 02:43:01 pm
You might try joining Brian Meeks' Facebook group on Amazon ads:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/407283052948198/?ref=bookmarks

All of these issues are discussed there, and many others. According to numerous comments on the timeline, this time of year is very bad for the ads, particularly PD ads. Supposedly (hopefully), after the holidays, the big publishers are done pushing their expensive books and the little people like us might get our ads shown. My PD ads have been entirely dead in the water for at least the last month.

That is also super helpful! Thank you, rikatz. I will be joining that group. I'm about halfway through with Brian's book. I plan to finish it over Christmas break.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on December 20, 2017, 02:58:24 pm
I launched a new sponsored ad campaign two days ago and it's wildly underperforming - as in, I've got 1 click in nearly 4000 impressions. It doesn't make sense, as before (that is, a month ago) I was getting 1 click every 750, and I'm wondering if it might be because Amazon is be serving more ads, but that does not imply people will click more - particularly since some of their carousels are out of view (bottom carousel), which means ads are shown but often not really seen. Could it be I'm being put mostly in the dreaded bottom carousel?

If this is the case, I shouldn't worry as this experience should become the standard. Yet still I find it odd, and annoying since I fear Amazon will blacklist me, so to speak, and stop serving my ads due to few clicks. Anyone here have the same experience these last few days?

I also launched the PD campaign I mentioned earlier, but it's only been live for like 8 hours and has zero impressions so far even when I'm bidding $0.35. I'll wait on that one, tho.

All in all this is a bit frustrating since I know it's not MY fault, but at least I'm not hemorrhaging money so there's that :P
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on December 20, 2017, 03:56:58 pm
I launched a new sponsored ad campaign two days ago and it's wildly underperforming - as in, I've got 1 click in nearly 4000 impressions. It doesn't make sense, as before (that is, a month ago) I was getting 1 click every 750, and I'm wondering if it might be because Amazon is be serving more ads, but that does not imply people will click more - particularly since some of their carousels are out of view (bottom carousel), which means ads are shown but often not really seen. Could it be I'm being put mostly in the dreaded bottom carousel?

If this is the case, I shouldn't worry as this experience should become the standard. Yet still I find it odd, and annoying since I fear Amazon will blacklist me, so to speak, and stop serving my ads due to few clicks. Anyone here have the same experience these last few days?

I also launched the PD campaign I mentioned earlier, but it's only been live for like 8 hours and has zero impressions so far even when I'm bidding $0.35. I'll wait on that one, tho.

All in all this is a bit frustrating since I know it's not MY fault, but at least I'm not hemorrhaging money so there's that :P

Yeah I've noticed this too recently. I wish they would say what exactly is considered impression and not. It's bizarre to see clicks suddenly disappear but impressions keep rising.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on December 21, 2017, 08:56:34 pm

 I wish they would say what exactly


Exactly is unknown terminology with AMS - stick around long enough and you'll see what I mean.  Trying to get a straight answer from AMS is an exercise in futility.  I recently received a response to a simple question and, as usual, was referred to the usual "Help" section(s).  As usual - the old runaround.

And as usual, I politely thanked the "technician" for her response - and gave an "Excellent" rating for each of their three addressed categories.  I guess they, as everyone else, have to make a living somehow - even if all they accomplish is to add even more confusion to already very confusing
"self-inflicted" issues.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Yup on December 22, 2017, 01:20:02 am
I'm fairly certain that ads get outbid at this time of year. Big money rolls in before Christmas from publishers. We'll see what it looks like in a week or two. 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on December 22, 2017, 08:05:35 am
I'm fairly certain that ads get outbid at this time of year. Big money rolls in before Christmas from publishers. We'll see what it looks like in a week or two.

It's possible. A month ago I was getting 10k impressions/day and today, with somewhat higher bids and more keywords, I'm lucky to reach 2k. Worse, I'm sure I'm being put in the bottom carousel nobody ever sees. Let's see how things go next week.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on December 22, 2017, 08:39:58 am
No doubt that ad business is up for AMS, maybe January will recover.

I tried last night to submit a new ad campaign.  All OK except no preview of the ad, no indication that the text was received.  I submitted the ad anyway.  Today it was rejected for 'grammtical errors'.  The text, unchanged, has been run before in other campaigns with no problems.  So I tried re-submitting today with another proven text - preview still not available, so I'll have to wait to see what happens.

Anyone else having similar problems?  I suspect that the AMS servers are simply swamped.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on December 22, 2017, 08:47:50 am
No doubt that ad business is up for AMS, maybe January will recover.

I tried last night to submit a new ad campaign.  All OK except no preview of the ad, no indication that the text was received.  I submitted the ad anyway.  Today it was rejected for 'grammtical errors'.  The text, unchanged, has been run before in other campaigns with no problems.  So I tried re-submitting today with another proven text - preview still not available, so I'll have to wait to see what happens.

Anyone else having similar problems?  I suspect that the AMS servers are simply swamped.

Make sure you're properly capitalizing. AMS doesn't like it if you use capitals anywhere they're not required.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on December 22, 2017, 10:33:22 am
Make sure you're properly capitalizing. AMS doesn't like it if you use capitals anywhere they're not required.

Reje terd text was:

Save civilization? Above his pay grade, but he must - in his own way. 'Time for Goliath' is scifi, time travel, murder mystery, tantalizing romance...

Perhaps too many periods at the end?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on December 22, 2017, 10:43:09 am
Reje terd text was:

Save civilization? Above his pay grade, but he must - in his own way. 'Time for Goliath' is scifi, time travel, murder mystery, tantalizing romance...

Perhaps too many periods at the end?

I believe somebody mentioned they don't like it much when you use ellipsis, so that might be it indeed.

Also I'd change that "Save civilization?" to "Saving civilization?" since the first one strikes me as odd.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on December 23, 2017, 10:23:44 am
Thank you for those suggestions.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on December 23, 2017, 07:05:22 pm
When campaigns have been running for several months and accumulated a lot of data, it is possible to make evaluations at the keyword level even though AMS often under-reports sales attributed to individual keywords. For me, I stopped all keywords that had 20+ clicks with no sales reported. When I did this, my total daily clicks on all campaigns halved, but sales remained the same. Removing those costly but unproductive keywords was what moved all my campaigns from a loss into profit.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Paul Mathews on December 23, 2017, 10:55:41 pm
Reje terd text was:

Save civilization? Above his pay grade, but he must - in his own way. 'Time for Goliath' is scifi, time travel, murder mystery, tantalizing romance...

Perhaps too many periods at the end?

The ellipsis at the end looks fine. Three possible other issues:

1) Amazon often reject hyphens where a dash should technically be in place. You may need to copy and paste one over from Word, if you can't generate one within the ad-text box. (I had this problem and the dash-hyphen swap satisfied them.)

2) They may have decided 'scifi' should be hyphenated as 'sci-fi'. (Different reviewers have their own foibles.)

3) Whoever read the text may think the opening two sentences should be expanded e.g. 'Can he save civilization? It's above his pay grade. But he must - in his own way.' This will increase the word count but you could lose '"Time for Goliath is"' and start the last sentence with 'Sci-fi, time travel...' Maybe even lose 'tantalizing' as it's a long word. That might squeeze everything in.

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: RScott on December 25, 2017, 08:20:47 am

Query on pre-orders that are in KU. How do KU downloads work for preorders? Right now I have an Ad running for the preorder that has 60-ish clicks and 14 preorders, but I think my ranking looks lower than it should for that many sales. Do KU pre-borrows count towards ranking?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on December 26, 2017, 07:04:53 am
When campaigns have been running for several months and accumulated a lot of data, it is possible to make evaluations at the keyword level even though AMS often under-reports sales attributed to individual keywords. For me, I stopped all keywords that had 20+ clicks with no sales reported. When I did this, my total daily clicks on all campaigns halved, but sales remained the same. Removing those costly but unproductive keywords was what moved all my campaigns from a loss into profit.

Pausing or drastically reducing the bid on a keyword due to my perception of its relevance/value is one way in which I see managing AMS ads being as much art as it is science. Like my constant gardener metaphor. Is this (keyword) a weed or a bona fide plant? If it's a weed, I will pull it out so it doesn't take any more of the water and nutrients the genuine plants need to thrive. It's a judgement call. Get it right and it's beneficial (money is not spent unnecessarily). Get it wrong and it's potentially a lost opportunity for a sale or two. Managing ads in this way has resulted in my AMS ads garden remaining pretty, healthy and productive for nearly a year now.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on December 26, 2017, 08:44:50 am
The ellipsis at the end looks fine. Three possible other issues:

\quote]

Thank you for the suggestions.  It all seems very subjective and idiosyncratic;  but so does everything else on AMS.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Alvina on December 26, 2017, 04:10:01 pm
There is no more click for my AMS ads since Christmas Eve!

Can someone please tell me what happened to the  AMS now?

Thanks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on December 26, 2017, 09:43:13 pm
I've been making my way through Brian Meek's Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author's guide and have been putting pen to paper about how to analyze a successful ad.
As I understand it, he ignores, rightly, ACoS, and instead, says we should calculate the number of purchase, plus the KU reads/KENP, for those of us in KU. Once you know that number, divide that number against the number of clicks your AMS ad has generated.

For instance, let's say a book has 10 buys and KENP book reads
Lets say that the AMS add has 80 clicks.
The result would be 1:8 (or 1 sale for every 8 clicks).  Is this correct the correct way to interpret his formula?

I'm wondering because my own calculation of my last 11 days worth of data seems to fall outside of the norm.
In the last 11 days, I've had 297 clicks and 116 Sales or KENP full book reads, and I'm not sure if I'm looking at his formula correctly.  The reason for using 11 days, is the 16th of Dec is when I started using Chrome Machete to analyze each day's impression and click rate, so I've got reasonably accurate count of clicks against which to evaluate my AMS conversion rate from that date.

Meeks says less than a thousand clicks and you just don't have enough data and that makes sense.  Apart from the low amount of data, am I doing something wrong in calculating the the conversion rate?  He's pretty insistent that a conversion rate below 1 in 6 and we may need someone to check our math. I'd genuinely like to believe my AMS ad has found some serious mojo with a 3.9 in 10 conversion or my organic buys and reads are really good, but the fact of the matter is that I'm a no name prawn and my organic sales are likely to be rather low and it's more likely that I've either misinterpreted Brian's formula or made a mess of the formula.  Any feedback on his formula or my own attempt at calculating it would be appreciated.  If I'm using his formula wrong I want to fix it so that I use AMS as effectively as possible.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on December 27, 2017, 05:59:56 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on December 27, 2017, 06:34:56 am
I've seen Meeks's formula, and I've played with his spreadsheet. In my experience, neither can present an accurate picture when it comes to sales.

Sales stem from too many unknown variables. Moreover, the profitability of an ad is unknowable given that KU reads, audio sales, and resultant subscribers cannot be tracked.

Here's an example:

I released Book A in 2017. I've created many AMS ads for it. But in addition to AMS, sales for Book A can be attributed to Kindle Daily Deals, Amazon recommendations, also-boughts, my mailing list, subscribers' recommendations on social, etc. It's impossible to analyze each factor's individual effect on sales.

Moreover, consider KU reads. How many are attributable to AMS? How many are attributed to the increased visibility of Book A to KU customers due to juicing the search algos?

Consider audio. Book A has nearly 5,000 audio sales, and has obtained dozens of bounties. How many are attributable to AMS? How many are attributable to other factors, such as Amazon promos, Audible promos, my mailing list, etc.?

And most importantly (for me), how many new subscribers result from my AMS ads for Book A? I run my lists so that subscribers equal revenue. But this metric is unknowable with AMS (assuming you're doing volume).

Meeks's formula and spreadsheet attempt to provide a snapshot of profitability with AMS ads. And it's a fine attempt. But ultimately, it's a failed one because there are too many unknown variables to obtain an accurate picture.

So, what to do with AMS?

I approach it in the same manner as I approach poker ranges. I set rules based on the available metrics. On the sponsored product side, if a keyword generates X clicks without a sale, I kill the keyword. On the other hand, if a keyword generates X sales per Y clicks, I go all in.

Those are rules. I use nearly 20 whenever I audit my AMS ads, and a couple take ACoS into account.

My advice: forget about formulas to gauge AMS profitability.* Instead, set up rules and stick to them.



* The exception is the non-KU author who only publishes digital and print, and does zero sales volume without AMS ads. In that scenario, accurately gauging profitability is simple. But this author is going to be out of business in a couple years if he doesn't shore up his platform.



Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on December 27, 2017, 07:56:17 am
In the last 11 days, I've had 297 clicks and 116 Sales or KENP full book reads,

Whatever method you use to arrive at the above figures, 116 sales/reads from 297 clicks means you are doing extremely well.

I'm unsure about using the tool and calculating the reads figure though. How many sales did you get if you leave off the reads figure?

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on December 27, 2017, 08:03:11 am
Meeks's formula and spreadsheet attempt to provide a snapshot of profitability with AMS ads. And it's a fine attempt. But ultimately, it's a failed one because there are too many unknown variables to obtain an accurate picture.

So, what to do with AMS?

I approach it in the same manner as I approach poker ranges. I set rules based on the available metrics. On the sponsored product side, if a keyword generates X clicks without a sale, I kill the keyword. On the other hand, if a keyword generates X sales per Y clicks, I go all in.

Those are rules. I use nearly 20 whenever I audit my AMS ads, and a couple take ACoS into account.

Like you, I also work according to a set of rules, and like you some of them take ACoS into account.

I'm curious what your X figure is for stopping a keyword that has no sales.  For me, it's 20 clicks with no sales.

Also what your Y figure for "going all in" is.  For me, I raise bids, but only on keywords that have generated more than 2 sales.


Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on December 27, 2017, 10:18:05 am
Whatever method you use to arrive at the above figures, 116 sales/reads from 297 clicks means you are doing extremely well.

I'm unsure about using the tool and calculating the reads figure though. How many sales did you get if you leave off the reads figure?

Philip

59 buys, 57 KU reads.

I really do appreciate the feedback from Anarchist and Philip.  I want to learn from anyone who is making AMS work for their own sales.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on December 28, 2017, 11:04:10 am
I just submitted the following inquiry to the "Contact Us" folks at Amazon.  It's in regard to my "Mini-Wizard" eBook, for which I run ads primarily for test purposes at varying price levels.

I will be very surprised if they give me a straight answer, instead of the usual confusing runaround.  I will post their reply, for everyone's amusement!

Here 'tis:

According to my AMS "Historical" data chart, from January through November of this year 166 copies of my "Mini-Wizard" eBook have been sold.

During that period, AMS placed over 50 of my ads for that eBook.  However, the "Est. Total Sales" column of my "Advertising Campaigns" chart does not show a sale for even one of those 50+ ads.

Judging ad performance without that missing data is impossible.  Please provide that data so that I can judge ad performance.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on December 28, 2017, 02:04:17 pm
I just submitted the following inquiry to the "Contact Us" folks at Amazon.  It's in regard to my "Mini-Wizard" eBook, for which I run ads primarily for test purposes at varying price levels.

I will be very surprised if they give me a straight answer, instead of the usual confusing runaround.  I will post their reply, for everyone's amusement!

Here 'tis:

According to my AMS "Historical" data chart, from January through November of this year 166 copies of my "Mini-Wizard" eBook have been sold.

During that period, AMS placed over 50 of my ads for that eBook.  However, the "Est. Total Sales" column of my "Advertising Campaigns" chart does not show a sale for even one of those 50+ ads.

Judging ad performance without that missing data is impossible.  Please provide that data so that I can judge ad performance.

Okay, dumb question time.  Where is the "historical" data chart?  I've wondered if there was a way to see this type of info, but hadn't seen it and hadn't thought to ask about it.  But since you brought it up....    8)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on December 28, 2017, 02:57:57 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on December 28, 2017, 03:13:23 pm
in your KDP account under Reports the second option is Historical. There you can see your historical information by marketplace, title, or author. If you download the report it shows monthly totals for whatever you use as your filter criteria so you're not just limited to the options on the dropdown.

Thanks, Cassie, I admit I don't often look at historical KDP data, so it's a good reminder of the info available.  But "weigle" mentioned AMS historical data, which is what I was interested in seeing.  I'd love to see what effect certain tweaks to my ads has made.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on December 28, 2017, 08:10:44 pm

Thanks, Cassie, I admit I don't often look at historical KDP data, so it's a good reminder of the info available.  But "weigle" mentioned AMS historical data, which is what I was interested in seeing.  I'd love to see what effect certain tweaks to my ads has made.


Cassie always offers good advice, but a lot of it apparently does not pertain to me since I market as a Self-Publisher.  It seems that she, along with most members of this forum, market their paperbacks via CreateSpace.  I peddle all my paperbacks directly - printing, trimming, shipping, everything; I farm it all out through sub-contracting - a holdover from my many years in the mail order business; where everything has to be closely controlled if one hopes to make the Big Bucks.

So, Cassie's charts and my charts apparently vary, at least in certain respects.  My primary chart is the "Sales Dashboard."  On a day-to-day basis it seems fairly accurate (taking data update delays into account), but includes no sales data for individual ads - meaning it is basically useless for analyzing ad performance.

But, if you look at the upper-left area of the "Sales Dashboard" (if you even have one similar to mine), you should find the "Historical" window.  Clicking on that takes you to the "Historical" chart, which I have found to be reasonably accurate.  It correlates very closely with the ongoing "Sales Dashboard" data; but only because it reflects data at least 15 days old.  It is updated on the 15th of each month - meaning all data is at least 15 days old.  As of today (December 28) it shows data through the month of November.  All kinds of neat info (and options) appear there.  But, as with "Sales Dashboard" data, it is totally useless for analyzing individual ad response.

The only way to gather data for individual ads is via the "Advertising Campaigns" chart.  (Again, yours may not be identical to mine.)  It also contains all kinds of neat data, most of which seems to be reliable (hopefully).  But, the "All-Important" element is often missing; that being the "Est. Total Sales" data.  Without that being consistent, individual ad response is impossible to determine, much less analyze.

"Est. Total Sales" data seems to be presented only if the Bid level is above the minimum of 2-Cents and, even if above 2-Cents, only if the eBook is priced above a certain minimum (which I suspect is in the neighborhood of $5).  I base these observations solely on my experiences of running over 600 ads.

Why AMS chooses to conduct business this way puzzles me.  Most folks on this forum seem to attribute it to sloppy data gathering.  I think oppositely; that it is deliberate - the lack of data for specific elements is too consistent to simply be explained away as sloppy data gathering.

In short, there is method to their madness.  My favorite theory is that AMS is seriously concerned (for good reason) with the threat of "Reverse Engineering" in regard to their Algorithm(s).  There are lots of "Sharp Cookies" out there - folks who have the intelligence and capabilities of doing just that - never underestimate the enemy.

Most folks on this forum seem to feel the AMS Algo is based on guesswork, and changes according to their whims, or phases of the moon.  I think otherwise; that the Algo does exactly what is intended.  It is not perfect, but is pretty close to being such.  Amazon spent millions developing it, and does their best to minimize "Reverse Engineering" threats.  Keeping most of us at least somewhat confused, and always guessing, may be the best way to accomplish that.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on December 28, 2017, 09:53:00 pm
Just the typical "Canned" reply (Runaround) expected in response to my request to the "Contact Us" folks - useless, but good for a chuckle I suppose.

Does any of this gibberish make sense as related to my simple request; or am I missing something?

To:you Details
Hello,

You'll see data on direct conversions from ad clicks to sales in the advertising report on your Amazon Marketing Services data dashboard.

The estimated total sales in your advertising report may not match the sales details in your KDP sales report. Your advertising report sales data doesn’t account for Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Lending Library royalties generated by the ad, declined payments or refunds. However, the report may also include sales of associated books and other book formats, such as if a customer clicks your ad and decides to purchase another book or book format by you or a co-author. Your KDP sales reports show only the final sales numbers and royalties you earned from books published in your KDP account.

To see your estimated total sales related to your AMS ad campaigns:

1. Go to ams.amazon.com
2. Click "Advertising Campaigns" at the top of the page
3. You will see your campaigns listed out in your campaign dashboard, along with the respective data details

For more details on checking your advertising report or to see how your ad performs, check our Help page:
https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A29SDHM2KNHV0N

For details on when sales resulting from ads will appear, see our Help page:
https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/G202173620

If you have any other question, please write back to us, we will help you further.

Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

...............................................................
Were you satisfied with the support provided?

If yes, please click here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/survey?p=AX9PE1J0RQZDU&k=hy

If no, please click here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/survey?p=AX9PE1J0RQZDU&k=hn
...............................................................

Regards,

Ranesh R
Kindle Direct Publishing
http://kdp.amazon.com
=============================
Connect with KDP and other Authors and Publishers:
Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/KindleDirectPublishing
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/AmazonKDP
Community: https://kdp.amazon.com/community/forum.jspa?forumID=9
Resources: https://kdp.amazon.com/help

Visit Amazon Author Insights for guidance from other authors and experts on writing, publishing and marketing: http://amazonauthorinsights.com/?ref=aai_kdp_help

---- Original message: ----

Subject: Where is my "Est. Total Sales" data?

According to my AMS “Historical” data chart, from January through November of this year 166 copies of my Mini-Wizard eBook have been sold.

During that period, AMS placed over 50 of my ads for that eBook. However, the “Est. Total Sales” column of my “Advertising Campaigns” chart does not show a sale for even one of those 50+ ads.

Judging ad performance without that missing data is impossible. Please provide that data so that I can judge ad performance.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on December 29, 2017, 05:18:55 am
...

But, if you look at the upper-left area of the "Sales Dashboard" (if you even have one similar to mine), you should find the "Historical" window.  Clicking on that takes you to the "Historical" chart, which I have found to be reasonably accurate.  It correlates very closely with the ongoing "Sales Dashboard" data; but only because it reflects data at least 15 days old.  It is updated on the 15th of each month - meaning all data is at least 15 days old.  As of today (December 28) it shows data through the month of November.  All kinds of neat info (and options) appear there.  But, as with "Sales Dashboard" data, it is totally useless for analyzing individual ad response.

...


Okay so you are talking about the "sales dashboard" on KDP... across the top of the page are options for Bookshelf, Reports, Community, and KDP Select.  And below that are tabs for Sales Dashboard, Historical, Month-to-Date, etc.  This is what Cassie mentioned also.  That's what had me confused, though, as your earlier post mentioned an "AMS historical data" chart.


Anyhoo....   your KDP historical dashboard must be different from mine, as mine doesn't show me anything more than what you'd expect:  the numbers of books sold/read per month.

Sounds like you have your hands full running so many ads and keeping track of the intricate details of results.  That's a little more data than I can deal with, that's for sure.   8)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on December 30, 2017, 12:07:21 pm

Sounds like you have your hands full running so many ads and keeping track of the intricate details of results.  That's a little more data than I can deal with, that's for sure.   8)


Sorry for the confusion - it is the KDP Historical chart to which I am referring.  I believe we are both talking about the same chart.  In addition to the data you mention, my chart also includes Unit Sales and KOLL Borrows.

My chart also includes a window for choosing options of Life to Date, Year to Date, Last 12 Months, and Last Year.  By using those options, along with being able to select individual Book Titles, sales trending is clearly revealed - the most important overall factor IMO.

Since the KDP Historical chart is derived from mature data (at least 15 days old) it appears to be fairly accurate - that is, I find that it generally correlates closely with mature data gathered from the KDP Sales Dashboard (again, data at least 15 days old).

As for keeping track of intricate details of results, IMHO it is absolutely necessary if one is to have any hope of creating profitable ads - and it is easily done.  I set up a chart with individual columns to track vital info taken directly from the Advertising Campaigns chart - Total Impressions, Average Daily Impressions, Clicks, CTR (Click Through Rate - Clicks / Impressions), Est. Total Sales, CPC (Cost Per Click), and Spend.  I then make multiple copies of the chart - one for each ad - obviously lots of copies if running lots of ads.

After a new ad is approved and placed into Running, I wait at least 3 or 4 days for the ad to somewhat stabilize and then start recording data from the Advertising Campaigns chart at 1-week intervals.  It is always a good idea to frequently check that chart, at least daily - especially if your Bids are fairly high.  Otherwise, you can take a bath big time with Runaway Ads (ads going into Clicking frenzies) .  Given the opportunity, AMS has been known to resort to money grabs when Bid levels are jacked up.

By often referring to your charts (at least at the 1-week data recording intervals), analyzing ad trends is easy.  Most ads tend to stabilize after about a week, so I only trust mature data (data over a week old, but younger than a week from the last recording).

By keeping a close eye on both Total Impressions and Average Daily Impressions, ad performance is easy to analyze.  To determine Average Daily Impressions, simply subtract the value of current Total Impressions from the value of Total Impressions recorded a week previously, and divide the results by a factor of 7.

Weak ads obviously yield low Total Impressions counts.  And, more importantly, Average Daily Impressions will, at some point, start to rapidly taper off when AMS determines the ad to be non-productive, and kills it by reducing Impressions.  I closely follow trending, and Terminate weak ads.  Otherwise, time is wasted by monitoring weak ads - time much better spent testing new ads.

As of today (December 30) I have submitted a total of 604 ads to AMS, of which 63 are currently Running - the balance includes 46 Rejected ads (AMS is very picky, but once you get the gist of what keeps them happy new ads fly right through - sometimes approved within 15 minutes).  The remaining 558 ads are those I Terminated - usually due to steadily declining Daily Average Impressions or 2-Cent Bid ads, for which AMS refuses to provide sales data.

I also Terminated many ads that, even though they produced a single order soon after Running, produced no further orders after a few more weeks had passed (and/or Daily Average Impressions were steadily declining).  I perceive those as Curiosity orders; good for an early initial order in just about any  obscure subgenre, but unlikely to be productive in the long run.

I place many low-bid ads in obscure genres - you never know what triggers orders, sometimes the craziest subgenres end up being the most productive.  But, there has to be method behind the madness.  For example, all my books fall within the DIY genre.  My reasoning is that DIY folks are Doers, that is they like to become involved in Hands-on activities.  Alone that line of thinking, I ran ads using keywords related to Fishing subgenres - which turned out to be one of my most productive guesses.  Lots of subgenres did little to nothing, but almost always yielded at least a Curiosity order - so it is not like test, testing, testing, is entirely wasted effort.

A lot of all this may be theory, but reality is often different.  AMS data is usually delayed by at least a few days (which is understandable, and is pointed out by AMS).  However, the most overwhelmingly important factor in all of this is lack of reliable sales data (or totally missing sales data).

All this may seem simple enough, but the most important factor for judging ad performance is, of course, earning potential.  And, that is where I have serious problems with AMS data.  Sales data inconsistency (or total lack of such) IMHO in inexcusable.

Amazon is a multi-billion dollar enterprise - they did not get to where they are by being stupid.  Any successful long-term business knows where every dollar has been spent.  It seems to me that AMS should afford us at least a degree of respect by granting us a reasonable level of transparency when it comes to sales figures on a day-to-day basis.  Otherwise, judging ad performance is often mere guesswork (or impossible).  For whatever reason, they choose not to do that.  One can imagine all kinds of nefarious motivations on their part.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on December 30, 2017, 06:12:07 pm
Just got this reply - latest Runaround pending (within 3 business days).  They know very well that my request was for missing sales data (Est. Total Sales) - I couldn't give a rip about Clicks at this point.  Wonder how long it will take them to finally run out of confusion factors as excuses for not directly answering my inquiries.

To:you Details
Hello Gordon,

I apologize for the inconvenience caused.

I have now reached the AMS department to further investigate on this since there are clicks available. I shall get back to you within 3 business days.

Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

...............................................................
Were you satisfied with the support provided?

If yes, please click here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/survey?p=A2DARI09BZXLDJ&k=hy

If no, please click here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/survey?p=A2DARI09BZXLDJ&k=hn
...............................................................

Regards,

Benjamin J
Kindle Direct Publishing
http://kdp.amazon.com
=============================
Connect with KDP and other Authors and Publishers:
Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/KindleDirectPublishing
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/AmazonKDP
Community: https://kdp.amazon.com/community/forum.jspa?forumID=9
Resources: https://kdp.amazon.com/help

Visit Amazon Author Insights for guidance from other authors and experts on writing, publishing and marketing: http://amazonauthorinsights.com/?ref=aai_kdp_help

---- Original message: ----


CUSTOMER: Gordon Weigle
COMM ID: AX9PE1J0RQZDU
EMAIL: [email protected]
DATE: 12/28/17 22:11:22 PST
COMMENTS: Please honor my request. I know exactly where the data should appear, and it's not there.

So, where is it?








Reply
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on December 30, 2017, 07:45:59 pm
Had some AMS ads doing very well. Easily spending 60 dollars a day across three ads. Paused them for an experiment. Unpaused and now they barely run. New ads I launch barely run for the book now too. Has this happened to anyone else before? Should I just hope it'll get going again or is there a way to jumpstart things back into working?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on December 30, 2017, 08:01:54 pm
Had some AMS ads doing very well. Easily spending 60 dollars a day across three ads. Paused them for an experiment. Unpaused and now they barely run. New ads I launch barely run for the book now too. Has this happened to anyone else before? Should I just hope it'll get going again or is there a way to jumpstart things back into working?

I've heard that pausing an ad pretty much kills the momentum and future performance.  Not sure why that would be, though.  I wonder if copying an ad and starting anew would get better results?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IntoTheAbyss on December 30, 2017, 10:01:36 pm

Sometimes starting a totally new ad is the way to go. I've done that successfully. I probably copied all my original keywords and added a batch of new ones. I also started the new ad coinciding with a short-term discount relaunch. A tiny bump in sales at the beginning. Since then, I can safely say that all the sales are due to the AMS ad, since it's a stand alone. The book is $5.99. AMS may possibly favor higher priced books.

Yeah I coped it over without changing any of the ad copy. See if that does the trick. If not will change some ad copy. It's a $3.99 book and was selling well. Top 5k books and now it has dropped into 30k since pausing all the ads and restarting. See if I can get it going again.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on December 31, 2017, 02:50:06 pm
I have many duplicate keywords running in many ads. So I looked at 6 currently running ads that contain the same example duplicate keyword. Drawing out the data from each ad, I see the following data for that particular keyword:

In Ad A: Running since 18 Dec. 3,621 impressions
3 clicks $0.08 CPC 0 sales reported

In Ad B: Running since 13 Dec. 4,118 impressions
2 clicks $0.09 CPC 0 sales reported

In Ad C: Running since 10 Dec. 18,626 impressions
21 clicks $0.09 CPC 1 sale reported

In Ad D: Running since 10 Dec. 620 impressions
3 clicks $0.05 CPC 2 sales reported

In Ad E: Running since 18 Sept. 161,901 impressions
317 clicks $0.10 CPC 16 sales reported

In Ad F: Running since 18 Sept. 4,658 impressions
19 clicks $0.09 CPC 0 sales reported

What conclusion/s, if any, would you draw from these statistics? One conclusion I draw is that if duplicate keywords are used, it's best not to start their ads on the same day. I've reached that same conclusion from other campaigns. Another conclusion is that this keyword has a good (for me) conversion rate and shows a combined profit when looking at all 6 ads in which it appears.

The question could be: if I had placed that keyword in only one of the ads, would the total number of impressions/clicks have been the same? I'm thinking it would not have been, and that there can be benefit in running duplicate keywords.

Also, I will increase the bid on that keyword for Ad D in hopes of boosting impressions and therefore clicks/sales. If that works out, I will also drop it into several other ads where it fits.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 on January 02, 2018, 07:43:50 am
Could an ad for book two that is getting clicks and impressions (but no sales) be driving sales/borrows to book one? I have ads for all three books in my trilogy, and book one and three have officially generated sales, but not book two. I think that's odd. I'm not sure how Amazon counts which ad produced the sale. If someone clicks on the book 2 or 3 ad but ultimately decides to start with book 1, which ad is credited with the sale?   
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on January 02, 2018, 08:06:15 am
Could an ad for book two that is getting clicks and impressions (but no sales) be driving sales/borrows to book one? I have ads for all three books in my trilogy, and book one and three have officially generated sales, but not book two. I think that's odd. I'm not sure how Amazon counts which ad produced the sale. If someone clicks on the book 2 or 3 ad but ultimately decides to start with book 1, which ad is credited with the sale?

Is that book 2 selling at all?

I've read AMS tends to under-report sales from ads, so better to ignore that. If the book is selling chances is the ad has caused at least some of those sales.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 02, 2018, 08:18:21 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 on January 02, 2018, 09:44:02 am
Yes. I ran ads on book three in my series and most of those ended up as buys/borrows of book 1. They were credited to the ad for book 3, though. But I'm sure there are scenarios where someone clicks on both ads and the sale ends up credited to the book 1 ad instead.

That's my thought. A few of the clicks may result in sales or borrows but one of the other ads is getting the credit. At the moment, I'm not spending much on that ad. The others are getting far more impressions and clicks. I feel stupid paying for an ad that shows no sales, but about a third of my business is KU, which is even harder to document than sales. 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: renamed on January 02, 2018, 02:23:32 pm
I hope it's okay to post this question in here... I don't want to interrupt the existing conversation but also didn't want to start a new AMS thread.

For the past week or so, every day I've been getting this email from AMS:

Subject: Your Campaign(s) are Reaching or Have Reached Budgets on AMS

Hi Advertiser,

The following are some of your Amazon Marketing Services advertising campaigns that are out of budget or are close to running out of budget:


... and then it gives me details. I've been using AMS for a year and haven't received this message before now. Do they just want me to increase my budget so I'm spending more? Is there something wrong with my ad? I've done some searching around and can't find anyone else asking about this message. Is it a new thing?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 02, 2018, 02:38:34 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: renamed on January 02, 2018, 02:47:00 pm
Ah, okay. Thanks, Cassie. :)
It's strange I haven't seen this message earlier... my daily budget isn't that high. And I'm sure I've spent it all before. But maybe I haven't spent it early enough in the day for them to bother sending a message. This *is* the first holiday buying season my ads have experienced...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 02, 2018, 04:16:28 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on January 03, 2018, 05:29:53 am
Right now I'm struggling with what to do with my current ad.  I've left it running for a few months....  the ebook in the ad is free, but I'm really using it to promote the paperback version.  For November & December, it seemed to work, as my sales increased quite a bit as Christmas approached.  (I used "stocking stuffer" as a keyword.)  But I'm wondering if paperback sales will dwindle now that the holiday is over, and whether it would be better to simply pause the ad so it won't run up costs.

But I know we've conjectured that pausing an ad seems to cut down it's effectiveness when we unpause it, so I'm hesitant to do that.

Meanwhile, I recently created paperback versions of some of my non-fiction books (although CreateSpace didn't get them approved until it was too late for Christmas--grrrrr!!).  I think the target audience for these books is relatively small, so I don't expect to set the world on fire, but I hope my ad will be effective. For these books, I had a previous ad, so I could unpause that one (which consensus says isn't the best idea) or I could simply copy the keywords and write a new ad copy.  With this being the first of the year, I'm trying to be more frugal and cautious with my ad money, so even such a minor question as this (with my piddly daily ad-spend) is something to be carefully considered.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 03, 2018, 05:56:59 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on January 03, 2018, 09:08:58 am
I'm going to go against this consensus about pausing ads. I've found that for some ads that have been running for a long period of time, pausing them and restarting them later actually gets them to start moving again. I think maybe the issue is if you have a "hot" ad and you pause it that the ad isn't as hot after you restart it. But I know of at least one other author who posts in these threads who was pausing and restarting ads throughout the day and there was a period of time where I was running two ads on one book by pausing one halfway through the day and starting up the other.

And I will often try to start up a new ad on an existing title and probably about 80% of the time end up going back to one of my older longer-running ads that I'd paused because the new ad isn't performing as well as the old ad.

As to whether paperback sales will dwindle. Probably? Especially for fiction. I ended last month with 107 paperback sales. I expect that number to drop this month. But one of the books that did really well for me last month is an evergreen sort of non-fiction title and it's still going strong this month and I expect it to keep doing so as long as I keep promoting it.

I would probably keep running the ad but keep an eye on sales and when you see that ad spend is exceeding sales consistently, stop it then.

Yeah, I also have doubts about the "pausing makes ads ineffective" theory.  At least, I don't necessarily think it's the Kiss of Death.  Obviously a paused ad will lose some momentum, but I don't think it'll kill it completely.

Regarding my ad for the non-fiction books, I may have to copy and start a new ad, as the ad copy needs to be changed, and I don't think you can change the copy when you unpause it.  Oh well.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on January 03, 2018, 09:36:56 am
I think maybe the issue is if you have a "hot" ad and you pause it that the ad isn't as hot after you restart it.

I started an ad shortly before Christmas and it used up a high daily budget everyday (but no sales). I paused and restarted it on 12/26. It remained hot, but with very few sales. I eventually terminated it because my ROI was ridiculously low - my worst ever for an AMS ad.

So I didn't see any slowdown after pausing. Although my lesson learned is to never start an AMS ad before Christmas day. Too many people browsing and not buying.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: azebra on January 03, 2018, 09:51:04 am
I’ve been running ads for a year, often on small daily budgets, and only received my first email about budget running low on Boxing Day. By then I had increased my daily budget tenfold on most ads as I had them optimised. My conclusion is that the volume of buyers went up over December beyond advertising capacity.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: azebra on January 03, 2018, 09:58:08 am
I started an ad shortly before Christmas and it used up a high daily budget everyday (but no sales). I paused and restarted it on 12/26. It remained hot, but with very few sales. I eventually terminated it because my ROI was ridiculously low - my worst ever for an AMS ad.

So I didn't see any slowdown after pausing. Although my lesson learned is to never start an AMS ad before Christmas day. Too many people browsing and not buying.

I think that depends on your genre and ad. My best ads over Christmas all contained the phrase Christmas sorted. People were online shopping for others. Paperback to eBook ratio for me in December was 9:1
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 03, 2018, 10:48:43 am
azebra love your covers. Who did them?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: azebra on January 03, 2018, 11:02:05 am
Earlier in the thread (now pages long) someone mentioned that their was a discrepancy between their ACPC and their spend. ACPC is the average cost per click so your real activity might look like this:

(over 5 clicks) 4,10, 5, 6, 5   The spend would be 30 cents. The ACPC would be 30/5 = 6 (in my example only one click actually cost 6 cents)
In addition you sometimes get filler impressions. This is where the progam simply needs to fill the carousel and no other bidders are available but your ad meet the criteria. When this happens and you get a click, you aren't charged. 

So what should you be bidding? If a key word is working well for me I keep the bid above the ACPC because I know some of my clicks are likely to have been successful at a higher cost per click.

If a keyword isn't working for me I pause it. I like the rule of thumb suggested here by (I think ) weiggle. If you've had 20 clicks and no buys for a key word then its a liability. I also like the Meeks advice that if you haven't had 1000 impressions you can't tell much BUT with some caveats. If it's a niche keyword you might wait a year to get 1000 impressions. Examples of this might be a new author's name, an obscure question you answer or an old book title you know had a following but will be arcane now and fits with what you offer. These are worth adding because if they are ever searched you have the perfect book for the query.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: azebra on January 03, 2018, 11:04:09 am
azebra love your covers. Who did them?

Thanks! I design them with my co-author. I based them on postage stamps.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on January 05, 2018, 12:52:22 pm
The thought occurs to me that part of the reason we cannot make head nor tail of AMS is that AMS cannot make head nor tail of us and is continuously experimenting with its vaunted algorithms.

Look for yourself.  Keywords [book titles and authors] that used to have hundreds of pages of sponsored ads now have one or two, or even none.  I found two of my little sponsored ads appearing prominently in the main section - yes, just like the title I searched - rather than as thumbnails along the bottom of the page.  I also found keyword/title combinations where my very low bid put me on page 1 or 2, and others where no ad appears at all.

In a way this is better, but it seems even more unpredictable.  I would guess tht rather than selecting ads to display based on bids first and other factors later, AMS is now selecting on their own criteria first then ranking ads by bid for billing purposes only.  It's more like a lottery than an auction or a manageable campaign tool.  Still, a cheap lottery.

Anyone else noticed this change in behavior?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: azebra on January 05, 2018, 03:08:40 pm
The thought occurs to me that part of the reason we cannot make head nor tail of AMS is that AMS cannot make head nor tail of us and is continuously experimenting with its vaunted algorithms.

Look for yourself.  Keywords [book titles and authors] that used to have hundreds of pages of sponsored ads now have one or two, or even none.  I found two of my little sponsored ads appearing prominently in the main section - yes, just like the title I searched - rather than as thumbnails along the bottom of the page.  I also found keyword/title combinations where my very low bid put me on page 1 or 2, and others where no ad appears at all.

In a way this is better, but it seems even more unpredictable.  I would guess tht rather than selecting ads to display based on bids first and other factors later, AMS is now selecting on their own criteria first then ranking ads by bid for billing purposes only.  It's more like a lottery than an auction or a manageable campaign tool.  Still, a cheap lottery.

Anyone else noticed this change in behavior?

Amazon is always evolving. I've recently noticed some books have no ads next to them while others do. I haven't compared which but it could be that amazon doesn't want to distract me OR thinks there isn't something else it can tempt me with. I was using an ad blocker over Christmas and didn't really notice changes with ads so I'm not sure when it happened but I recently disabled it while I refresh my ads and have seen there are less showing. I wonder how many amazon customers use ad blockers?

Amazon actively restricts some ads from showing outside of certain boundaries. For instance if you run an ad on a kids book it won't show up outside of the kids categories. This wasn't always the case.

In recent correspondence with Amazon an agent told me that a change was coming which would profile the top ten books in selected categories under books. Good news if you are in the top ten but another hurdle for people trying to get seen.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on January 05, 2018, 05:16:12 pm
I just looked at the page for the blockbuster tell all book about President Trump and saw that one of my history books is featured there, low down in what looks like the large box format for Product Display ads.  I have made no recent Product Display ads, so I have no idea why they put it there or how they can charge me for it.  Interestingly, I only see a half dozen Sponsored product ads on the page's two SP carousels.  That's for the current No. 1 bestseller.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 05, 2018, 06:17:13 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on January 05, 2018, 06:26:30 pm
I got "accidentally" added to the Mastering Amazon Ads Facebook group (I say accidentally because I have neither bought nor read the book, which is supposedly a requirement to be accepted, but whatever) and from reading the posts there's something that's baffled me a bit:

It looks like a lot of people there are more interested in getting lots of impressions and clicks than in them being effective. It's as if they thought the more people see/click the better the ad campaign is going, when in truth lots of clicks but no sales equal money down the drain. I've seen people boast about thousands of impressions and hundreds of clicks even when the sales are barely making enough to cover the ads, celebrating things like a 10% ROI because their ads are getting served to lots of people and clicked on. I even saw somebody else boast about like 20,000 impressions in a day who, when asked about possible rogue keywords, refused to even look at them because they were being printed and clicked on so it had to be working, even when a rogue keyword is precisely the kind to watch for due to impressions and clicks but no sale.

Please tell me I'm not the only one without that mentality. I'm running three ad campaigns atm (Two sponsored products - keywords and automatic - and a product display ones) and I keep a watchful eye on them. So far I'm not losing money on any, but I actually check for rogue keywords on a daily basis (if you reach 2000 impressions and no clicks you're out) and while I only get a couple thousand impressions a day and I'm lucky to get two clicks, I'm averaging 1 sale in 8 clicks, which is good. It adds up to only about two sales a week, but I'm new and have only one book out so in some way I'm actually doing great. However, this frame of mind I've seen on that group baffles me - do most people really believe your ad getting served and clicked on a lot is a good measure of success rather than your book, you know, selling? It's like they're playing an entirely different game over there as opposed to here :\
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 05, 2018, 07:00:29 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: azebra on January 05, 2018, 07:08:02 pm
do most people really believe your ad getting served and clicked on a lot is a good measure of success rather than your book, you know, selling? It's like they're playing an entirely different game over there as opposed to here :\

I've seen that too. I think for some people being seen might be important if they haven't experienced many sales. Like you, I'm interested in the bottom line. I guess if they are selling a lot of extra books as a consequence of better ranking and also-bought associations it could be justified but I doubt that's the case.

I look at the percentage royalty that my paperbacks make (which is less than my eBooks) and set that as my high level benchmark of ad success (vs pitiful failure). My aCoS has to be running at under 10 percent for me to be thinking things are good. Under 8% and I'm happy.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 05, 2018, 07:59:48 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on January 05, 2018, 09:17:01 pm
...

Please tell me I'm not the only one without that mentality. I'm running three ad campaigns atm (Two sponsored products - keywords and automatic - and a product display ones) and I keep a watchful eye on them. So far I'm not losing money on any, but I actually check for rogue keywords on a daily basis (if you reach 2000 impressions and no clicks you're out) and while I only get a couple thousand impressions a day and I'm lucky to get two clicks, I'm averaging 1 sale in 8 clicks, which is good. It adds up to only about two sales a week, but I'm new and have only one book out so in some way I'm actually doing great. However, this frame of mind I've seen on that group baffles me - do most people really believe your ad getting served and clicked on a lot is a good measure of success rather than your book, you know, selling? It's like they're playing an entirely different game over there as opposed to here :\

I'd like to think that like most of us who read this thread that they're interested in the bottom line, too. in that facebook group, there's a real mindset that whatever your ACoS is, it isn't important. The thing to look at, to measure your overall success is to measure the clicks you generate against your book sales and KU reads. There's a strong mindset there, that ACoS just isn't very valuable. Although I've seen several people say they use ACoS to measure ad campaigns against each other, happy to kill a campaign that never takes off.

I confess, that I measure my own add campaigns (I've got three sponsor product campaigns running at the moment) using Meek's formula of clicks measured against sales and KU, and at the moment, I'm content to eye how much is being spent on my clicks and measure them against my estimated daily revenue. I know it's not completely accurate, and I know that I'm throwing in organic sales, but it's a useful way for me to gauge things. Now, I'll happily admit that if I was only moving a book or two a day and a few hundred page reads, I'd probably be very uncomfortable with that strategy. Happily, I've been selling more than 5  books daily for the past couple of weeks or so, and a few thousand daily page reads, so to me, it makes sense to try to get as many clicks as possible, because the book does seem to convert at better than a 10 to 1 rate, so as long as that holds true, the more clicks I can generate, the higher my sales.
But I also assess my ads daily to see if the conversion rate changes for the worse. When that happens, I'll likely adjust my strategy.  Also, I do terminate key words that generate lots of clicks but no sales.  Typically, if I have hit 20-25 clicks from a keyword with no sales according to ACoS, then I kill the word, even if it might be getting me KU reads.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on January 06, 2018, 09:21:06 am
Amazon is always evolving.

Before, SP ads appeared only in a carousel of thumbnails below the items searched for.  I'm having difficulty describing this; but if I search for 'travel' Ammie gives me a set of travel books, followed by similar items followed by the carousel.  Now it sometimes omits the thumbnail carousel entirely but merges a few SP ads into the set of searched-for books.  This does not happen for all searches; clicking on a single book from the set gives that book's product page and a thumbnail carousel.

Did I just never notice this before?

It matters, because the merged-in SP ads are far more visible [a good thing] but are fewer in number [a mixed blessing].  To get on page 1 you now have one or two available slots versus five, each slot is much more visible.  I feel that this may be why some of us have reported success with very broad kws, more likely to be used in searching for a set of books rather than a single book.  Two sets of rules, depending on the searcher's approach; more chaos for the aspiring advertizer.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on January 06, 2018, 09:41:31 am
It looks like a lot of people there are more interested in getting lots of impressions and clicks than in them being effective. It's as if they thought the more people see/click the better the ad campaign is going, when in truth lots of clicks but no sales equal money down the drain.

Please tell me I'm not the only one without that mentality.

No, you're not the only one, and I fear there's not nearly enough of us. Amazon has to be happy about that.  ;D

I think too many authors get overly focused on (perceived?) exposure. Exposure is great, and necessary, but there has to be a point where an ROI mindset takes over. Otherwise you're just continuously flushing money down the drain.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on January 06, 2018, 09:46:06 am
Second topic for today: the impressions/clicks/sales discussion.

Certainly sales and their cost are the bottom line, the holy grail.  And certainly 'targeted' and therefore effective kws and blurbs are the route to get there.  But as a practical matter, targeting requires information and the information comes in the form of successful clicks.  And clicks require impressions.  Starting from scratch, one might build a long list of plausible kws in the hope that some will prove effective.  Most don't; AMS stops showing the campaign because it is ineffective; start over.  Or, one might identify a few kws that have a high chance of popularity.  With few kws, competitive and therefore high cost-per-click, impressions follow but few clicks because placement is low in the carousel.  Again, the campaign looks bad and dies/is killed by AMS.

To get sales you need clicks; to get clicks you need impressions; your only way to get impressions is to convince AMS to run your ads, which means bidding high.  With luck, you will get enough clicks soon enough to be able to use feedback on effectiveness and tailor the campaign.  Without luck in those  early stages, your campaign will die and there is nothing you can do about it but try again.

The best blurb in the world is useless if it is unread.  The best kw set in the world is useless if you bid too low to expose it, OR if Amazon uses 'relevance' or 'history' or some other secret test to exclude it from the auctions.

From this it follows that a desperate search for high initial impression counts and some money-losing clicks makes sense.  You have to come in with a bang to survive long enough to refine your kw set and blurb enough to convince AMS that you deserve to remain in the ring.  First impressions count.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on January 06, 2018, 10:03:47 am
Second topic for today: the impressions/clicks/sales discussion.

Certainly sales and their cost are the bottom line, the holy grail.  And certainly 'targeted' and therefore effective kws and blurbs are the route to get there.  But as a practical matter, targeting requires information and the information comes in the form of successful clicks.  And clicks require impressions.  Starting from scratch, one might build a long list of plausible kws in the hope that some will prove effective.  Most don't; AMS stops showing the campaign because it is ineffective; start over.  Or, one might identify a few kws that have a high chance of popularity.  With few kws, competitive and therefore high cost-per-click, impressions follow but few clicks because placement is low in the carousel.  Again, the campaign looks bad and dies/is killed by AMS.

To get sales you need clicks; to get clicks you need impressions; your only way to get impressions is to convince AMS to run your ads, which means bidding high.  With luck, you will get enough clicks soon enough to be able to use feedback on effectiveness and tailor the campaign.  Without luck in those  early stages, your campaign will die and there is nothing you can do about it but try again.

The best blurb in the world is useless if it is unread.  The best kw set in the world is useless if you bid too low to expose it, OR if Amazon uses 'relevance' or 'history' or some other secret test to exclude it from the auctions.

From this it follows that a desperate search for high initial impression counts and some money-losing clicks makes sense.  You have to come in with a bang to survive long enough to refine your kw set and blurb enough to convince AMS that you deserve to remain in the ring.  First impressions count.

And that's what I'd call an ROI mindset.

On the other hand, I've done this and have created/curated AMS (SP) campaigns that are great at receiving impressions & clicks, but too few sales. That would suggest a weakness on the product page as it failed to convert sales. That's another topic altogether.   
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on January 06, 2018, 10:42:53 am
On the other hand, I've done this and have created/curated AMS (SP) campaigns that are great at receiving impressions & clicks, but too few sales. That would suggest a weakness on the product page as it failed to convert sales. That's another topic altogether.   

It's not necessarily a weakness on the product page. Most clicks we get come from our covers, plain and simple. Ad text is considered important too, but many people won't read it - they look at the cover, maybe the title, say "pretty" and go check it out. I've done it myself a lot.

The thing is, we try to curate our cover arts, and in some case titles even, so they speak to our audience - but there is some overlap. There is always overlap. So a rogue keyword might have your books appearing on a category that isn't YOUR category, where the audience overlap is minimal, BUT where the thematic overlap for cover art or titles is considerable. This would get you impressions, this would get you clicks, but it would not get you any sales as people would immediately notice, on opening your page, that the book isn't what they expected. No changes to your product page will change that, because you can't convince people who aren't your demographic to buy your product. Or at least you shouldn't, because while doing it might net you some money it will likely also attract poor reviews from readers who fall for the bait-and-switch. In those cases, all you can do is check your keywords and make sure you're not advertising to the wrong crowd, and that's why lots of clicks are meaningless if they come from the wrong place. Sure, it's cool that people are looking at your book, but who cares if a million people look at it when you're selling a manual on Satanism and having it displayed to Buddhists?

The best phrase on AMS ads I've ever run went something like "The art of using AMS ads isn't making it reach as many people as possible, but the opposite. You want your ad placement, cover art, and title to exclude every single person in Amazon.com except for your demographic. That way you'll get less exposure, but whatever you get will be more effective."

I swear by that phrase, because otherwise you're just throwing money at a problem in hopes it might go away. And it might, if you throw enough of it, but the results will hardly be optimal.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 06, 2018, 10:45:55 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: azebra on January 06, 2018, 06:16:01 pm
"The art of using AMS ads isn't making it reach as many people as possible, but the opposite. You want your ad placement, cover art, and title to exclude every single person in Amazon.com except for your demographic. That way you'll get less exposure, but whatever you get will be more effective."
Well said Tizzy.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on January 07, 2018, 05:53:26 am
Agree totally with the statement that Tizzy quoted.  I always look at the ratio between impressions and clicks.  The greater the difference between the two (by a factor of 100?  or 200?), the less well that keyword is performing.  The closer the two numbers, the better.  For example, which of these two keywords is more effective?

Impressions         Clicks
75,700                  47              Keyword A
23,000                  69              Keyword B


Obviously keyword B is more effective:  more clicks for fewer impressions.  So when I glance at my keyword list and sort them by clicks, I see this and maybe lower the bid on Keyword A by a penny or two and increase the bid on Keyword B by a penny.  (I'm not sure what the point is of pausing a keyword... I'd sooner lower the bid to the point that the keyword is more or less dormant.)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on January 07, 2018, 08:44:05 am
For example, which of these two keywords is more effective?

Impressions         Clicks
75,700                  47              Keyword A
23,000                  69              Keyword B

Obviously keyword B is more effective:  more clicks for fewer impressions.  So when I glance at my keyword list and sort them by clicks, I see this and maybe lower the bid on Keyword A by a penny or two and increase the bid on Keyword B by a penny.  (I'm not sure what the point is of pausing a keyword... I'd sooner lower the bid to the point that the keyword is more or less dormant.)

For me, this is only step one. The second (and ultimately important) step is generating sales. If keyword B has a strong click-to-impression ratio, but isn't generating sales, then what does that say? That's my current dilemma. Does it indicate a weakness of my product page, or am I really dialed into my demographic as the click-to-impression ratio would suggest?

It could be a lot of things. Maybe it's just a slow time of year for my genre? Increased competition? Or (dare I say) maybe AMS has peaked as an effective marketing tool?  **Ducks as object are thrown at me**  :D 

         
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on January 07, 2018, 03:05:51 pm


Impressions         Clicks
75,700                  47              Keyword A
23,000                  69              Keyword B


Obviously keyword B is more effective:  more clicks for fewer impressions. 

Not necessarily.  The sales/click ratio also matters.  KwB might generate 20 sales and kwA only 10.   More $$ from B.  Actual cost of those sales depends on the two acpc's.  A high margin between net income/sale and acos is nice; but so is an extra profitable sale even at a low margin.  However, if all you want is name recognition [for other titles or KU reads] then even no-sale clicks have some value; and unclicked impressions are free in $$ terms [perhaps costly in AMS's opinion of you  ;) ].

My complicated opinion is that the ultimate test of effectiveness is this: over the long term, did my AMS campaign set make money?  That depends on many factors, including impression counts, clicks, conversion rates and side benefits like KU reads and overall visibilty as well as relative costs.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on January 07, 2018, 04:45:26 pm
For me, this is only step one. The second (and ultimately important) step is generating sales. If keyword B has a strong click-to-impression ratio, but isn't generating sales, then what does that say? That's my current dilemma. Does it indicate a weakness of my product page, or am I really dialed into my demographic as the click-to-impression ratio would suggest?

It could be a lot of things. Maybe it's just a slow time of year for my genre? Increased competition? Or (dare I say) maybe AMS has peaked as an effective marketing tool?  **Ducks as object are thrown at me**  :D 

       

Both keywords have generated sales.  So far, B has outperformed A in that regard.  Another reason I feel that Keyword B is more effective.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on January 07, 2018, 07:58:23 pm

If keyword B has a strong click-to-impression ratio, but isn't generating sales, then what does that say? 
       

Unless you can actually validate sales for any individual Keyword, IMHO it probably says nothing.

I recently purchased Brian Meek's eBook "Mastering Amazon Ads" and find it to be very informative.  Almost all his concepts for ad analysis correlate very closely with my experiences.  However, I peddle only DIY books (both eBooks and paperbacks), while the vast majority of folks I encounter via forums basically publish novels of various genres.  I have no idea how his concepts would apply to novelists, but I suspect they would closely correlate.

The first thing that caught my attention was his emphatic statement that one should totally ignore the "Est. Total Sales"  data provided in the AMS "Advertising Campaigns" chart.  Early in my AMS experiences I became suspect of that data, and generally found it to be very inaccurate.  In the last few months I have come to the conclusion that it is actually misleading - whether that is deliberate on the part of AMS remains to be seen (if determining such is even possible).  In any successful business, accurate financial information is essential.  Why AMS is hesitant (or even refuses, in some cases) to provide accurate information brings everything into question IMHO.

I have 3 eBooks for which I have placed hundreds of ads.  They all were, and some still are, intended solely as test ads.  I never expected to turn a profit since I priced them at 99-Cents.  Two books actually did make a few bucks, but mere chump change.  I stopped AMS ads for one of the books, since in the ad description I stated that I would always stick with its 99-Cent offer.  To my surprise occasional orders still comes through (for a whopping 35-Cents royalty); obviously organic orders.

For the other 2 eBooks I jacked the price up to $2.99 for another round of testing, rather than just kill the ads.  To my surprise, both eBooks are turning a profit.  I have no idea how long that will continue, but I have little to nothing to lose since I feel confident that those ads draw attention to my other books (all 7 are both eBook and paperback offerings) which do turn profits, but nothing to get excited about.

The point of all this relates back to my 3 low-cost eBooks.  My AMS "Advertising Campaigns" chart has never shown even 1 sale for any one of those 3 eBooks.  I have written to the "Contact Us" folks on different occasions and have gotten nothing other the expected runaround.  I presented my last inquiry such as to make it as "Idiot-Proof" as possible. Their reply was that they checked my ads, and that the ad information was being "Populated."

Exactly what information is being "Populated" is anyone's guess.  My request for "Est. Total Sales" info certainly is not one of them.  For that specific eBook, I have run 57 unique ads, which have garnered 192 orders as of today (January 7) - not even one of those sales is noted on my "Advertising Campaigns" chart.  In short, I feel that AMS is "Stonewalling" me - but "Why?" is the big question.  Their motivation is puzzling - but, as with anything else in life there is always a reason for everything if one digs deep enough - especially when money is involved (the primary factor in any successful business).

For my other 7 books, "Est. Total Sales" info generally appears, but is sporadic and always delayed (as AMS points out).  But, how reliable is even that data?  I have seen so many inconsistencies even with mature data (data over 15 days old), that I have serious doubts as to the accuracy of any data.

To judge individual ad performance without reliable sales data is impossible.  At best, one can only hope to make "educated guesses" - most of which are likely to be no more than wishful thinking.

Many folks on these forums appear to base their choosing of prime keywords as those keywords which produce sales.  But is that sales data reliable?  I would agree that any such prime keyword is probably a good choice to keep using, but is it actually related to sales from that unique ad?  Or, is it simply AMS data related to overall performance of all ads Running at that point in time?  In short, I question whether such sales data yields any useful information when it comes to analyzing individual ad performance.

All this being said, I totally agree with Meek's opinion that "Est. Total Sales" data for individual ads is useless and should be totally ignored.  I will go one step further - IMHO it is actually misleading - but again, "Why?"

Meeks also states that "A Click is a Click, is a Click" - inferring that all Clicks are equal.  I have held the same opinion for a very long time - based only on my experiences of Running hundreds of test ads (approaching 700).  Ads producing tons of impressions (like 10,000+ each day) and lots of Clicks generally correlate with increased overall sales data a few days later.  Especially if the CTR level is fairly high - on the order of .10%, or greater (that is, at least 1 Click per 1,000 Impressions).  For myself, high CTR ads often hold steady for weeks on end.  I Terminate any ads that display rapidly declining Impressions after a reasonable time - also in line with Meek's advice.

One point where I differ with Meeks is in regard to Low CTR ads.  I have experienced many test ads (in reality, all my ads are test ads) with Low CTRs (such as .03%, or less) that keep plodding away, still garnering lots of Impressions (and Clicks), yet usually showing no short-term signs of drastically diminishing Impressions.  When that point is eventually reached (which it always is), I never hesitate with Terminating.

Meeks appears to be primarily emphasizing Product Display (Interest) ads at the moment.  With the exception of a single Product Display ad many moons ago, all my ads have been Sponsored Products, Keyword stuffed, for which I have had moderate success (but I am always open to testing just about anything and everything).  Recently (January 1) I submitted a Product Display ad, choosing 4 Interest categories.  So far nothing other than 10 Impressions are showing (no Clicks).  Meeks repeatedly mention that such ads are slow to gain traction.  Obviously my ad is barely into 1st gear, so I shall see what happens.  Since then I have submitted about a dozen more such ads (with but a single Interest category for each ad), for the 7 books.  Again, I shall see what happens.

About this same time I also submitted a few more Sponsored Products ads, which are showing upwards of 70,000+ Impressions, along with CTRs in the neighborhood of .20% (a good sign this early in the game).  Sure a far cry from those few Product Display ads.

The only thing that is unusual, and seems a bit out of place, is the fact that my "Pages Read" numbers seemed to have flat-lined at very low values for several days - which leads me to wonder if the Product Display ads are somehow interfering with those figures.  As usual with AMS, paranoia reigns supreme!

For what it may be worth, almost all my ad Bids are submitted at only 5-Cents (with aCPC of 3-Cents).  That low Bid level seems to give me decent ROI, probably only because of fairly low competition in my DIY genre (and many sub-genres).  If my Product Display ads do not gain traction soon, I will start gradually increasing Bid levels, but only with very few test ads.  As many have learned, to our dismay, it is easy to take a bath big time by raising Bid levels to very high numbers.  For myself, even experimenting with 25-Cent bids always leads to disaster.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: The one with all the big dresses on the covers on January 10, 2018, 06:33:14 am
Sorry to pop in without reading the thread, but I just wanted to check something I only just realized. You can't advertise box sets on AMS? What's with that?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 10, 2018, 07:30:01 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on January 10, 2018, 07:30:35 am
Sorry to pop in without reading the thread, but I just wanted to check something I only just realized. You can't advertise box sets on AMS? What's with that?

I only promote my box sets on AMS. 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 10, 2018, 07:35:05 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: The one with all the big dresses on the covers on January 11, 2018, 01:08:56 am
Just wanted to share something I hadn't seen before about when we get billed. It matched my experience (that I always get billed on about the third of the month no matter what I owe), but I hadn't been aware of the credit thresholds before this:

It's under Campaign Billing in the Help section of KDP:
"Advertisers paying with credit cards are not provided with notifications of billing. You are billed for your ads when:
   
  • Your account accumulates your first $1.00 worth of clicks.
       
  • Your account accumulates additional clicks that meet or exceed your credit limit. Your credit limit begins at $50 and increases each time you reach your credit limit and you make a successful payment. From $50 it increases to $150, $200, $350, and finally $500.
       
  • You have a balance due for the previous month, regardless of your credit limit. You incur this charge on the third day of each month."

That's interesting! It was definitely feeling like I was being billed at random  :)

No, you should be able to. I have a collection that's just like a box set that I advertise. Is it listed through a distributor or in erotica?
I only promote my box sets on AMS. 

Thanks for responding. I've only just released my first box set and when I tried to set up an AMS ad, it was rejected. In usual Amazon fashion, they didn't say why. But when I went through to the link, one of the first things it said was 2D images only. Have I misunderstood what that means?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 11, 2018, 08:54:38 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Guy Riessen on January 11, 2018, 09:37:49 am
shut down any keywords that are not generating enough clicks per impression or too many clicks without a sale. I view impressions without clicks and clicks without buys as a symptom of my ad not being properly targeted. (The example I use from my own experience was Harry Potter on my fantasy novel. I think I had 35,000 impressions on that keyword but five clicks or something ridiculous. Clearly HP readers don't want my book.)

This is not the only way to look at it though. Let's say you KNOW that your book is ideally targeted to HP fans. If you're getting impressions but not clicks--that tells me that your cover or ad copy is not targeting HP fans correctly. If you're getting clicks but not sales, that tells me your blurb (or possibly a larger view of your cover is off putting in some fashion to HP fans) is not targeting HP fans. Of course if you only think you 'might' find some crossover fans, then concentrate on other keywords that better match your market--this advice applies to the case where you KNOW your target audience is not responding to the ad. It might not be your ad keyword, it might be your book's blurb.

Here's a small for-instance. My book Piercing the Veil is written for fans of Lovecraft, the Call of Cthulhu role playing game, and game and comics nerds in general. I was seeing lots of clicks coming from the keyword 'Cthulhu'--that told me I had my ad text and cover were spot-on. Fans were clicking to the book.

But I wasn't getting ANY sales--so I tried to look at the landing page with fresh eyes and realized its blurb screamed "Lovecraftian Lethal Weapon Cranked to 11!" but it was at the bottom of blurb (I was thinking to close the sale, right?). When the book page came up, there was nothing that said (without clicking the 'show more') my book was Lovecraftian or Mythos focused--the cover is clearly horror, but it could be any kind of horror. So, I moved that 'Lovecraftian' quote to the top, made it big and bold, and suddenly the "cthulhu' clicks started to generate sales.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 11, 2018, 10:44:34 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: The one with all the big dresses on the covers on January 11, 2018, 04:21:01 pm
All the covers in your current signature are 2D. But if you have one of those images that shows the titles of the books looking like the spines of a physical book and then a cover image for the box, that's what's considered a 3D image. (Most of those massive box sets use the 3D image.) Just looked. Your Four Kingdoms cover image is considered a 3D image.

Yes, that's the one. (I don't have it in my sig since the individual titles are all already there.) Thanks for checking for me.
So, no box sets. That's a pity. I wonder why...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 11, 2018, 04:35:19 pm
No, you can do box sets, you just need to use a 2D image from what you're saying. (Apple, I believe, has that rule for box sets, too. 2D images only.) I suspect the reason they don't want the 3D image is because there are enough paperback sales that come from the ads they don't want anyone confused about what's being advertised.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: The one with all the big dresses on the covers on January 11, 2018, 09:25:45 pm
No, you can do box sets, you just need to use a 2D image from what you're saying. (Apple, I believe, has that rule for box sets, too. 2D images only.) I suspect the reason they don't want the 3D image is because there are enough paperback sales that come from the ads they don't want anyone confused about what's being advertised.

There's no way to use a different image for an AMS ad than the uploaded cover, is there? I don't want to change my cover as I think that the 3D image most clearly and effectively communicates what it is to customers. Especially since it seems to be the norm for box sets from what I've seen. I have a 2D image I could use for the ad, but I don't think that's possible. Ah, well, too bad!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 12, 2018, 06:03:53 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: randallcfloyd on January 12, 2018, 02:19:05 pm
I understand there's a lag in the reporting, but how long do you wait to terminate an ad that is not getting more than a hundred or so impressions each day? The genre is relevant, max CPC is .35 to start, but no traction. I'm using a ton of relevant keywords ...

I know the competition has ramped up as more and more people try to use the ad platform.

I'm just a little bit more than curious.

I also searched through both of the main AMS threads and didn't quite find the answer I was looking for.

Thanks
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: The one with all the big dresses on the covers on January 12, 2018, 02:39:51 pm
Right. You'd have to change the cover on your main book page in order to run AMS on the boxset.

I’ve never really paid attention before, but I was just on my product page and there were no less than three box sets with the regular box set image across the two rows of sponsored product ads. So how did they do it?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on January 12, 2018, 04:20:11 pm
I understand there's a lag in the reporting, but how long do you wait to terminate an ad that is not getting more than a hundred or so impressions each day? The genre is relevant, max CPC is .35 to start, but no traction. I'm using a ton of relevant keywords ...

I know the competition has ramped up as more and more people try to use the ad platform.

I'm just a little bit more than curious.

I also searched through both of the main AMS threads and didn't quite find the answer I was looking for.

Thanks

When it's obvious that an ad is a complete dud (hardly and impressions and no clicks over the first few days), I think it's best to terminate it and start over. When AMS algos kill an ad in its infancy, I've found that no amount of time, keyword tweaking, or changes in CPC bids seems to bring it to life.

I've had an ad successfully run one month, but completely flop when I run it again (identical) the next month. Perhaps competitive factors at the time (number of other ads in the genera/keywords) doomed it before it even launched? Hard to say, since AMS won't explain how their ad performance algos work.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: randallcfloyd on January 12, 2018, 04:28:12 pm
When it's obvious that an ad is a complete dud (hardly and impressions and no clicks over the first few days), I think it's best to terminate it and start over. When AMS algos kill an ad in its infancy, I've found that no amount of time, keyword tweaking, or changes in CPC bids seems to bring it to life.

I've had an ad successfully run one month, but completely flop when I run it again (identical) the next month. Perhaps competitive factors at the time (number of other ads in the genera/keywords) doomed it before it even launched? Hard to say, since AMS won't explain how their ad performance algos work.

Thanks! I'll make sure to keep my eyes open for the next day or so.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on January 12, 2018, 05:27:41 pm
I swear AMS ads throw a dice every day to decide whether to show my book or not. I have several keywords doing great, with the ACPC way lower than that I've set at max (my max is $0.4 for my main keywords -the ones I know for a fact are spot-on-, average ACPC is roughly half that much), but it seems the system only enjoys showing them one night a week, two at best. So most of the days I'll get no clicks, then one night a week I get five clicks ending up in a sale and two borrows. It's so inconsistent it has me tearing my hair out! I just wish I could know why I'll get barely any prints (and therefore no clicks, or sales) on my ad some days, then on other days it'll work amazingly. Mraaah!

*goes off to punch something and breaks his hand in the process, thus leading his writing career to an early end*
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 12, 2018, 05:44:57 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 12, 2018, 05:47:23 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on January 12, 2018, 05:52:12 pm
Does this coincide with times when more people would be shopping on Amazon? If so, it could be because you're underbidding in your category and only during heavy traffic times do those who are bidding more than you run out of budget resulting in your ads being displayed.

I wouldn't expect so, although naturally I don't have a chart of Amazon's users. I mean, it happened two nights ago, which was a Wednesday night and I can't see what would be so special about a Wednesday night as opposed to other nights. I generally get most of my impressions and clicks during the nighttime, but as you say I've always assumed that's due to user load - can't show my ad to people or have them click on it if there are no people browsing the site to begin with. The thing is, while most of the activity happens at night there's no set pattern as to what nights it does better on other than every five nights, which makes no sense. If I did better on specific weeknights it would make sense, but it's not the case. It's just Amazon being Amazon I guess.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 12, 2018, 05:55:22 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: The one with all the big dresses on the covers on January 12, 2018, 06:07:00 pm
Weird. You're right. I just looked and there were two in the sponsored product ads on one of my books.

After all this conversation I went and found the part of the acceptance policies that says it, but all it says is: "Images provided should be high quality, professional, and visually appealing. They must be a 2-dimensional representation of the product. There should be minimal text on the image. Text must be legible and easily understandable to the average customer."

I guess just chalk it up to who reviewed the ad?

*Sigh* Sounds about par for the course for Amazon.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on January 13, 2018, 01:14:07 pm
Sorry to pop in without reading the thread, but I just wanted to check something I only just realized. You can't advertise box sets on AMS? What's with that?

From what I've read, a 3D cover is acceptable for SP ads but not PDI ads because these are shown on kindles and 3D ads don't look right on kindles.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: The one with all the big dresses on the covers on January 13, 2018, 03:31:08 pm
From what I've read, a 3D cover is acceptable for SP ads but not PDI ads because these are shown on kindles and 3D ads don't look right on kindles.

That makes sense. Thanks!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 14, 2018, 06:44:50 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on January 14, 2018, 08:27:06 am
What I've found is that having a budget of $50 a day doesn't do much. In that sense the ads aren't scalable. And really high bids don't always do much either. I have a few that I put high ($1.50 or so) and they didn't spur that ad to burn through its budget. But if you're at 45 cents right now? Try to go up a bit.

Gonna try this, since my highest atm is $0.45 indeed and my ACPC is $0.2 for that KW. Daily limit on my ad is $4, so it's not like I'm gonna break the bank :P
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Tizzy on January 14, 2018, 11:46:38 am
Gonna try this, since my highest atm is $0.45 indeed and my ACPC is $0.2 for that KW. Daily limit on my ad is $4, so it's not like I'm gonna break the bank :P

Raised bid to $0.6 on main keywords. I'm now appearing on the first part of the bottom carousel for my chosen author/books. If I get a good enough sell-through upping it to put me on the first carousel might be a good idea.

Edit: Typo had me write "not" instead of "now," which casually changed the whole meaning of my post, duh. Gonna have to hire an editor for my forum posts so they can catch these :P
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 14, 2018, 11:52:38 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: HilaryM on January 15, 2018, 11:06:46 am
Having only recently jumped on board with sponsored ads, I'm finding it a crazy ride. Where's the logic? For example, in exactly the same period one book generated 97k impressions and 266 clicks while another only 9k and 26! Or this, out of the blue, a keyword hits 213 impressions, 1 click, 1 sale! It's like gambling - not that I indulge very often, I hasten to add - but do I raise my bid on those keywords doing well to see if they generate a really healthy number of sales? Or will it be Murphy's Law, and the moment I touch it everything will turn to custard and all I end up with is a large bill at the end of the month! I've never hit my budget, a measly $5 per day, but the thrill of seeing a few more sales and a jump in the sales rankings is becoming dangerously attractive!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: notjohn on January 15, 2018, 11:37:39 am
I've clicked through this thread searching for the keyword paperback, but without much joy.

I have a paperback I need to promote, but I find my current Sponsored Product ad mentions only the Kindle edition. Will it show other editions if I switch to Product Display? And I've only ever used Keywords. What does (Interest) do that keywords do not?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 15, 2018, 11:49:10 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on January 15, 2018, 12:01:05 pm
I've clicked through this thread searching for the keyword paperback, but without much joy.

I have a paperback I need to promote, but I find my current Sponsored Product ad mentions only the Kindle edition. Will it show other editions if I switch to Product Display? And I've only ever used Keywords. What does (Interest) do that keywords do not?

As I mentioned somewhere, either on this thread or the other AMS thread, one of my SP ads ends with "also available in paperback."  when someone clicks on the ad, it takes them to the book page, and Paperback is one of the options easily visible.

ETA:  The ad works, as my paperback sales increased dramatically since I began running it.  Not to blockbuster proportions, obviously, but better than they had been.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on January 19, 2018, 06:07:15 pm
I have been using AMS ads since around July, with variable success. One thing that I've been confused about: many people have multiple SP ads going for the same book, but what distinguishes these ads? I have put together two excel spread sheets, one for my science fiction and one for my mystery novels. Each has about 900 keywords. Multiple ads with the same keywords, even with different ad copy, seem to cannibalize each other. One might run but the other will not. Furthermore, it has been recommended that when one ad dies, we should start another, but will a copy of the exact same ad be treated as a new ad, or just the same dead ad? Will a new ad with different ad copy but the same keywords be treated as a new ad? As of now, I've had a lot of ads give short runs of a few days to two weeks, with 20 to 50 thousand impressions per day. Once an ad dies, what do I replace it with?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 19, 2018, 06:32:18 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bohemienne on January 20, 2018, 08:47:45 am
AMS newbie here—just finished reading Cassie’s excellent book and got my first ad accepted. A quick question though: the dashboard says campaign data can take up to 3 days to populate. Does that’ll mean it’ll be 3 days before I start seeing my data (but then it’ll be more or less current after that) or does it mean the data will ALWAYS be presented with about a 3-day delay?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 20, 2018, 08:56:59 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 20, 2018, 08:59:55 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bohemienne on January 21, 2018, 04:06:44 am
Thanks so much, Cassie! My data did finally load in and does seem to be more or less real time now (minus sales, but I can cross reference those easily enough on my KDP dash).

Next question—I know in Cassie’s book she mentioned not having much luck with multiple ads for the same title. However, I feel like I could pretty evenly segment my potential audiences by certain author groups—eg, Author A’s fans would like the villain romance aspect of my book, Author B’s would like the lush fantasy royalty aspect, etc. Is it worth it to split these out into separate blurbs that emphasize those separate aspects for better targeting (though maybe still with some overlap)? Or in a smaller genre is that overlap going to happen naturally enough that I may just end up competing with myself?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on January 21, 2018, 01:32:15 pm
Lesson learned!  Every few days I check my ad campaign and maybe tweak a keyword bid up or down, depending.  When I checked today, I noticed my "spend" had gone up more than I expected, compared to the estimated sales staying relatively the same.  Turns out I inadvertently put one bid at $20, rather than the $0.20 I intended.   :o    :o    :o

Needless to say, I switched it back to my intended bid and double-checked all others.  From now on I'll sort by bid price to ensure there are no additional similar mistakes.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on January 21, 2018, 01:54:37 pm
BTW, Phoenix just posted this in another thread so wanted to share it here, too. This is what I use to track approximately how many borrows I'm getting from an ad. (I look at rank, subtract known number of sales for that day, and use that to guesstimate how many borrows must be making up the difference.)

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pC2E-EOwxBw/WmNpcVPQTzI/AAAAAAAAFHY/WFpssv6R8NsXTEhHPRiwmJG-6BCqVzzFgCLcBGAs/s640/DG%2Bsales-rank%2Bchart-EXPANDED.JPG)

I have a book that hovers around 8000 based on recorded sales of about 7 daily with varying KU pages. According to the chart, a holding rank of 8000 requires 16 sales a day, so I could assume I'm getting 9 borrows a day?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 22, 2018, 07:29:54 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 22, 2018, 07:33:12 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 22, 2018, 07:33:50 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on January 22, 2018, 08:29:40 am
I have a book that hovers around 8000 based on recorded sales of about 7 daily with varying KU pages. According to the chart, a holding rank of 8000 requires 16 sales a day, so I could assume I'm getting 9 borrows a day?
Depending how your tolerance for data, you can take it a step further.

I use the Chrome Bookreport add-on, and I download the data from it daily and add it to a tracking sheet.
It tells me how many KU reads daily and I have added a field to the spreadsheet that calculates an estimated number of "read throughs" for KU.
I add the actual Sales count and the estimated number of read throughs together and use that as my daily "sales"
It's not perfect. As I understand it, Amazon treats each download to KU as a "sale" for the purpose of ranking. But that number is opaque, and unknown to us, so I use the data provided to estimate, an admittedly, lowball number of KU downloads.
As an example. This morning my first book is ranked around 14,500. KDP reflected 8 sales yesterday and 1871 KNEP pages read. My book is 287 KNEP. So, I count that as an additional 6.5 books. I'll round that down, and say I had 14 "sales" yesterday.
For my Phoenix's chart gives me a slightly lower rank than 14 sales would explain, but I don't know how many people have actually downloaded the book to KU in the last 24 hours. It could be that fewer people downloaded it in the last 24 hours than have been reading it. Because of Amazon's opacity, much of what each of us do to analyze data is at best an imperfect estimation.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: gilesxbecker on January 22, 2018, 09:08:48 am
BTW, Phoenix just posted this in another thread so wanted to share it here, too. This is what I use to track approximately how many borrows I'm getting from an ad. (I look at rank, subtract known number of sales for that day, and use that to guesstimate how many borrows must be making up the difference.)

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pC2E-EOwxBw/WmNpcVPQTzI/AAAAAAAAFHY/WFpssv6R8NsXTEhHPRiwmJG-6BCqVzzFgCLcBGAs/s640/DG%2Bsales-rank%2Bchart-EXPANDED.JPG)
  That is an extremely useful chart. Thanks for posting it.
Good advice on this thread, thanks to all for sharing. I am going to try a Product Display ad later today or tomorrow for my second in the series and attach it to other books and see how that works. At present it is targeted to 'interest' and I am not seeing it anywhere. It's like it disappeared into outer space. Since I got these new covers I am also going to try another Promo Stacker (same book different cover) and see if I can boost it before I start ads on the second book. This is like playing the slots! Addictive!

Also I am thinking that the majority of readers must be older people, younger people with kids and holding down two jobs don't have time to read it seems. Personal experience here.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: gilesxbecker on January 22, 2018, 09:12:18 am
I've given the test a week, and I think the results are in: Twenty-cent higher keyword bids are not producing sales earlier in the day on my books. They're producing more sales, and I'm spending more on the ads, but the time frame when the sales happen remains the same.

So...either my audience is, as I've suspected, working women with families, women who only buy books in the evening and at night; or I'm still not bidding high enough to get good ad placement early in the day. I've just kicked up my most successful keyword on one book another 20 cents. I've just lowered one that isn't producing well by 20 cents. We'll see what another week brings.

Maybe it depends on the kind or genre of book --- that is, at what time of day it is bought. But that's a really useful tool, and something to think about. thanks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: gilesxbecker on January 22, 2018, 09:13:25 am
Oops sorry, got my own post in the quote.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on January 22, 2018, 10:12:54 am
Depending how your tolerance for data, you can take it a step further.

I use the Chrome Bookreport add-on, and I download the data from it daily and add it to a tracking sheet.
It tells me how many KU reads daily and I have added a field to the spreadsheet that calculates an estimated number of "read throughs" for KU.
I add the actual Sales count and the estimated number of read throughs together and use that as my daily "sales"
It's not perfect. As I understand it, Amazon treats each download to KU as a "sale" for the purpose of ranking. But that number is opaque, and unknown to us, so I use the data provided to estimate, an admittedly, lowball number of KU downloads.
As an example. This morning my first book is ranked around 14,500. KDP reflected 8 sales yesterday and 1871 KNEP pages read. My book is 287 KNEP. So, I count that as an additional 6.5 books. I'll round that down, and say I had 14 "sales" yesterday.
For my Phoenix's chart gives me a slightly lower rank than 14 sales would explain, but I don't know how many people have actually downloaded the book to KU in the last 24 hours. It could be that fewer people downloaded it in the last 24 hours than have been reading it. Because of Amazon's opacity, much of what each of us do to analyze data is at best an imperfect estimation.

I do a similar analysis manually. The real chink in the armor there is readers might bail after twenty pages and we'd never know. It's probably fair to assume that 30% of downloads result in just a 10% more or less read through. We still get the benefit of a rank boost, but not much in the way of revenue.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 26, 2018, 07:08:27 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bohemienne on January 26, 2018, 07:51:28 am
I just did a post on my blog about defensive AMS ads. Basically, if you have low-selling books on Amazon even using the title and author name won't bring up the book in search results, so running AMS is a way to potentially get that book to at least be visible. Sucks that their search function is built that way, but there you have it.

Oh wow. I noticed this happened recently to one of my traditionally-published backlist books and felt helpless to change it. (There seriously is nothing else even spelled like it that should be listed #1 instead!! WTF, Amazon!) Unfortunately I can't run AMS for it since, presumably, it's under my publisher's control? I guess I'll just have to hope my self-pub sales trickle over and pull it back up...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 26, 2018, 10:50:45 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: dgcasey on January 26, 2018, 02:50:59 pm
Okay, here's a question I haven't seen addressed before. And maybe it's not so much a question as it is an observation. I have three continuous ads running right now and each with a fairly low daily budget. Today, one of the ads hit its daily budget for the very first time. Now, as I understand it, that's the end of the ad for the day. But, I've been watching the ads page for the past few hours and that ad is still getting impressions. No more clicks, but plenty of impressions. I guess the question is, what happens when someone sees the ad in the Sponsored carousel and clicks on it, even though the budget is gone?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: azebra on January 26, 2018, 06:49:00 pm
I believe that is when you'll see an overdelivery refund in your next billing history cycle.

That's what this is!!! Mystery solved!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Atlantisatheart on January 27, 2018, 06:39:44 am
I have asked this question in a thread I started about the second row of spponsored ads being turned into also viewed, but you guys might have noticed what's going on... I write PNR and used to be flooded with bad boy ads, since the second row of ads was turned off I'm also not seeing bad boy ads but PNR and fantasy ads.
Has amazon finally sorted out their ads to make them genre spacific?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 27, 2018, 07:50:41 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: AliceS on January 29, 2018, 01:47:49 pm
I'm getting ready to put my toe in the AMS water again but noticed something today that gave me pause. I was researching keywords and categories for a new fantasy I'm working on. I pulled up a book with over 200 reviews to check out. It had 100 pages of sponsored ads. 100 pages?! And some of the books on the 1st page only had a couple reviews. One had a typo in its blurb and one had no reviews at all. So are they all brand new books? I cannot imagine how much the 1st page people are paying to be the top of the heap for 100 pages!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on January 30, 2018, 07:24:05 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 98368 on January 30, 2018, 11:26:47 am
Apologies if this is covered somewhere in this or the previous AMS thread, but here goes: I started an AMS ad a few days ago and chose auto-targeting, which I've never done before. When I check my AMS dashboard, it shows, say, 5 impressions. Then I'll refresh the page and it'll show 4 impressions. Really? How the heck does this happen?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on January 30, 2018, 01:37:40 pm
Apologies if this is covered somewhere in this or the previous AMS thread, but here goes: I started an AMS ad a few days ago and chose auto-targeting, which I've never done before. When I check my AMS dashboard, it shows, say, 5 impressions. Then I'll refresh the page and it'll show 4 impressions. Really? How the heck does this happen?

This happens to me all the time. I assume AMS is constantly verifying/refining numbers. Since impressions don't cost anything, and (IMHO) aren't a critical measurement by themselves, I'm not too concerned. It's usually not a big adjustment anyway. I typically look at clicks per impressions and sales per clicks.   
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 98368 on January 30, 2018, 01:39:57 pm
This happens to me all the time. I assume AMS is constantly verifying/refining numbers. Since impressions don't cost anything, and (IMHO) aren't a critical measurement by themselves, I'm not too concerned. It's usually not a big adjustment anyway. I typically look at clicks per impressions and sales per clicks.

Thanks, Accord64. Glad to hear it's not just me!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Harald on January 31, 2018, 07:59:45 am
[just posting to follow - for some reason "NOTIFY" button not working; will re-enable]
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rivera Sun on February 01, 2018, 10:43:05 am
Howdy everyone...I am aware that AMS estimated sales can be reported days late and are sometimes adjusted even after reporting and I have often seen one or two days of zero sales reported even when sales, probably AMS driven, are occuring both at KDP and CreateSpace/Amazon...but currently I am 7 days without an estimated sale showing on the AMS reports.

Impressions and charges are accruing regularly. Ad base is over 300 sponsored product ads on regular KDP/AMS ad interface. Sales are occuring normally both at KDP and CreateSpace/Amazon.

Clearly zero reported gross sales is beyond the possibility of an up to three day lag which would generally be minor as these are almost all mature (not new) ads.

Has anyone seen anything like this?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on February 01, 2018, 11:34:24 am
I've experienced the same thing. I got an email a couple of days ago from a company that I had briefly thought about using to manage keyword bids, and they said they had been in touch with Amazon and the Zon had admitted  :o to there being a problem with data being fed to the AMS report for sold data.
Not sure when Zon will fix it, but you're not alone in not getting sales data reported on your AMS report.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Atlantisatheart on February 01, 2018, 12:19:59 pm
I've experienced the same thing. I got an email a couple of days ago from a company that I had briefly thought about using to manage keyword bids, and they said they had been in touch with Amazon and the Zon had admitted  :o to there being a problem with data being fed to the AMS report for sold data.
Not sure when Zon will fix it, but you're not alone in not getting sales data reported on your AMS report.

I had this for five days so I paused all my ads. I just checked and it's magically been updated.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on February 01, 2018, 12:29:36 pm
I had this for five days so I paused all my ads. I just checked and it's magically been updated.

Indeed. Just got $60 in sales credited today. ;D
Thanks for the heads up.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 01, 2018, 08:00:31 pm
Interesting fact:  my ad is run mainly to sell paperback copies of my middle-grade book.  Back in December, I added "stocking stuffer" as a keyword, and I think it was pretty effective.  Funny thing is...  it's still getting impressions and even a few clicks.  8)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 01, 2018, 09:30:49 pm
Interesting fact:  my ad is run mainly to sell paperback copies of my middle-grade book.  Back in December, I added "stocking stuffer" as a keyword, and I think it was pretty effective.  Funny thing is...  it's still getting impressions and even a few clicks.  8)

If ladies want to stuff my books down their stockings, I'm cool with it.

I don't judge.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 02, 2018, 01:20:08 am
So I have 40 clicks over the last few days on an ad and it is showing no sales against it. I'm pretty sure there have been sales from it. Is anyone else's stuck?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on February 02, 2018, 04:11:02 am
So I have 40 clicks over the last few days on an ad and it is showing no sales against it. I'm pretty sure there have been sales from it. Is anyone else's stuck?

Do you mean your AMS reporting is stuck, or a campaign is stuck producing sales?

I did notice a sales reporting lag this week. Sales typically show up on my AMS report 48 hours after I see them on my KDP dashboard, but they took longer - and then all showed up at the same time yesterday.

By "all" I mean the couple I got because my campaign(s) haven't been producing very well lately. They still get the same number of impressions and clicks, but sales have nearly evaporated. Maybe everyone already has all the books they need after holiday shopping? Or perhaps it's a KDP reporting lag? Maybe dozens of sales will suddenly pop up on my dashboard today?  :P   Hey, there's no lag on my dreams.  ;D           
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 02, 2018, 05:00:56 am
If ladies want to stuff my books down their stockings, I'm cool with it.

I don't judge.

 :P
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Matt Helbig on February 02, 2018, 05:02:25 am
Quote
So I have 40 clicks over the last few days on an ad and it is showing no sales against it. I'm pretty sure there have been sales from it. Is anyone else's stuck?

You have to check your kdp reports page to get an accurate account of recent sales. For instance, yesterday my ads received 4 sales attributed to them. According to the sales dashboard, 4 sales ago would go all the way back to January 22 (11 days ago).

If you're in Kindle Unlimited, your clicks could also be getting downloads which aren't reported on your ad metrics. The best way to tell if you're getting these and not buys is to see if your rank is going up.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 02, 2018, 05:37:04 am
Do you mean your AMS reporting is stuck, or a campaign is stuck producing sales?

I did notice a sales reporting lag this week. Sales typically show up on my AMS report 48 hours after I see them on my KDP dashboard, but they took longer - and then all showed up at the same time yesterday.

By "all" I mean the couple I got because my campaign(s) haven't been producing very well lately. They still get the same number of impressions and clicks, but sales have nearly evaporated. Maybe everyone already has all the books they need after holiday shopping? Or perhaps it's a KDP reporting lag? Maybe dozens of sales will suddenly pop up on my dashboard today?  :P   Hey, there's no lag on my dreams.  ;D           

Well I have these stats: 9,081 impressions, 39 clicks, 0.20 acpc, spend $7.89 and then 0 sales

I don't believe it though as I've been getting quite a few sales (for me!) over that period. 19 in total through amazon. And I really can't believe that not one of them came from these 39 clicks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 02, 2018, 05:38:05 am
Do you mean your AMS reporting is stuck, or a campaign is stuck producing sales?

I did notice a sales reporting lag this week. Sales typically show up on my AMS report 48 hours after I see them on my KDP dashboard, but they took longer - and then all showed up at the same time yesterday.

By "all" I mean the couple I got because my campaign(s) haven't been producing very well lately. They still get the same number of impressions and clicks, but sales have nearly evaporated. Maybe everyone already has all the books they need after holiday shopping? Or perhaps it's a KDP reporting lag? Maybe dozens of sales will suddenly pop up on my dashboard today?  :P   Hey, there's no lag on my dreams.  ;D           

Sorry, see above. I have sales on my mian dashboard and clicks on the advert, but nothing to tie them together.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on February 02, 2018, 08:32:25 am
Sorry, see above. I have sales on my mian dashboard and clicks on the advert, but nothing to tie them together.

Several of us, who buy into Brian Meeks' "Mastering Amazon Ads" have taken the perspective of ignoring what AMS's dashboard has to tell us about the number of books sold. I've not ever been able to tie my book sales to my ACoS.
What I do to decide if my marketing is working is to look at my sales and KU reads each day against my AMS campaigns' clicks and measure whether they're successful or paying for themselves. This is a very imperfect system, but better, IMO than relying upon whatever sales ACoS decides to give me credit for. Using this method relies on the assumption that I have no organic reads and everyone who buys or downloads my book in KU came there through my AMS ads. But given how well known I am, it's probably a good assumption that I have few organic reads. ::)

Here's how I do it:
Yesterday, I had 10 clicks, I paid $1.75 for those clicks
Yesterday my KPD dashboard shows 2 sales and 1100 page reads
My book has 287 KNEP pages. So, I count my KNEP as 3.8 sales (I might round it up to 4 for easy math, or down to 3 to be conservative with my calculation)
I round down, and figure I had 5 sales. Using my trusty BookReport addon, I know I earned $10, so I spent $1.75 to earn $10. I consider the day a success.

That's just an example for simplicity's sake. I have two books. Based upon my calculation for January I know about 80% of my readers go on and read book 2. Some people calculate their success on book 1's performance alone, others factor in followup books' conversions.

There are inherent weaknesses to this method. It ignores organic sales, and if you're running any Facebook or Amazon ads (or even any promos), throwing those into the mix makes the math a lot more complicated and relies on a host more assumptions.

But at the end of the day, what I'm most concerned with, is this: If I spend a certain amount on advertising, is my ROI positive. Find what works for you. If what I describe is too complicated or relies on too many assumed variables, find what works for you to determine if your marketing is working for you.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 02, 2018, 08:57:59 am
Several of us, who buy into Brian Meeks' "Mastering Amazon Ads" have taken the perspective of ignoring what AMS's dashboard has to tell us about the number of books sold. I've not ever been able to tie my book sales to my ACoS.
What I do to decide if my marketing is working is to look at my sales and KU reads each day against my AMS campaigns' clicks and measure whether they're successful or paying for themselves. This is a very imperfect system, but better, IMO than relying upon whatever sales ACoS decides to give me credit for. Using this method relies on the assumption that I have no organic reads and everyone who buys or downloads my book in KU came there through my AMS ads. But given how well known I am, it's probably a good assumption that I have few organic reads. ::)

Here's how I do it:
Yesterday, I had 10 clicks, I paid $1.75 for those clicks
Yesterday my KPD dashboard shows 2 sales and 1100 page reads
My book has 287 KNEP pages. So, I count my KNEP as 3.8 sales (I might round it up to 4 for easy math, or down to 3 to be conservative with my calculation)
I round down, and figure I had 5 sales. Using my trusty BookReport addon, I know I earned $10, so I spent $1.75 to earn $10. I consider the day a success.

That's just an example for simplicity's sake. I have two books. Based upon my calculation for January I know about 80% of my readers go on and read book 2. Some people calculate their success on book 1's performance alone, others factor in followup books' conversions.

There are inherent weaknesses to this method. It ignores organic sales, and if you're running any Facebook or Amazon ads (or even any promos), throwing those into the mix makes the math a lot more complicated and relies on a host more assumptions.

But at the end of the day, what I'm most concerned with, is this: If I spend a certain amount on advertising, is my ROI positive. Find what works for you. If what I describe is too complicated or relies on too many assumed variables, find what works for you to determine if your marketing is working for you.

Thanks for this, that's interesting.

I'm not in KU so in a way the calculations are easier for me. I just don't like guesswork when I'm spending money. I'd much rather be sure I'm getting a return!

The as has actually updated now and so these are my updated stats...

9,370 impressions
41 clicks
0.20 acpc
spend $8.16
$14.95 sales
Acos 54.58%
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 03, 2018, 06:45:20 pm
Dumb question about AMS billing....   I'm sure this may have been addressed somewhere, either on this (long) thread or the other (long) thread, but I can't find it.

I guess AMS billing hits our account (in my case, direct debit from bank acct) at the beginning of each month for our ads.  In checking my bank account it look like there's an "AMS" payment twice during December-- one on the 4th, and the other on the 26th.  Does that seem kosher to everyone?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 03, 2018, 06:56:55 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 03, 2018, 07:14:19 pm
Yes, I get billed multiple times per month. You'll always be billed on the 3rd, plus each time you meet your billing threshold. I pasted the thresholds somewhere in this thread, maybe a couple weeks ago. The top threshold is $500, but there were some others that you had to work your way through to get to that level.

So obviously, the more popular your ad is (and, hopefully, the more books you sell), the more they bill you during the month?  I've only been billed twice in December, which was a good month for me, saleswise.

Thanks for the info.   :)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 03, 2018, 10:13:28 pm
Yes, more sales, more costs. I enjoyed seeing all the sales my $500 to AMS in January bought me. I'm in the black with AMS; AMS works better than every FB ad I've ever done, in fact, better than any other ad I've done, period. But the bid costs keep going up. I don't see this as being viable indefinitely.

When you say the bid keeps going up, do you mean that you keep having to raise it to get the same results?

I seem to have got gold with an ad at the moment and don't want it to stop!

Impressions 12,407
Clicks 54
Apcp $0.19
Spend $10.07
Sales $50.83
Acos 19.81%
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on February 04, 2018, 05:30:15 am
I seem to have got gold with an ad at the moment and don't want it to stop!

Keeping a profitable ad going and scaling it up has been my (and many others) elusive challenge. I've had similar "gold mine" ads, but they always lose momentum after a couple of weeks. From information gleaned from this (and other) AMS topics, we've confirmed (from Amazon) that there's a performance algorithm at work. They won't tell us how it works, but it will slow ads that it deems as underperformers.

I currently have an ad going that started as a gold mine, but it predictably slowed after the first week. In the past I've tried to raise bid prices to get it going again, but it didn't seem to make a difference. Besides, most of my ads have 100's of keywords and the AMS dashboard makes you change bid prices one at a time.  >:(

Someone in another AMS topic had contacted Amazon for tips, and the rep said it was better to terminate a stalled ad and start a new one. I've done this, and the new (identical) ad usually falters out of the gate. Frustrating!

As to why my ads usually slow after the first week or two? My guess is because of an overall high volume of ads. AMS is trying to accommodate everyone, which also results in high performance algorithm benchmark. My ads might be doing well out of the gate, but it's not enough compared to other ads at the time.

I'm trying a new strategy - keep a faltering ad going to see if things pick up after a while. Maybe the length of an ad is something that the almighty algorithm will favor?   ;D
         
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 04, 2018, 05:48:48 am
Keeping a profitable ad going and scaling it up has been my (and many others) elusive challenge. I've had similar "gold mine" ads, but they always lose momentum after a couple of weeks. From information gleaned from this (and other) AMS topics, we've confirmed (from Amazon) that there's a performance algorithm at work. They won't tell us how it works, but it will slow ads that it deems as underperformers.

I currently have an ad going that started as a gold mine, but it predictably slowed after the first week. In the past I've tried to raise bid prices to get it going again, but it didn't seem to make a difference. Besides, most of my ads have 100's of keywords and the AMS dashboard makes you change bid prices one at a time.  >:(

Someone in another AMS topic had contacted Amazon for tips, and the rep said it was better to terminate a stalled ad and start a new one. I've done this, and the new (identical) ad usually falters out of the gate. Frustrating!

As to why my ads usually slow after the first week or two? My guess is because of an overall high volume of ads. AMS is trying to accommodate everyone, which also results in high performance algorithm benchmark. My ads might be doing well out of the gate, but it's not enough compared to other ads at the time.

I'm trying a new strategy - keep a faltering ad going to see if things pick up after a while. Maybe the length of an ad is something that the almighty algorithm will favor?   ;D
         

This is interesting, thanks.

I'm going to see how it goes over the next week or two and then report back!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 04, 2018, 06:47:59 am
My currently hottest ad has been running since late September and it picked up speed dramatically once I took the book out of KU. I only have 31 active keywords on that ad, 4 of them new additions in test mode. I do not know how to account for this ad producing better, other than January always being a good book-buying month. Possibly, not being in KU has helped increase sales, and possibly, upping my daily budget dramatically as it keeps running out also plays a role in visibility. Or it could be the also-boughts. No way of knowing for sure.

Under my previous experimental pen names I've struggled to ever make an ad work to be honest. They were all in KU.

Now I'm publishing under my own name, I've gone wide and am seeing WAY more success with ads. Converting to buys makes it so much clearer what's working and what isn't compared to the whole page reads mystique.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 04, 2018, 06:55:11 am
Keeping a profitable ad going and scaling it up has been my (and many others) elusive challenge. I've had similar "gold mine" ads, but they always lose momentum after a couple of weeks. From information gleaned from this (and other) AMS topics, we've confirmed (from Amazon) that there's a performance algorithm at work. They won't tell us how it works, but it will slow ads that it deems as underperformers.

I currently have an ad going that started as a gold mine, but it predictably slowed after the first week. In the past I've tried to raise bid prices to get it going again, but it didn't seem to make a difference. Besides, most of my ads have 100's of keywords and the AMS dashboard makes you change bid prices one at a time.  >:(

Someone in another AMS topic had contacted Amazon for tips, and the rep said it was better to terminate a stalled ad and start a new one. I've done this, and the new (identical) ad usually falters out of the gate. Frustrating!

As to why my ads usually slow after the first week or two? My guess is because of an overall high volume of ads. AMS is trying to accommodate everyone, which also results in high performance algorithm benchmark. My ads might be doing well out of the gate, but it's not enough compared to other ads at the time.

I'm trying a new strategy - keep a faltering ad going to see if things pick up after a while. Maybe the length of an ad is something that the almighty algorithm will favor?   ;D
         

I'm knocking wood as I type this, as I don't want to ruin my ad's mojo, but my (at the moment) only running ad is relatively successful, as in, I've "earned" more than I've spent.  Someone said they constantly tweak their ads to keep them fresh, which sounds like a lot of work, but every few days I simply look at my keywords and ones that aren't too "hot," I simply lower the bid by a penny or two.  The keywords that seem to be effective, I might raise the bid by a penny or two.  No big change, just a minor tweak to hone in on, or back off from, keywords that are/are not doing what they're supposed to do.  So far it seems to be a decent strategy.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn on February 04, 2018, 08:43:00 am
Keeping a profitable ad going and scaling it up has been my (and many others) elusive challenge. I've had similar "gold mine" ads, but they always lose momentum after a couple of weeks. From information gleaned from this (and other) AMS topics, we've confirmed (from Amazon) that there's a performance algorithm at work. They won't tell us how it works, but it will slow ads that it deems as underperformers.
 <snip>       

I have heard that a vast majority of adds lose their mojo inside of 30 days and it can be very time consuming to regain that mojo if it's even possible. At the moment, I have 8 AMS ads, and yesterday collectively they generated around 12,000 impressions and 21 clicks. A fair number of those clicks, I think generated a sale, based upon the sales posted on my KDP dashboard.

But I'm of the opinion I should be creating a couple of new ads each week, maybe bringing forward the ad copy of the one I'm about to retire as well as the key words. Honestly, I don't overly worry about individual keywords performance too much.  I look at the over performance of my ads. I use Machete to manage my ads, and with their new optimize function, I have reignited a couple of campaigns a little.
Of course, YMMV, but even though I have 8 campaigns puttering along, I'm generating between 15 and 30 clicks a day, so my cost is only a few dollars.

For what it's worth, when I read of scaling up, this is the strategy that I thought of (now, in fairness, I did borrow it from Brian Meeks  :D )
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 04, 2018, 09:26:33 am
Er... so I'm a bit concerned that there is a MAJOR flaw in the reporting of sales through AMS.

I have an ad against an author name which has only had 3 clicks at a cost of $0.59 which says it's had sales of $14.95...

There's just one problem with that, my book is only $2.99 so even if all three had bought it, it would be nowhere near that number.

I suspect that it is counting ANY purchase after it has clicked on my ad, which could another book (or more), which is showing up on my page under also-boughts etc. If this is the case then the 'sales' data is absolutely meaningless.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 04, 2018, 09:54:48 am
Er... so I'm a bit concerned that there is a MAJOR flaw in the reporting of sales through AMS.

I have an ad against an author name which has only had 3 clicks at a cost of $0.59 which says it's had sales of $14.95...

There's just one problem with that, my book is only $2.99 so even if all three had bought it, it would be nowhere near that number.

I suspect that it is counting ANY purchase after it has clicked on my ad, which could another book (or more), which is showing up on my page under also-boughts etc. If this is the case then the 'sales' data is absolutely meaningless.

Could it be a print edition of your book?

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 04, 2018, 10:01:48 am
Could it be a print edition of your book?

Good shout, but haven't sold any!

Maybe one person bought it multiple times?! ;D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Guy Riessen on February 04, 2018, 10:51:45 pm
Good shout, but haven't sold any!

Maybe one person bought it multiple times?! ;D

Do print books show up as a sale on AMS when they are sold--they don't show up on your KDP dashboard until they ship. If that's the case, that could account for the discrepancy
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Parker Rimes on February 04, 2018, 11:30:00 pm
Thanks for that terrific summary. I've just started using AMS, and I have a tubful of questions, but I'll only ask one right now. What is the advantage of pausing keywords that aren't delivering, or keywords that Amazon doesn't figure apply to your book? Do you save money? Do these paused keywords still count toward your 1,000 keyword limit?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 04, 2018, 11:36:58 pm
Do print books show up as a sale on AMS when they are sold--they don't show up on your KDP dashboard until they ship. If that's the case, that could account for the discrepancy

Ah! That might be it!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 05, 2018, 05:43:17 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: The 13th Doctor on February 05, 2018, 09:36:41 am
My one and only AMS ad has been running since the 3rd January, and has the following stats -

Impressions: 59,124
Clicks: 168
ACPC: $0.11
Spend: $17.88
Total Sales: $51.49
ACoS: 34.73%

My bids are between $0.13 and $0.17 (the book is contemporary romance, second book in signature).

Are these good stats? Bad? I'm going to follow Cassie's example and start pausing the underperforming keywords.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Cherise on February 05, 2018, 11:41:04 pm
My one and only AMS ad has been running since the 3rd January, and has the following stats -

Impressions: 59,124
Clicks: 168
ACPC: $0.11
Spend: $17.88
Total Sales: $51.49
ACoS: 34.73%

My bids are between $0.13 and $0.17 (the book is contemporary romance, second book in signature).

Are these good stats? Bad? I'm going to follow Cassie's example and start pausing the underperforming keywords.




Really good!  :)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: The 13th Doctor on February 06, 2018, 04:07:41 am
Really good!  :)

Oh good. Phew! Thanks.  :)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on February 06, 2018, 05:05:20 pm
There's no way to edit ad copy once the ad has gone live is there? I feel like I'm probably overlooking it, but making it impossible to adjust an ad does seem sort of typically Amazonish, so ...

Do you mean changing the ad text? Then no, it's the only thing you can't change.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Vanchi on February 06, 2018, 06:53:12 pm
Thank you.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bohemienne on February 07, 2018, 07:32:57 am
Getting lots of clicks, but a pretty horrendous ACoS rate on my current ad, even accounting for Amazon’s sluggish reporting. The book is preorder-only right now. Should I just assume people are reluctant/uninterested to preorder, whereas if it were available now they might have purchased? Or should I start investigating issues with my ad copy/blurb/etc?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 07, 2018, 01:54:37 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on February 07, 2018, 07:00:47 pm
 (Disclosure, I am Rivera's life partner, Dariel, I handle her AMS accounts. She is the smart one...)

With the help of Cassie Leigh's books on Excel (not to mention her book on AMS ads) I have been getting more adept at analyzing AMS data. HOORAYYY! Unfortunately AMS estimated sales data is running pretty far behind. I just realized today that the only estimated sales in the last 14 days were strictly from ads started in the first quarter of 2017 or earlier. Better than nothing, but confusing and misleading if I hadn't noticed it.
 
After a year in the program, over 300 sponsored keyword ads working and over 50 other kinds of ads, with well over 100 million impressions, I still don't know if an impression is counted if actually viewed or simply when added into the browser...ie loaded into the carousel. The KDP literature used to say "loaded into browser", it didn't say displayed or viewed....has this changed?  Any ideas anyone?

It's a fundamental bit of data that could drive bidding strategies. I do know that I seem to have two tiers of keyword bids. The under 10 cent bids are slow producers bur consistently the highest return ads. The highest bid ads are faster to gain impressions but are the worst earners and may even cross into negative returns.

Another question...has anyone figured out how to see the ad carousel from a neutral browser. Knowing that the ads displayed are different for everyones individual browser, based on your own browser history, means that the ads you see were actually designed for you...which in my case means Rivera's ads are generally prominent. At least until recently, we are getting ready to do both a YA release and a few months later a niche market epic poem (audio) which means I am now continually pitched poetry and kids dragon books by Amazon. In order to get some idea of who sponsors ads on books similar to Rivera's, (so I could cross advertise twith them) it would be good to see the ads carousel before it is personalized for my browser. I have tried going in with a wiped clean browser but my sense is that Amazon quickly ID's my machine either from the ISP or unique software mix on my laptop or possibly I hint my identity to it by visiting Rivera's book pages.  Any ideas anyone??

Thanks mucho for any ideas or comments.



Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Matt Helbig on February 07, 2018, 07:59:35 pm
If you use Chrome, you can also use Incognito mode to get a clean view of Amazon (it ignores any cookies you've accumulated before that session of Incognito mode). To access Incognito mode click  ctlr+shift+N (also accessible in with the three dots on top of each other in the upper right, below the X [exit]).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: baldricko on February 07, 2018, 10:05:51 pm
(Disclosure, I am Rivera's life partner, Dariel, I handle her AMS accounts. She is the smart one...)
...

Another question...has anyone figured out how to see the ad carousel from a neutral browser. Knowing that the ads displayed are different for everyones individual browser, based on your own browser history, means that the ads you see were actually designed for you...which in my case means Rivera's ads are generally prominent. At least until recently, we are getting ready to do both a YA release and a few months later a niche market epic poem (audio) which means I am now continually pitched poetry and kids dragon books by Amazon. In order to get some idea of who sponsors ads on books similar to Rivera's, (so I could cross advertise twith them) it would be good to see the ads carousel before it is personalized for my browser. I have tried going in with a wiped clean browser but my sense is that Amazon quickly ID's my machine either from the ISP or unique software mix on my laptop or possibly I hint my identity to it by visiting Rivera's book pages.  Any ideas anyone??

Thanks mucho for any ideas or comments.

The Opera browser makes that easy. It has a free VPN. So long as your OS is able to handle the latest versions of Opera. Go to preferences > privacy and security and you will see the boxes to tick. Viola!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bohemienne on February 08, 2018, 05:36:43 am
Thanks so much for the suggestions, Cassie. I'm going to try throwing more ad copy at it and see if I can make it work. :D

On that note--any suggestions for lists of "successful" AMS ad copy? Between their super restrictive format (I feel like half my ads get rejected for "grammatical errors") and the complete lack of visibility, I really don't know how to gauge what kind of copy works best here.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on February 09, 2018, 01:39:01 pm
Bohemienne, I don't know what your current ad copy is, but I see a line in your book description that looks promising. First, though, there may be a missing word in another line there. Did you mean to say "All she has to do IS sieze..."?

The good ad-copy basis might be the line, "With a revolution boiling over and war looming at the border, the greatest threat to Russalka may be Katza herself." I might take out the word 'a' and replace the end of this line (which is fine but depends on the rest of the description) with something inspired by your lead-in , coming up with something like,
 
"With revolution boiling over and war looming at the border, the greatest threat to Russalka may be its too-young queen's own reluctance to rule."

To the rest of you, hello, old friends, from a first-time-poster (that's hard to do). Not quite a newbie, though, after reading Cassie's book and all 2,352 posts in this and the earlier thread. You've been my closest and most helpful companions for a week now.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 09, 2018, 01:47:50 pm
To the rest of you, hello, old friends, from a first-time-poster (that's hard to do). Not quite a newbie, though, after reading Cassie's book and all 2,352 posts in this and the earlier thread. You've been my closest and most helpful companions for a week now.

Welcome! I'm very impressed anyone can come along now and read through both threads from start to finish. That is a feat.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 09, 2018, 01:49:47 pm
...with well over 100 million impressions

With those numbers, I'd say the student has become the master...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on February 09, 2018, 03:32:08 pm
Welcome! I'm very impressed anyone can come along now and read through both threads from start to finish. That is a feat.

It was worth the crossed eyes. My notes and quotes probably equal the word-count of that book of yours, reinforcing it and making it doubly helpful. Speaking of notes, I saved a couple of replies until I made it to the surface, just to be sure my thoughts weren't already shared:

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.

You may be wrong about almost guaranteeing, and the damage may be minimal. When I do a google search and find my destination in result #1, just under the same thing in the ad, I instinctively click the non-ad. I think a lot of people avoid the ad when given a choice, not necessarily out of compassion (not everyone thinks about it costing their target money), but just the distaste for advertisement that made TIVO a success. Speaking of successes, if you search 'amazon' in google, there they are in spot #1, just below their own ad.

I just randomly searched for "western romance" on Amazon and the top two results were sponsored ads followed by the actual search results which were different books. Same with "dating for men". Top two results are sponsored ads, bottom two are sponsored.

When I search for "puppy parenting in an apartment", the title of one of my books, the top result is my AMS ad for that book and the rest of the entire page is sponsored product ads. My actual book with that title doesn't even show.

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.

Perhaps each of us will pay much less than our competition for keywords equal to our own author names and titles. As the Amazon rep said in post 1506 of the AMS ADS LEARNING thread, "Your ad has the potential to win placements through the following combinations. High bid and High click through rate..." And I get the feeling that the better the CTR, the lower the bid needs to be. General consensus here is that 1 click per thousand or fewer impressions is a good goal, but I can only imagine how good the CTR would be for one's own unique author-name and book title (1 per single or double digits?). Neither we nor the algo need to wait for a thousand impressions to determine we've got a phenomenally-effective CTR and sales rate, which might allow us to drop those two keywords' bids down to small fractions of what they would cost competitors. Like you said, searchers who type 'Harry Potter' are looking for that, and searchers who type our names/titles are doing the same.

Of course success would depend on first establishing awareness of names and titles through use of other keywords, earlier books, promos, social media, etc., but once we do that even a little, adding those keywords to our ads would improve our whole ads' CTR for peanuts, if I'm correct about Amazon still relying on relevance, the weapon they used to slay the giants and become the giant.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 09, 2018, 05:48:54 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on February 09, 2018, 11:38:13 pm
Okay, here's one I don't think we've discussed. If my ad is producing impressions, clicks, and sales, why does the ACoS only seem to go up?

The obvious answer would seem to be that ads are getting more competitive literally every day, because every day, the ACoS goes up. Can that really be true on a daily basis? Why shouldn't it hold steady or even go down as the ad impressions increase and it sells more and more books? Ideas?

Some possibilities...
1.) My sense is that there is a placement preference given to new books and new ads. My evidence is not empirical on the KDP platform but it definitely works that way on the Advantage AMS platform. As the placement prefernce wears off (over seemingly a maximum of 3 weeks) the ads appear more costly per clic and thus ACoS is higher.
2.) On my titles there are often percentage shifts between number of units of print books versus ebooks. This grealy changes the gross sales amount and the ACoS.
3.) If you are like me and have multiple sponsored ads on the same titles there could be differing keyword prices that distort acvertising costs. The keywords don't compete directly but indirectly...for instance if a word in 2 ads is priced at 6 cents in one and 27 cents in another the higher priced word will compete against other advertised titles and win out before the lower priced/bid word is ever looked at. Interestingly the two carousel per book page model seems to have two auctions as I have seen my (differing) ads for the same title placed in both carousels. This becomes more complicated as all the KDP keywords are broadly defined.
4.) There may be another advantage in new or heavily changed keyword ads in that there may be a new preference calculation made by Amazon. This would explain why some very generic keywords have initial success as Amazon may have calculated that your word is a unique fit for someones browsing interests. That effect may degenerate over time.
5.) AMS seems to prefer maximizing ad $$ production over sales volume production. That's why we can sometime see runaway ads producing oodles of clics but little return. On the Advantage platform this is acute where headline ads (at least for my titles)(not available on KDP) have to produce better than 1 clic per 150 impressions even if producing ACoS in the low teens.
6.) I feel AMS is influenced by a traditional publishing look at titles where a new title is promoted heavily and is remaindered 6 months later. Clearly our books don't have to work that way but it does seem to cost us more advertising SS to prove that.
7.) The reporting has been so slow lately that you may not be getting the numbers reported to you correctly. I have had to only observe ACoS for the last 2-3 weeks as being inaccurate and just use stats from KDP and CreateSpace for my ACoS calcs.
8.) Lastly, at some points I (Dariel, Rivera's partner) have been so frustrated by the system that I have suspected that it was designed to play off human dynamics just as a casino game is designed. Give high initial rewards, reduce rewards to promote higher bids etc. I have tested this hypothesis pretty well by doing contrarian strategies and by happenstance simply because several times in the last year I had to be away from the systems for weeks at a time...thankfully I don't find any truth in tahty concept. I am also encouraged by the integrity of the system in countering bot activity and refunding clics generated by bots

These are some of my thoughts currently.
Thanks mucho to everyone who has contributed your thoughts to this and the prevopus thread and to Cassie for her books
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on February 10, 2018, 01:14:25 pm
8.) Lastly, at some points I (Dariel, Rivera's partner) have been so frustrated by the system that I have suspected that it was designed to play off human dynamics just as a casino game is designed. Give high initial rewards, reduce rewards to promote higher bids etc. I have tested this hypothesis pretty well by doing contrarian strategies and by happenstance simply because several times in the last year I had to be away from the systems for weeks at a time...thankfully I don't find any truth in tahty concept.

Haha. You're not the only one who has suspected the same. Glad you didn't find any truth to it, because I still sometimes think AMS is like playing a card game with a the deck that's constantly changing.  ;D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on February 11, 2018, 10:06:23 am
TOPIC: Copying Sponsored Product ads.

I make lots of adjustments to my keyword bids over many months depending on whether I judge the keywords to be productive or not.  So one of my ads has bids ranging from $0.06 to $0.31 and everything in between.  The ad has now slowed to a crawl and now I want to do what I usually do and recycle the keywords by starting a new ad with those keywords and a different ad copy.

BUT I would like the new ad to keep the same elevated and lowered bids on the various keywords.  So if I use the COPY function to make a new ad and replace the ad copy, will the new keyword list keep the adjusted bids, or will they all have the same bid as when the old ad started?

If that makes sense.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 11, 2018, 11:21:59 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: baldricko on February 12, 2018, 03:11:51 pm
A couple of questions.

1. Has anyone noticed if there's a more general consensus among AMS users favoring either multiple ads per book or single ads?

2. I think I might follow Cassie's advice and limit my ads to one per book, but if I do that, which ads do I pause. I suspect that those ads that have been steady performers over a long period of time are worth running even though they have steadily run out of steam, to the point the ACOS looks decidedly unremarkable. They could be pulling in reads... I know there's only one way to find out, but this has been a bad month for sales and I've also read from several sources that once you pause an AMS ad and later restart it traction has been lost. Any thoughts?

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Andres on February 13, 2018, 06:55:50 am
Lily,

I don't understand. I thought the consensus was that it's hard to get AMS to spend your money, and when it does, that is a great thing. Why not up the budget? Also, I have the exact question as baldricko. If we run multiple ads per book, how are we supposed to measure conversion rate on any single ad? I don't get authors running multiple ads. Do they mean they are running multiple ads, one after the other, but with only one ad running at a time, or are they running multiple ads at the same time? Again, if it's the latter, how do you track the conversion rate for any given ad? Cassie, can you kindly chime in?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 13, 2018, 07:29:25 am
Lily,

I don't understand. I thought the consensus was that it's hard to get AMS to spend your money, and when it does, that is a great thing. Why not up the budget? Also, I have the exact question as baldricko. If we run multiple ads per book, how are we supposed to measure conversion rate on any single ad? I don't get authors running multiple ads. Do they mean they are running multiple ads, one after the other, but with only one ad running at a time, or are they running multiple ads at the same time? Again, if it's the latter, how do you track the conversion rate for any given ad? Cassie, can you kindly chime in?

If you're not in select, tracking ad performance is much easier as you can see sales associated with each ad. It's the borrows that confuse things.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Andres on February 13, 2018, 07:43:59 am
Thanks, but I am and will be in Select.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 13, 2018, 07:48:47 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 13, 2018, 07:53:55 am
Thanks, but I am and will be in Select.

I was responding to your question about how people track the impact of multiple ads on the one title. My answer is they are probably not in select (like me).  :D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 13, 2018, 08:02:54 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Andres on February 13, 2018, 08:24:25 am
Thanks Cassie et al for the detailed responses. I guess my confusion was on the point of not relying on the AMS dashboard for any sales data at all, given the reporting delays (assuming you are not in KU). So if you are looking at your KDP dashboard report, then you would not be able to determine which ad led to sales (if running multiple ads). This would apply even when running one sponsored ad and multiple PD ads, right? I thought the entire point of having to make the effort to run Excel worksheets is because we cannot rely on the data within AMS and must rely on the reporting within KDP?

Cassie, I'm enjoying your ADS book and your Excel book.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 13, 2018, 08:47:43 am
I run multiple SP ads per book to test copy.

I watch the ACoS for each ad. Once I receive a certain number of clicks, I can determine the winner. I use that insight when creating new ads.

Incidentally, in my experience, it's possible to prevent old ads from dying. I have 2-year-old ads that are still driving volume. I don't want to get into tactics. I'm just mentioning it to dissuade folks from accepting dubious assertions as facts.

Test everything. Remember, nothing trumps your own data.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Andres on February 13, 2018, 10:44:32 am
Cassie,

Reading your book on Excel for Authors has left my head spinning! (the fault's on me, not on you). However, for total beginners, would you consider a) releasing some ready made Excel sheets to those who bought your book ( eg: inserting a link deep inside the book to download a template Excel sheet that is set up), and b) a video mini-course with Screencast to at least help absolute beginners learn how to take the data from AMS and understand the most important metrics so we can at least function in this business? Without the visuals, I find following the Excel instructions quite challenging.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 13, 2018, 01:46:10 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: baldricko on February 13, 2018, 02:20:28 pm
Excellent information, Cassie. Thanks!!

I am running multiple ads per title. The last 4 ads I put up were all - in my opinion - much better than those previous. I based them on what I had learned from blurb changes and best performing tweets. Twitter is not a bad way to test AMS Ad copy in my opinion, but I am still trialing that method. Those last 4 ads have not earned any book sales as yet. I am wondering where they are appearing on the carousel. Way way back, by the look of things.

I'll switch off all ads with less impressive impression increases and leave only one ad per title and see how that goes.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on February 14, 2018, 07:20:48 am
I do take the risk of using AMS sales data to monitor performance of individual keywords.  I do this in the belief that while the data are not ENTIRELY reliable, they are SOMEWHAT reliable.  And after all, they are the only way to track performance of individual ads and individual keywords (I run multiple ads for the same books and many of my keywords are used in multiple ads.)

I think the Amazon algorithms value, compare and place related ads based on a grouping of factors.  This can explain why I find that identical keywords in multiple ads continue to generate their own impressions, clicks and sales and do not simply cancel each other out.

My theory is that the Amazon algos evaluate: "keyword + bid + its attached ad copy + the historical click/sales performance of that keyword bundle" and assign placement based on those 4 factors.

My methodology is simple and fairly strict.  I start all ads off at a baseline keyword bid of $0.16 which I have found over time gives an average performance.  After two weeks or so, I start to adjust keyword bids based on the following:

If a keyword has 20+ clicks with no sales reported, I reduce the bid to $0.06.
If a keyword has 1 sale reported to it, and fewer than 20 clicks for that sale, I leave the bid alone.
If a keyword has 2+ sales reported, I raise the bid to $0.26 to gain more clicks for that "good" keyword.
When a keyword has 3+ sales reported to it, I raise the bid to $0.31 to generate more clicks for that "very good" keyword.

This has worked quite well for the past 12 months.  All my 18 current ads remain profitable as I continue to monitor closely and adjust bids.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 14, 2018, 08:58:03 am
If a keyword has 20+ clicks with no sales reported, I reduce the bid to $0.06.
If a keyword has 1 sale reported to it, and fewer than 20 clicks for that sale, I leave the bid alone.
If a keyword has 2+ sales reported, I raise the bid to $0.26 to gain more clicks for that "good" keyword.
When a keyword has 3+ sales reported to it, I raise the bid to $0.31 to generate more clicks for that "very good" keyword.

It's a terrific idea to have such rules in place. It simplifies routine audits.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on February 14, 2018, 09:11:27 am
Just revised a very large batch of keywords following your system. Hoping my ad will regain its mojo. I'll report back.

The trick for me is being able to assign sales to a particular ad and then to a particular keyword.

Fortunately, when I began publishing, I followed the convention of pricing all my eBooks and paperbacks to end with 99 cents.  This means that when I start a campaign and see an ad or keyword sales figure ending with .99, I can attribute one sale to that ad or keyword.  Then, ads/keywords ending with .98, .97, .96, etc. can have 2, 3 and 4 sales attributed to them respectively.

For example, look at these AMS sales attributed to some of my recent ads taken at random:

$22.98
$68.94
$84.93
$52.95

From the above, I can attribute the following number of (eBooks or paperbacks) sold:

2 sales
6 sales
7 sales
5 sales

Of course, this means relying on the rather unreliable AMS sales data.  However, I have found that while AMS often under-reports sales, I have not seen them over-report sales, so I think this works quite well.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Andres on February 14, 2018, 10:18:26 am
On a related note, to those who have been using AMS ads successfully, how does your ROI compare to FB ads and Bookbub CPC ads? To put it differently, are you still using FB ads?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on February 14, 2018, 10:43:28 am
On a related note, to those who have been using AMS ads successfully, how does your ROI compare to FB ads and Bookbub CPC ads? To put it differently, are you still using FB ads?

I've given up on FB ads.  I never got a positive ROI with them and find them difficult to set up and manage compared to AMS ads.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on February 14, 2018, 10:46:01 am
I believe that all clicks should NOT be seen as equal, and that keywords (like the people they connect to) could therefore be seen to have their own unique personalities and produce different buying tendencies. That is, 100 clicks from one keyword do not have the same value as 100 clicks from a different keyword.

Do people here agree?

Or not?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Andres on February 14, 2018, 11:58:57 am
Philip,

I'm too new to answer your question but I also wanted to know how many keywords you are using (ballpark) on your best performing ad? Thanks for your very helpful feedback.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on February 14, 2018, 12:32:14 pm
Philip,

I'm too new to answer your question but I also wanted to know how many keywords you are using (ballpark) on your best performing ad? Thanks for your very helpful feedback.

My best performing ad has 54 keywords that were the best keywords taken from previous ads which had hundreds of keywords.  The ad has been running for five months.  27 of the keywords have generated sales.  The best keyword has generated 26 sales.  Others have generated between 2 and 23 sales. 

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on February 14, 2018, 12:34:38 pm
I've given up on FB ads.  I never got a positive ROI with them and find them difficult to set up and manage compared to AMS ads.

I'm finding both Facebook and Bookbub ads far more difficult to turn a profit on than AMS ads, which is annoying as I'd like to focus some of my advertising budget on the other stores.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 14, 2018, 12:38:27 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Andres on February 14, 2018, 01:54:51 pm
Philip's data is so interesting because it goes against the prevailing wisdom that you need hundreds of keywords for the ad to perform. Test, test, test...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 14, 2018, 02:16:33 pm
Philip's data is so interesting because it goes against the prevailing wisdom that you need hundreds of keywords for the ad to perform. Test, test, test...

You only need a single keyword for an ad to perform. The challenge is finding that keyword. The most effective way to find high-converting keywords is to test a ton of stuff and see what sticks.

I'm using the title of a celebrity's book for one of my keywords. This book has nothing to do with my book nor niche. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. But it converts like mad (over several hundred clicks).

Today, I audited two ads for another of my books. 20,300+ clicks, 11.6 million+ impressions, and low ACoS on both ads. You wouldn't believe some of the keywords that are driving conversions for those ads (and no, not crap like "book book book"). I didn't believe it myself.

The lesson is to test as many keywords as you can. Identify and leverage the winners. Prune the losers. Do it fast.


Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Andres on February 14, 2018, 02:44:47 pm
You only need a single keyword for an ad to perform. The challenge is finding that keyword. The most effective way to find high-converting keywords is to test a ton of stuff and see what sticks.

I'm using the title of a celebrity's book for one of my keywords. This book has nothing to do with my book nor niche. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. But it converts like mad (over several hundred clicks).

Today, I audited two ads for another of my books. 20,300+ clicks, 11.6 million+ impressions, and low ACoS on both ads. You wouldn't believe some of the keywords that are driving conversions for those ads (and no, not crap like "book book book"). I didn't believe it myself.

The lesson is to test as many keywords as you can. Identify and leverage the winners. Prune the losers. Do it fast.

Very informative but actually somewhat depressing. If completely unrelated keywords can drive the most conversions, then the entire ecosystem is basically a crapshoot.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 14, 2018, 04:34:21 pm
Very informative but actually somewhat depressing. If completely unrelated keywords can drive the most conversions, then the entire ecosystem is basically a crapshoot.

It's not a crapshoot. Relevance matters. But there are always unexpected opportunities to exploit, and the only way to find them is to test.

Some are extremely lucrative.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on February 15, 2018, 03:37:00 am
Philip's data is so interesting because it goes against the prevailing wisdom that you need hundreds of keywords for the ad to perform. Test, test, test...

Ah, but remember that I pointed out that my few dozen high-performing keywords were identified by testing in many campaigns, each of which contained hundreds of keywords - so from thousands in total.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 15, 2018, 05:33:41 am
On a related note, to those who have been using AMS ads successfully, how does your ROI compare to FB ads and Bookbub CPC ads? To put it differently, are you still using FB ads?

I haven't done a FB ad in a couple years.  When I did to them, I found the process onerous and not user-friendly.  (Things may have changed since then, I don't know.)  Plus, I didn't like the targeting that FB uses; I wasn't able to tap into a whole population that I wanted to target.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Andres on February 15, 2018, 06:38:08 am
Philip,
Very good point!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on February 15, 2018, 08:35:34 am
I believe that all clicks should NOT be seen as equal, and that keywords (like the people they connect to) could therefore be seen to have their own unique personalities and produce different buying tendencies. That is, 100 clicks from one keyword do not have the same value as 100 clicks from a different keyword.

Do people here agree?

Or not?

Definitely.

Confouding the problem of keywords is their impression rates and even click through rates are also influenced by the particular ad campaign, bid price and all other factors. I am just starting detailed analysis on my databases now and find large differences in behavior for the same keyword in differing ads and at differing bid prices. Additionally keywords in campaigns that start at different times or are changed and subsequently re-evaluated by AMS at different times will behave differently.  One of the factors influencing this is that as the keywords in KDP are all viewed as "broad" that the same keywords in seperate ads may be drawing a different potential customer.  For instance one key word "on tyranny" drew a similar 100,000 impressions in each of two same bid ads had similar clic through rates but one had resulting sales giving an AMS calculated ACoS of under 25% the other had no sales at all. "on tyranny" is the title of a well related book but parsed and searched as "on" or "tyranny" the ads would have been placed very differently. Not all clics are equal.

It may be that the idea of all clics being equal comes from the old sales concept that all leads should be worked as equal, which realistically may have never been true but was an important technique to use so that sales people would not waste leads.

I am currently in the throes of analyzing my database of ads and keywords prepatory to book launches in mid-March and late April so all your advice is earerly lapped-up. Thank you.

My tendency right now, given the ability to create differing camaigns based on subject driven keyword lists, ad copy, etc., is that it makes nothing but sense to create multiple ads for the same title. How many ads is probably related to how many ads you can feed and comfort with oversight and maintenance. And it may be a good idea to duplicate some keywords but I need to do mucho more analysis of that....and even then the, results I find for my various niche markets not may, but will be different from what you find.


Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 15, 2018, 09:38:59 am
... One of the factors influencing this is that as the keywords in KDP are all viewed as "broad" that the same keywords in seperate ads may be drawing a different potential customer...

It's frustrating to me that AMS allows everyone except authors to take advantage of broad, phrase, and exact match.

I hope that'll change one day. And when (if?) AMS ever allows DKI (dynamic keyword insertion), I'll be on cloud nine. Until then...


(http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/tmhnks.gif)




Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on February 15, 2018, 12:42:53 pm
It's frustrating to me that AMS allows everyone except authors to take advantage of broad, phrase, and exact match.

I hope that'll change one day. And when (if?) AMS ever allows DKI (dynamic keyword insertion), I'll be on cloud nine. Until then...


(http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/tmhnks.gif)

You can get  broad, phrase, and exact match keyword selection if you come in to AMS on the Amazon Advantage platform.  Theoretically it is geared for print books but you can advertise KDP. The rules are stricter. Keywords are automatically canceled if they don't hit advertising revenue standards regardless of ACoS and sales produced. I have been massively badly performing on it and have pretty much phased out of it. It has a few improved reporting and bidding charateristics but I still need excel for full analysis.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on February 15, 2018, 03:41:20 pm
Keywords don't always translate from one campaign to another, and it some cases it doesn't have anything to do with the number of impressions and clicks. I had several book titles on two different campaigns that had a lot of impressions, clicks, and sales. I thought of them as "superstar" keywords. When those campaigns started petering out, I started new campaigns includng the superstar keywords. The keywords got lots of impressions and clicks, but no sales! It was almost surreal. I still don't know what happened. Why didn't those keywords result in sales when they had done so well before?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on February 15, 2018, 03:51:47 pm
Keywords don't always translate from one campaign to another, and it some cases it doesn't have anything to do with the number of impressions and clicks. I had several book titles on two different campaigns that had a lot of impressions, clicks, and sales. I thought of them as "superstar" keywords. When those campaigns started petering out, I started new campaigns the superstar keywords. The keywords got lots of impressions and clicks, but no sales! It was almost surreal. I still don't know what happened. Why didn't those keywords result in sales when they had done so well before?

I think Rising Sun said it very well here:

Quote
Confounding the problem of keywords is their impression rates and even click through rates are also influenced by the particular ad campaign, bid price and all other factors. I am just starting detailed analysis on my databases now and find large differences in behavior for the same keyword in differing ads and at differing bid prices. Additionally keywords in campaigns that start at different times or are changed and subsequently re-evaluated by AMS at different times will behave differently.

Which matches what I believe.  That is, when you find a "well-performing" keyword and put it in a new campaign, you are only copying the basic keyword, not the several attached components that associate with the keyword and that the algorithms evaluate.  Those factors make up a kind of "keyword bundle" and include: ad copy, historical performance (impression/click/sales rates), bid price, starting time (alignment of the stars) of the initial keyword ad, etc.

So the newly copied "keyword bundle", although being the same word, is a completely different creature to the original "keyword bundle" and is served to different audiences with different interests and buying tendencies.  And so the newly copied keyword can be expected to perform differently to the keyword when in its original ad.  It might perform better, or it might perform worse.  But it will perform differently.

Something like that.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on February 15, 2018, 06:44:26 pm
Philip, that's a great explanation! I paused the keywords. When I start a new campaign, I'll add them again and see what happens.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: baldricko on February 16, 2018, 11:51:43 am
So the newly copied "keyword bundle", although being the same word, is a completely different creature to the original "keyword bundle" and is served to different audiences with different interests and buying tendencies.  And so the newly copied keyword can be expected to perform differently to the keyword when in its original ad.  It might perform better, or it might perform worse.  But it will perform differently.

Something like that.

Philip
Yes. That is exactly it, I believe.

However, I've been following that idea, trying to work out the best way to have better campaigns, and sad to say, I'm ready to throw in the towel with AMS. It seems to have completely petered out on me. For months I've had more or less steady sales. Not magnificent, but definitely enough to make me believe I was going to make some kind of breakthrough in sales in the following weeks.

Instead, everything stopped. As of last a week ago. It's as if Amazon Ads have switched my ads off. Anyone else experienced this recently?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 16, 2018, 12:14:40 pm
Yes. That is exactly it, I believe.

However, I've been following that idea, trying to work out the best way to have better campaigns, and sad to say, I'm ready to throw in the towel with AMS. It seems to have completely petered out on me. For months I've had more or less steady sales. Not magnificent, but definitely enough to make me believe I was going to make some kind of breakthrough in sales in the following weeks.

Instead, everything stopped. As of last a week ago. It's as if Amazon Ads have switched my ads off. Anyone else experienced this recently?

Sort of. 

I have just started AMS. One book's ad was accepted 3 days ago but has not showed up on tracking screen for impressions, clicks, aCPC etc.

My other book's ad has been rejected 4 times for grammatical errors.  I am assuming this is ad blub and title related. I monkeyed with the ad each time and the ad keeps getting rejected. 

So both look sort of DOA.  I have contact us out for both. But no replies yet.

Anyone experience this slowness and rejection rate ?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 16, 2018, 01:04:54 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 16, 2018, 01:06:23 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 16, 2018, 01:09:32 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 16, 2018, 01:33:50 pm
What kind of ad was it? If it was a Product Display ad I wouldn't be surprised to see that it has no impressions, clicks, etc. after a few days. Sometimes PD ads never run. If it's a Sponsored Product ad I'd be very surprised if it has no impressions or clicks showing after a couple of days unless your bids are very low.

Sponsored. Yes, low bid, 6 cents.  $1/day budget. Get my feet wet first as it is a 99 cent book.  Not much wiggle room.  KU Select gets me 16 cents. 

I am seeing carousels that are not full; so my ad should run in its genre I would think. Give it time. Thanks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: baldricko on February 16, 2018, 03:18:23 pm
Yes and no.  I did use "young Latino girl" first try. I wondered if it was a PC thing.  Changed it to - young girl. And still rejected. 4th try I did have  ellipses " ... " and rejected - but ellipses is part of grammar I thought.  So I am on the 5th try with no ellipses  :( I will update and let the group know if that worked. But looks great to me. 

And you only get canned responses with no detail. And the turn time is a day.

Like I say, the other book was accepted in a day.  But it is 3 days almost and still not in the AMS report.  But it says it can take 3 days too to show up. Coming up on the fourth day and it is a weekend too. Crap.
Have you used the free versions of Grammarly or ProWritingAid? I would run your ads through both before clicking submit on Amazon. Sometimes it's surprising just what those two can find. I get the occasional rejection for my ads too. The last two times was because of two many capitalised letters.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: baldricko on February 16, 2018, 03:37:53 pm
I did have my ads completely die off last March or April and I think others did as well around that time. A few weeks later they went back to working fine. But I'm not seeing that right now.

Do you have any Sponsored Product ads that were doing alright for you that you paused? Try starting one of them up again. Prune non-performing keywords. (Words that aren't getting a reasonable number of clicks per 1,000 impressions or aren't converting clicks into sales.) Maybe up a few bids on your best keywords.
I did have my ads completely die off last March or April and I think others did as well around that time. A few weeks later they went back to working fine. But I'm not seeing that right now.

Do you have any Sponsored Product ads that were doing alright for you that you paused? Try starting one of them up again. Prune non-performing keywords. (Words that aren't getting a reasonable number of clicks per 1,000 impressions or aren't converting clicks into sales.) Maybe up a few bids on your best keywords.
It's very odd how it seems my ads have been switched off. Not really switched off because I see impressions but the ads are no longer converting. I have tried a number of work-a-rounds over the week but zilch response. The ads are for both books in my Erelong Trilogy you see below.

Jubilee Year was selling consistently, more or less, every day. but after mid January sales went down to two a day. Then one a day until about a week ago. Then nothing. Page reads increased instead. Then page reads died and so far as I could see they stopped on the same day the unit sales stopped.

For the last couple of weeks I've really worked on the ads. Pulling the non-performing keywords by reducing the bid to 0.16 cents and boosting the bid on those that were performing. I paused several ads and created several more. I was simply copying the keywords from the best performing ads and starting new ads based on those. So I had several ads running with almost the same keywords. That didn't seem to negatively affect sales.

When the die off really began about three weeks ago I selected my best keywords and began new ads using only those. I also kept my most successful ads going. It worked out to be about 3 to 4 ads for each book. My sales for Jubilee Year was down to 1 a day. Exactly one a day with an occasional burst out and an occasional day with no sales. Then I paused ads for several days and restarted them. No response. I currently have about two ads running per book. The click to impression ratio is good. But nothing. Nothing at all.

I am beginning to think Amazon has taken a distinct dislike to the Trilogy. The ads are there, the reviews aren't too bad but the books have sunk, by the look of things, very suddenly.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 17, 2018, 08:50:38 pm
What kind of ad was it? If it was a Product Display ad I wouldn't be surprised to see that it has no impressions, clicks, etc. after a few days. Sometimes PD ads never run. If it's a Sponsored Product ad I'd be very surprised if it has no impressions or clicks showing after a couple of days unless your bids are very low.

The ad was finally approved.  Off to the races spending money I don't have  :P. Thanks to all on this thread and you Cassie for this thread. Very interesting posts and useful info, keep it up. I can see why AMS is so important. Without it you are totally invisible.  >:(

Give it a few days for details to come up.  I probably have the bid too low.  I have jacked the price up a bit to accommodate a higher bid to get impressions. But KU Select is only a 37 cent read.  I will know soon enough.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on February 18, 2018, 08:54:18 am
Chaos.  One step up from invisibility.  Just saying.. ;D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 18, 2018, 09:34:28 am

snip ...

Instead, everything stopped. As of last a week ago. It's as if Amazon Ads have switched my ads off. Anyone else experienced this recently?

Stopped? Impressions too it sounds like (everything).  If so, I bet you are now getting out bid. 

And thus sounds to me like the AMS KDP market is now getting more mature maybe.  Soon we will have to pay 1/2 cent per 100 impressions soon or something like that  ...  :o I hope it does not go the way of having to pay for impressions. 

This could be. ... Figures, just when I get in, competition heats up. Darn!  I am a bit of a pessimist, sorry.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rweir on February 18, 2018, 06:31:21 pm
Hello to everyone. I'm new to the thread and I've started my first AMS campaign. I believe I understand most of it after reading up on how it works, but I did have one question I haven't found an answer to. Under the Impression column of my Campaign report, it shows the number of impressions for the keyword. But on some you see a Zero and others you see a Dash. What is the difference between the two of them? What does the Zero and Dash mean, since it seems like the same thing to me. Thanks
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on February 18, 2018, 06:54:29 pm
Hello to everyone. I'm new to the thread and I've started my first AMS campaign. I believe I understand most of it after reading up on how it works, but I did have one question I haven't found an answer to. Under the Impression column of my Campaign report, it shows the number of impressions for the keyword. But on some you see a Zero and others you see a Dash. What is the difference between the two of them? What does the Zero and Dash mean, since it seems like the same thing to me. Thanks

I don't know, but others have speculated that the dash means you were not admitted into the auction for that keyword, and the zero means you were but haven't won a spot yet. I don't know if this is accurate.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 18, 2018, 07:24:22 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on February 18, 2018, 10:21:13 pm
Even on page 199, where nobody will look, your ad will count as an impression and the number of impressions will go up by one.  If your ad passes Am's secret tests and is included in that auction but does not make the grade for display even on page 199, you get a zero.  If you do not pass the secret tests e.g. for what Am thinks is relevance, then you will stick with the dash that acknowledges your existence.

I think.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 19, 2018, 06:49:10 am
Even on page 199, where nobody will look, your ad will count as an impression and the number of impressions will go up by one.

How do you know this?

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IreneP on February 19, 2018, 09:21:29 am
Even on page 199, where nobody will look, your ad will count as an impression and the number of impressions will go up by one.

I'm not sure this is true. Most places count an "impression" when the ad (or its tracking pixel) loads in the browser. If the ad is incapable of being seen, it is not an "impression." The exception is probably a slow connection when a single tracking pixel might load, but the image hasn't fully loaded before the customer clicks away or if the add were loaded below the fold and the customer clicked away before scrolling down.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on February 19, 2018, 10:14:53 pm
I'm not sure this is true. Most places count an "impression" when the ad (or its tracking pixel) loads in the browser

For better or worse, Amazon is not 'most places'.  When a search is made, an entire carousel is sent to your browser and everything in that carousel has one more impression added.  Those impressions are perfectly capable of being viewed; most people do not have the inclination or patience to scroll through multiple sub-pages of ads.

Test it for yourself; search using one of your keywords where you know your ad will be on a low sub-page. Do not scroll to your ad.  Look at your before and after impression counts and see them increase by one.

But wait.  Maybe oops?  I just tried to verify that again, and I find that sponsored product ad carousels have vanished from most search pages.  "Inspired by.." or "Best Sellers" may have replaced them.  Where I did find carousels, they were dominated by out-of-genre runs of books by apparently favored authors.  And trad publishers now appear to own the above-the-search rows too.  So the rules have changed, but utter non-transparency continues.

Chaos.

Sorry, Amazon, the algos are not working honestly.  Good-faith bids are not being honored with visibility.  Irrelevant titles [like WW2 history matched with Ursula Le Guin] are appearing.  Some authors or publishers are flooding carousels.  There appear to be no rules at all, merely a lottery.  AMS for books needs fixing.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 19, 2018, 11:40:23 pm
For better or worse, Amazon is not 'most places'.  When a search is made, an entire carousel is sent to your browser and everything in that carousel has one more impression added.  Those impressions are perfectly capable of being viewed; most people do not have the inclination or patience to scroll through multiple sub-pages of ads.

Test it for yourself; search using one of your keywords where you know your ad will be on a low sub-page. Do not scroll to your ad.  Look at your before and after impression counts and see them increase by one.

But wait.  Maybe oops?  I just tried to verify that again, and I find that sponsored product ad carousels have vanished from most search pages.  "Inspired by.." or "Best Sellers" may have replaced them.  Where I did find carousels, they were dominated by out-of-genre runs of books by apparently favored authors.  And trad publishers now appear to own the above-the-search rows too.  So the rules have changed, but utter non-transparency continues.

Chaos.

Sorry, Amazon, the algos are not working honestly.  Good-faith bids are not being honored with visibility.  Irrelevant titles [like WW2 history matched with Ursula Le Guin] are appearing.  Some authors or publishers are flooding carousels.  There appear to be no rules at all, merely a lottery.  AMS for books needs fixing.

Yes, I am thinking the same thing as I have been looking for a few days now.  I think it goes deeper than that too. Watch your wallet.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 20, 2018, 06:04:45 am
For better or worse, Amazon is not 'most places'.  When a search is made, an entire carousel is sent to your browser and everything in that carousel has one more impression added.  Those impressions are perfectly capable of being viewed; most people do not have the inclination or patience to scroll through multiple sub-pages of ads.

Test it for yourself; search using one of your keywords where you know your ad will be on a low sub-page. Do not scroll to your ad.  Look at your before and after impression counts and see them increase by one.

AMS delivers ads for millions of queries each day. Moreover, AMS data is delayed. So your methodology isn't exactly scientific.

Brian Meeks believes impressions are only counted when ads are seen by viewers. Even he, despite having a ton of data and experience, doesn't claim to know for certain.

Yet, you do. lol

I don't agree with Brian on everything. But I'll side with him on this one.





Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on February 20, 2018, 07:15:38 pm
So if your ad is on page 199 of the carousel and the customer does not look at it, Amazon knows this by default. Amazon tracks what customers do look at in order to serve up more of the same.

You may be onto something here.  If your ad appears on sub-page 199 but nobody digs that deep, Amazon knows that nobody looked at your ad.  Ergo, nobody wanted to see it?  So the algo makes it harder for that ad to appear in later searches.  So subsequent searches are offered more of the ads that did appear high in the first search, fewer of those that appeared low.  More of the same, as you say.

But the point of the ad auction is surely to let authors bid for equal chances of exposure.  Favoring established high-bidders over less-established authors with equal bids is not equal.   An auctioneer who accepted all bids from redheads but ignored counterbids from blondes would not last long; yet that appears very much like what AMS, intentionally or not, is doing.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: KelliWolfe on February 20, 2018, 07:31:29 pm
AMS delivers ads for millions of queries each day. Moreover, AMS data is delayed. So your methodology isn't exactly scientific.

Brian Meeks believes impressions are only counted when ads are seen by viewers. Even he, despite having a ton of data and experience, doesn't claim to know for certain.

Yet, you do. lol

I don't agree with Brian on everything. But I'll side with him on this one.
It should be testable. Create a test ad for one of your books with a single keyword to one specific book which has a huge number of sponsored ads, preferably one with a low relevance to your own book. Set the bid price fairly low so that it will most likely end up at the far end of the ads list. As soon as it goes live have a few different people pull up the target book and tell you whether they saw your ad or not. As soon as they're done pause the ad again. Then wait and see if impressions for the campaign show up in the report. If no one saw your ad but you still got impressions, then you've got a good indication that Amazon is counting all of those non-viewed ads as impressions.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on February 20, 2018, 07:39:00 pm

But the point of the ad auction is surely to let authors bid for equal chances of exposure.  Favoring established high-bidders over less-established authors with equal bids is not equal. 

No offense, Khoti, but... ??????

The point of the auction is for Amazon to make money. Make money from book sales, make money from ads. Doing something "equal" for authors isn't even on the radar scope.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 20, 2018, 07:49:26 pm
I'm still confused and bummed and frustrated about the 'reach' of these ads.  I've written some books that are non-fiction, based on a certain TV show.  Obviously I think people who buy the DVDs of the show would enjoy the books, but no matter what I do, I can't get my Sponsored Product ad to appear on the DVD product page.

For example, let's say my book is about Chicago Fire or Chicago Med. I would obviously use the show titles as keywords, specifying the TV series, such as "Chicago Fire Season 1," or "Chicago Fire DVD," etc.  But the thing is, THAT DOESN'T WORK.  The only sponsored products I see on movie or TV DVDs are for other movie or TV DVDs. No other products of any kind.  (Possibly Amazon's attempt to try to keep people unrelated miscellaneous things from cluttering up product pages.)  I've used every relevant keyword I can think of to get my book to appear on the DVD product page (including DVD, TV show, series, etc), but so far I haven't had any luck.

Does anyone have any suggestions or insight?  Again, I understand that Amazon doesn't want rogue ads for, say, Brillo pads on product pages for toothpaste or laptops, but since my non-fiction books ARE related to the TV show, they're not inappropriate or random. 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IreneP on February 20, 2018, 07:53:19 pm


Test it for yourself; search using one of your keywords where you know your ad will be on a low sub-page. Do not scroll to your ad.  Look at your before and after impression counts and see them increase by one.




Actually, a better way to test is probably to do what I did. Right-click on the page and "view source." I did this because I wasn't sure how carousels loaded. I figured if ALL the books, even those at the end of the carousel, were in the page code, you were right. However, what I actually found was html only up to the last visible book.

I'm not a programmer, so if someone else wants to explain how I'm wrong, I'll listen. I'm not going to just assume Amazon is doing this differently than every other company on the web, though.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 20, 2018, 08:10:57 pm
Have you tried Product Display ads for your books? Because I believe with those you are not stuck advertising on book pages but can also advertise on other kinds of product pages.

Good idea, thanks.  Not sure why that hadn't occurred to me.  I guess I'm so used to thinking in terms of SP ads that I forget the other kind even exists.   :o  I'll give it a try.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: KelliWolfe on February 20, 2018, 08:13:53 pm
Actually, a better way to test is probably to do what I did. Right-click on the page and "view source." I did this because I wasn't sure how carousels loaded. I figured if ALL the books, even those at the end of the carousel, were in the page code, you were right. However, what I actually found was html only up to the last visible book.

I'm not a programmer, so if someone else wants to explain how I'm wrong, I'll listen. I'm not going to just assume Amazon is doing this differently than every other company on the web, though.
I would be *very* surprised if Amazon was sending all of those ads with every page request. They may well be caching them in the user session server-side to cut down on database calls, but it would be ridiculously bandwidth intensive to transmit it every time someone hits a page. Especially since they know quite well that in the vast majority of cases it will never be seen. If the ads were text only, maybe, but not the dozens and dozens of extra thumbnail images. It would slow page loads to a crawl. You can already see the delays during page refreshes as their other ads load. If we were having to wait for a couple of hundred AMS ads to load as well, you could go make a sandwich while waiting for the product page to come up.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rweir on February 21, 2018, 10:47:17 am
Great board. I'm learning a lot on here and really appreciate all the information being provided. Too bad Amazon doesn't provide more for us to work with, though I'm sure they are constantly playing with their algorithms.

Is there a way to delete a keyword from a running campaign? I see where you can pause it, but not remove it completely. Basically I have one campaign already at the max limit of 1000 keywords and I wanted to remove some, while adding some others. If not then I will make sure to leave myself some wiggle room in the future. thanks...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 21, 2018, 11:13:44 am
Is there a way to delete a keyword from a running campaign?

Nope.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 21, 2018, 12:16:39 pm
Good idea, thanks.  Not sure why that hadn't occurred to me.  I guess I'm so used to thinking in terms of SP ads that I forget the other kind even exists.   :o  I'll give it a try.

Okay, Product Display Ads aren't going to work for me.  I mean, they maybe would, but I'm not going to pledge a "minimum budget" of $100 for one.  Maybe someday I'll be able to do that, but not right now.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: IreneP on February 21, 2018, 01:04:09 pm
Okay, Product Display Ads aren't going to work for me.  I mean, they maybe would, but I'm not going to pledge a "minimum budget" of $100 for one.  Maybe someday I'll be able to do that, but not right now.

I've never had one reach that budget.

I mean, I'm sure I could bid it up to where it would, but you don't have to use it all. You can end it at any time and you still set your bids. I'm not sure why they do that except to scare people off, because it really words the same as the sponsored in terms of how you pay.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on February 21, 2018, 03:47:52 pm
I've read all the posts here debating what exactly counts as an impression, so I included that question in a few that I asked of Amazon's 'Help' yesterday. Wow, I got answers in twelve hours from an apparently lucid rep! (She must have been lucid to make it through my convoluted inquiries.) Q&A below.

Me: If a customer reaches someone else's book's sales page without my ad appearing in their initial search-results pages, but thanks to a keyword match with their initial search phrase, my book ad is hidden on page 3 of that sales page's sponsored-products ad carousel, but the customer never clicks on the carousel to reveal page 3 or its ads, is that event still recorded as an impression in my AMS metrics? In other words, is any placement in a sponsored-products carousel, whether or not it is brought to the visible front of the carousel, considered an impression?

Rep: "An impression would only be counted if the customer reaches your carousel page and the ad is in clear sight."

Me: "(related) Is an ad placed on page 2 of SEARCH RESULTS considered an impression if shopper doesn't go beyond page one?"

Rep: "No, it won't be an impression if they don't click to view page 2."

Before we declare this rep infallible though, I should mention that she had a take on dashes vs. zeros that doesn't agree with either Cassie's or Kotisarque's theories:

Rep: "A dash would mean that there has not been enough data collected to show a clear figure, where a zero would mean that enough data has been collected and refreshed to show a clear figure."

I've just sent her the following follow-up question to that answer:

"I'm curious as to what information has to be collected to show a zero :-) and how long does it take to collect and refresh it? I've got ads a month old with tens of thousands of impressions, but more than twice as many dashes as zeros. In most cases, all those keywords were original to my ads' launches. Interestingly, the author of the book "AMS Ads for Authors" has a different theory. She thinks that zeros represent cases in which a keyword triggered the ad to load on at least one carousel page or search results page but it was never brought forward by the shopper to appear on the screen, while dashes indicate keywords that have never triggered an ad to load anywhere. Can you check into that idea with your most savvy colleagues? This is not a big problem to me but I'm always curious.

"Another interesting thing about impressions numbers: when I click my campaign's menu to sort by the impressions column, the sorting doesn't discriminate in ranking between the zeros and dashes. It keeps them mixed together, apparently randomly, at the top of the sorted results (or bottom, if descending order is chosen). Amazon might benefit from ranking one above the other when sorted, and from adding a note to their 'keyword help' box on our dashboards, explaining the zero/dash difference (once that difference has been irrefutably determined :-)."

Will be interesting to see if my follow-up reaches the same rep, and what she says.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 21, 2018, 04:24:42 pm
I've never had one reach that budget.

I mean, I'm sure I could bid it up to where it would, but you don't have to use it all. You can end it at any time and you still set your bids. I'm not sure why they do that except to scare people off, because it really words the same as the sponsored in terms of how you pay.

You can pause or terminate the ad long before it gets anywhere near $100. When I terminated the two PD ads I did as an experiment, they had cost me $0.00 and $10.65 respectively. My budget was $200 per ad. I supposedly got two sales from one ad and one from the other--even though that ad cost me zero. Go figure.

Ah, so I can pause the ad and not continue with it unless I really choose to.  (As long as it turns a profit, that is.)

Thanks for the info, Irene & Lily.   ;)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 21, 2018, 06:04:14 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 21, 2018, 06:10:11 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on February 21, 2018, 10:41:09 pm
According to my AMS graph I sold what was obviously a paperback. However, on my KDP graph, it has not shown up. Anyone know why this happens?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 22, 2018, 03:17:55 am
According to my AMS graph I sold what was obviously a paperback. However, on my KDP graph, it has not shown up. Anyone know why this happens?

One possibility is that the sale hasn't shown up yet due to the lag time in reporting.

Another possibility is that the ad didn't actually lead to the sale.  I've had the same thing happen, and I can only assume that my book's sale was not related to the ad, but that the purchaser found my book some other way (referral, direct search, etc.).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on February 22, 2018, 03:58:51 am
According to my AMS graph I sold what was obviously a paperback. However, on my KDP graph, it has not shown up. Anyone know why this happens?

I wonder if someone clicked on your ad, then clicked on the paperback option, and then purchased a "used" copy. Assuming AMS would register that as a sale, it wouldn't result in a paperback being printed because it's already in stock somewhere else.

I know that one of my books has "used" options, most of which are former library books. I already got royalty credit for those on the initial sale, but won't get anything on a resale.

Again, this assumes that AMS would count that option as a sale. I'm not sure.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 22, 2018, 05:43:40 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on February 22, 2018, 07:01:27 am
...(Of course, just want to point out that my opinion on any of this has no more weight than anyone else's. I have no doubt that there are others who know more about AMS than I do who just chose to write their next book rather than write a book about AMS so that rep might be like, who?)

That first sentence above, stated as fact ("of course" ??), may be the first unhelpful or misleading opinion you've provided here. Fake news! Sure, the KDP rep will likely say, "Who?", but she'll be hard-pressed to find a more helpful book on AMS in Amazon's current catalog. I don't expect her to research you, but the name-dropping may inspire her to root out a consensus from her available brain trust. Considering how long those dashes can stay in the impressions column, your theory makes more sense to me than her answer.

Sadly, my reply with follow-up question (re dashes vs. zeros in impressions counts) got routed to a general queue, and a new, clueless rep answered every question I never asked with a canned response ignoring the one I did ask. So I clicked on the 'unhelpful' feedback option, which took me to (hopefully) a higher-tier portal, where I complained about Rep 2 and restated my last question. We shall see what transpires.

Luckily, all the disagreement on dashes vs zeros isn't likely a significant factor in our success or failure. Except to the point it distracts us from digesting more crucial data. But authors can't live on crucial data alone. So y'all'r welcome. It was the least I could do. (I checked.)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 22, 2018, 07:26:58 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 22, 2018, 07:37:25 am
snip ...


Hey Cassie or anyone :

I want to change my bid ... but the ads have not showed up on the dashboard ... been a week.  Sent a CU to Zon and got this :

Hello Lyle,
Yes, you are correct. If the bids have not been met, you won't be getting any impressions for your ad campaign.

Before an ad is displayed, advertisements are ranked based on cost-per-click and performance, including click through rate and delivery. Advertisements with higher CPCs may win more impressions. This may lead to increased delivery of ads. The CPC bid should be the maximum you are willing to pay for a click. Note that your actual CPC may be lower than the CPC bid.

To change the CPC Bid for your ad campaign, follow the steps below:

1. Sign in to your Amazon Marketing Services account at ams.amazon.com with your KDP credentials.
2. Select the campaign you want to edit by clicking on the name.
3. Click the “Campaign Settings” tab and change CPC bid.
4. Click “Save.”

Your new campaign settings will update immediately. However, ad data such as clicks, impressions, and sales may take up to 14 days to show up in your reports.

(my problem is my campaigns have not showed up on my dashboard to allow me to change them )

You can also consider making new ad campaigns with good CPC value for getting more impressions for your ad campaign.

--------------
So my bids may be working ... but it takes a long time for them to show up it seems before I can see impressions and CPC and aCPC. I set them pretty low. I thought they were not being met and not effective. This may not be the case.


So is it the case I can't jigger the bid until up to 14 days when the campaign actually shows up on the ad dashboard? They were accepted but now in limbo it seems for up to 14 days it seems ???  (they did not answer the question, but I did get some insight if I am right ... so I asked again in a different way.)

With 3 million books and all the cross information going on in the algo it seems like they may be processing ALL this with a kindle paperwhite with its slow clock speed  :P (they are saving power and money  :P)

14 days ... wow.  So the data you are looking at is likely 14 days old thinking it is current and up to date and in the moment-now ... it does not seem to be the case that it is current data --- it is up to 14 days old.  Your KDP dashboard is much faster by far than your ad campaign dashboard.

aCoS would be a joke in the ad dashboard. So wait for the monthly billing cycle and use your cost billed for ads on your visa divided by your income from the KDP dashboard (sales and KENP) for the month to get a fair cost of advertising that is likely pretty close.

I am new so bear with me ... and correct me if I am wrong ... which I usually am ... usually ...  ;D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 22, 2018, 09:08:26 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 22, 2018, 09:22:30 am
I don't know what on earth that rep was trying to sell you. As soon as you submit an ad campaign it should be visible in your dashboard right at the top with a status of Pending, I think it is. If that hasn't happened, the ad didn't get submitted for review. Once it's accepted it should show as running in that Status column. At that point, if you need to update your bid, click on the campaign name. This will take you to a detail screen for that campaign. For the PD ads, scroll down and you'll see your bid and can click in that box and change it. For your SP ads, you'll see a listing of your keywords with bids next to them. Click into any of those boxes to change the bid there.

In terms of when information shows up. Generally I see impression and click information showing up same day. Maybe on a slight delay but I don't think it's more than 12 hours or so. Estimated sales take longer and part of that is in how they count a sale. Someone can click on your ad today and not buy for five days but that purchase five days from now may get credited to the ad.

In terms of billing information. When they bill you, they provide a breakdown of spend by ad campaign. So I can take my spend on Book X and compare that to my revenue on book X for the ad period. (I use KDP and CS numbers for that, limited to just the US market.)

That is what I was thinking (sans impressions or clicks - my bids are low but it should hit here and there) - it should show regardless, and quickly at that.  They were accepted.  But the display is a blank screen. Nothing shows up under status.  The 14 day thing is weird I agree. Why did she say that?

BTW I did auto vs discreet keywords. But that should be no different I would imagine.

Off with another CU...


EDIT  update : she backed off on the 14 day thing and now says it takes awhile ... and that my ads should show - and they don't. 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on February 22, 2018, 10:34:16 am
I stand corrected on the 'whole carousel download'; they seem to download batches of six at a time. 

The conversation for the last  couple of days has been really illuminating - thank you all for your contributions towards understanding the chaos  :D ;) ::)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 22, 2018, 03:27:33 pm
After browsing quite a few pages, I'm not quite sure what the current thinking is on bid amount. For a long time $.25 bids did well for me and rarely hit that amount but for me that has seemed to lose effectiveness. While Historical Fiction isn't the most competitive genre, it is fairly competitive (to some people's surprise ;) ).

So, even after reading the thread or skimming it, I'm not sure exactly how much it would be a good idea to raise bids or if that is the way to go to recover the effectiveness of my ads. Thoughts or suggestions?

Most of my default (starting) bids are .25 or less.  Then every few days I check my campaign and sort by # of clicks.  Eyeballing the click/impression ratio, I raise or lower bids accordingly.  So if a keyword doesn't seem to be doing much except causing me a slow death by pennies, I'll lower the bid by a penny or two.  On the flip side, if a keyword seems to be effective, I'll raise the bid by a penny or two.  *As it happens, "historical fiction" seems to be one of the more effective keywords for my time-travel books.  Therefore the bid has been raised incrementally a number of times.*
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on February 22, 2018, 06:41:08 pm
That is what I was thinking (sans impressions or clicks - my bids are low but it should hit here and there) - it should show regardless, and quickly at that.  They were accepted.  But the display is a blank screen. Nothing shows up under status.  The 14 day thing is weird I agree. Why did she say that?

BTW I did auto vs discreet keywords. But that should be no different I would imagine.

Off with another CU...


EDIT  update : she backed off on the 14 day thing and now says it takes awhile ... and that my ads should show - and they don't.

If I remember correctly, KDP AMS does not show keywords in auto selected campaigns until a sale is made.  I don't recall if it then shows all the keywords or just the ones that made the sale. The ads I did were terminated long ago and there is no data there now so I can't add anything to that.
I imagine that the policy is to preclude folks getting antsy over their arcane choice of keywords. Whether their choice is just plain wrong or it was wisely conditioned and customized to information given by the particular customer browser...I don't know.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on February 22, 2018, 06:57:40 pm
SUPER BIG Thank You! to everyone that helped resolve the manner in which impressions are counted. The manner of counting has bothered me since I started in AMS and I have had to devise strategies to make how impressions are counted less consequential.

It is important to remember that the person that clicks on a 30 cent ad is just as interested as a person spending hours looking at ads and finally clicking on a 3 cent ad. It will be interesting to test and will be at least dependent upon the type of title, pricing etc. My hunch is the higher price clics high in the carousel are going to impulse buyers and the lower price clics are going to more careful shoppers...if such differences exist.




Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on February 22, 2018, 07:00:57 pm
Well now I've emailed KDP three times in one help thread, and gotten responses from three different reps, only the first of which spoke coherent English throughout. Not to bad-mouth the reps. I'm sure if I was underpaid on the graveyard shift, working in my second language and trying to address topics I wasn't trained in, I wouldn't be that coherent either. Anyway, I found their latest reply telling and interesting (not yet helpful), regarding nailing down the dash/zero significance in the impressions column. Below is their communication, with my notes [in italics and brackets.]

Hello James,

Thanks for writing back with your kind words. I'm glad to hear that my colleague, [name], was able to assist you, and I'll be sure to forward your message. [By now this email thread is so long and full of other reps' noise that she won't know what to make of it.]

Kindle Direct Publishing has offices in different locations in order to provide assistance to our members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are unable to assign your inquiry to a specific representative. [But wait-you just said you would.]

We maintain the same service standards at all of our different support centers, so you will receive qualified assistance from any of our Kindle Direct Publishing Representatives. [To be fair, he didn't say "same GOOD service standards" or "HIGHLY qualified."]

Regarding your inquiry about Impressions:

For us to assist you with this query, we need expertise from our AMS teams, since it is related to AMS website and they have a separate moderation team.

Currently, there isn't a direct way for you to get in touch with them, [Yes, we've noticed the two years of AMS bid-taxation without support-representation] and hence, I'll contact them on your behalf, find out the resolution, and assist you with your query. [That makes four reps, and if their answer leaves me puzzled and I ask for clarification, they'll make it five. But again, didn't he start out saying he'd forward my message back to capable rep #1?]

I'll get back to you with an update on or before "February, Monday 26". [waiting to exhale]

We appreciate your patience while I work with the necessary teams to find out a resolution for your issue.

***

I really appreciate the time you took to contact us and this will prove to a valuable and feedback from esteem authors like yourself who provide valuable constructive feedback will never go unnoticed. [Uh, oh. He's run out of clean Macros. Me talk pretty one day.]

But not to worry; we are still evolving and publisher's self-publishing experience matters a lot for us. [Please don't stop throwing dice in the dark. Those uneducated bids pay all the KDP royalties and then some.]

Hence, what I have done now for you, I have taken your comments on AMS dashboard impressions as a feature request and communicate the same to our business team for consideration as we plan future improvements.

I'm unable to promise a time-frame at this time, however, we are still evolving and feedback like yours motivate us to dive deep and unearth ways and means which helps us in making publishing on KDP a happy experience. [Stay thirsty, my deep-diving, unearthly friend.]

Please be sure to check our forums periodically for updates:

https://kdp.amazon.com/community [Thanks, I'll use kboards.]

Thank you for using KDP.

...............................................................
Were you satisfied with the support provided?

[ ::)]
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 22, 2018, 07:55:13 pm
If I remember correctly, KDP AMS does not show keywords in auto selected campaigns until a sale is made.  I don't recall if it then shows all the keywords or just the ones that made the sale. The ads I did were terminated long ago and there is no data there now so I can't add anything to that.
I imagine that the policy is to preclude folks getting antsy over their arcane choice of keywords. Whether their choice is just plain wrong or it was wisely conditioned and customized to information given by the particular customer browser...I don't know.

And that may be it ... makes sense. Thanks. Not good (I would not have done it if I knew that), as you want to see if you are getting impressions on the bid. I will let it run (can't stop it as I can't see it) until I can stop it.  No biggy as it won't cost money - surely they show clicks and impressions on their key words. If it is only sales they show - crap! That could cost you big time and you know nothing.

It could be a sort of BOT for me as Amazon tries to get my ad money (if it shows impressions data sans clicks).  So a CU to Amazon to stop it may be in order.

I started a discreet keywords Sponsored Ad - that should show up - and I start experimenting.

I guess the trick is get impressions and let the blurb sell the book.  The buyer will know what they are getting into before they click and I lose money if they don't intend to buy. But the hope there is they are KU and like the blub and get the book for free.

The blub protects you some from a lot of just, look and see the book, ad clicks I hope (the blurb on the AISN is almost the same as the ad blurb) --- I don't want a sort of curious drive-by hit that costs me money. You guys sort of seeing that ? I hope not.

Be as direct and honest about the story in whole as you can get in the ad blurb - a short synopsis/preface kind of thing that is the AISN blurb and ad blurb both. Yes?

If they bother to click I hope they bother to LI and get the book.

My feeling is too much blurb in the AISN, in particular, throws me off ... it is like they are pleading in a way. Just me. If the ad looks like the AISN blurb, then they have to look inside to see if they like the story.

My hypothesis ... above ... I bet auto is a bust.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on February 23, 2018, 06:04:02 am
You should forward the most incoherent answer to Bezos. There are something like 100 million people in India who speak English, so why is Amazon hiring people who can't?

If I thought for a minute that he could still be unaware of KDP's AMS support failings, I would forward. I suspect the ones who speak better English generally land higher-paying jobs than KDP provides. Since self-pubbers are dreamers, and most of us nothing more than that, we are not Amazon's first choice for investment. In Amazons favor, and in spite of their primitive metrics and poor support, their enormous customer base and sophisticated algos seem to provide our best chance of breaking even or making a little money with our advertising dollars. Still not a great chance for the average kboards skimmer with the average KDP book, but maybe the best chance around. Bookbub CPC ads are easy to understand, their reporting is great and includes specific time-frame settings options, and their support reads like native English. But their ACOS is much higher in my experience. Since they have no title or descriptive keyword options, everybody's bidding on the same few dozen authors or categories. You can advertise wide with them, but they don't track sales for you.

So for cost-effectiveness, for now, for me, it's KDP, even though Amazon's indifference leads me to believe that those three letters may stand for Keep Dreaming, Patsies.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bohemienne on February 23, 2018, 10:26:06 am
I wrote this on another thread regarding using AMS for preorders:

“ I had some modest success with AMS ads for a preorder but nothing to bring me under a 100% ACoS. The same campaigns are definitely doing better now that the book is released but I�m wondering if I should copy and restart them now, as I think Amazon Algos may have written them off due to the mediocre pre-release performance. Still, it can be useful to get a sense of where your best impressions/clicks may come from so you can target more aggressively once the book�s out.”


But now I’m curious—if I use the Copy ability to duplicate a campaign that had poor returns, pause/terminate the original campaign, then run the new copy, will whatever “downgrading” that campaign received in the algos still apply to the new copy? Or does it get a fresh start?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: notjohn on February 23, 2018, 10:39:23 am
You should forward the most incoherent answer to Bezos. There are something like 100 million people in India who speak English, so why is Amazon hiring people who can't?

Perhaps, but I doubt that one-one hundredth of them speak it like a native.

After studying Spanish for three years in high school and college, I found I couldn't even manage to ask directions on a street in Madrid. I'm sure that even if I had studied it for twelve years, I wouldn't have been able to handle a tech rep's job in Spain or Argentina.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 24, 2018, 06:29:27 am
Okay, I'm setting up my Product Display ad, and boy, once you plug in your "specific Products" keywords and get related (?) Amazon products to choose from, you really get some out-there results.   8)   But I managed to come up with about 200 items.

Two questions, in case anyone knows the answers:

1) when choosiing the "Targeting Product Type," there is the standard option of Target Specific Products, but there is also this option: 
   Target Related Categories ~New~
   Target advertised product’s category and related categories

I don't know what this means...  sounds like broad categories rather than specific products.  I don't have the nerve or the time right now to explore this option, so I wonder if anyone else has done it.

2)  When setting up the details of the ad, I can either "run ad as quickly as possible" or "spread campaign evenly over duration."  When I clicked on the latter option, I get a calendar to choose from, but it seems like the PD ad is limited to a maximum of 6 months.  I hadn't thought about it, and I was surprised that this type of ad has an 'expiration date.'  Guess it makes sense, though.  I went for the full six months.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on February 24, 2018, 07:46:21 am
2)  When setting up the details of the ad, I can either "run ad as quickly as possible" or "spread campaign evenly over duration."  When I clicked on the latter option, I get a calendar to choose from, but it seems like the PD ad is limited to a maximum of 6 months.  I hadn't thought about it, and I was surprised that this type of ad has an 'expiration date.'  Guess it makes sense, though.  I went for the full six months.

The expiration date is misleading. You can extend the date over and over.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on February 24, 2018, 08:19:24 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on February 24, 2018, 09:52:46 am
The expiration date is misleading. You can extend the date over and over.


As Anarchist mentioned, you can extend the expiration date on PD ads up to six months from the day you go in to edit it. So you initially have to set it up for six months, but if it's doing well, you can go in at the end of that period and extend it another six months from the date you edit it. (Something I hadn't realized until earlier this week.)

In terms of related category. This ties in to your book categories on Amazon. It's a pretty limited list, but at least for non-fiction it has options sometimes that aren't listed under the By Interest option. For what you've said you're trying to do it sounds like the product option is your best bet, though, because then you can target the very specific products you think will relate to your book.

Thanks.  I did go with the "specific products" option.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 25, 2018, 07:37:45 pm
From my perspective, sometimes AMS spending your money is a bad thing. I've had ads that spent $40-$50 in the first few days and never showed as having a sale credited to them. Or showed as having one sale for $4.99 credited to them. And I wasn't seeing KU page reads to make up for that difference. So if you have a new ad that isn't targeted well, it can be costly. I know some think any impression is great, so they may disagree. For me if impressions aren't leading to clicks AND then leading to sales, I don't consider that a successful ad.

Usually it is hard to get AMS to spend your budget, but not always.Newer ads are one example. If I start a new ad on my first-in-series romance title that ad almost always will max out a $5 budget on the first day. I actually did that this week and by the end of the day it was up to a $40 budget for the day. (I upped it by $5 each time it maxed out. Total spend for the day ended up being about $26.) That doesn't mean it was a good ad, though. I paused that ad for a few days because it wasn't looking good in terms of sales/borrows.

I have about five ads that are currently maxing out their $5/day budget. Since I price my books at $4.99, if I have one sale on one of those books and see that the ad has hit its budget, I up the budget. But sometimes I hit the budget for a day and there are no sales and no rank boost (for a KU title) and no paperback sales. In those cases, I'm spending on ads but not making anything back. I'll usually bump it once to $10/day, but I won't go past that until I can see some sign that those clicks are resulting in borrows or sales. But if I'm seeing enough sales for a day to show that I'm making my money back on that ad spend? I'll keep bumping that budget throughout the day. (Those ads seem to max out around $40/day in ad spend.)

In terms of running multiple ads...For users of Product Display ads, it seems to be common to run multiple ads. I'm not sure if it was in this thread or the other, but there's one user on here who starts two to three new ads each day on the same books. In that situation, I'd assume you monitor total ad spend versus ebook and paperback sales and estimated borrows for that day or ad period and don't worry about individual ads. (If that were me, I'd probably use the billing history to give me a summary of ad spend for the period rather than monitor on an ad-by-ad basis.)

I don't use that approach, but I'd assume that you only care about an individual ad if it gets out of control and spends too much, but otherwise you don't care about individual ads. I could be wrong and hopefully someone who uses that approach can chime in. Ultimately, for books that aren't in KU, the dashboard will eventually show gross sales amounts credited to that ad and you can see individual ad performance that way. (With all the caveats that whole series purchases aren't reflected in that number and neither are KU page reads.) If you're in KU, then you need to adjust what Amazon tells you for your estimated page reads that also came from the ad.

Well I brought the thread back ... sorry

Zon contacted me and said maybe use a different browser vs IE ... and that worked. I can see all ads I started. So pass this along to new folks. I used FireFox and it works fine. Forget IE - I was getting a blank display.

So I had six ads running. I shut all down but one.  It was getting impressions but only on 3 keywords. So I shut the others down. I have 53 impressions in a day after I bumped the bid to 15 cents on each keyword.  And I have one click ... no buy but it may lag - don't know. If it ends up being KU ... then it may take longer.

This is my first Prawny success ...  :D  someone was interested enough to look  :D  I spend 15 cents to get a look - yeah, strange success indeed.

1:50 ratio is not too bad for Sunday night.  Not sure what to expect.  Budget is $1 day ... but the book is small and priced at $1.49 so it is easy for the cost to surpass sales.  I am working on the second book. I will combine the two and increase the price and the ad I hope becomes more profitable. Spend some money and see if it gets traction.

It is too soon to tell if this is profitable or not. But as Cassie suggests, AMS can blow away any profits easy.

So I am encouraged.  AMS does better for a larger book I am sure as you have cost to sales wiggle room.. But I love writing novelettes and slightly bigger stuff. Three of my works is about a novel. As they are episodic and related I can pack them together. Zon does not seem to care if you rewrite and add to a work. 

Cheers guys and thanks for all the posts. Have a great coming week.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: erikhanberg on February 25, 2018, 08:54:31 pm
I've had some some real success with AMS ads in my nonfiction niche that I thought I would report for the greater good.

tl;dr: for two very very niche nonfiction books, with a relatively high purchase price, I've had a lot of success with Amazon's "automatic targeting" ads (as distinct from their automatically chosen keywords if you choose "manual targeting."

Background

As you can see in my sig, I have three books about nonprofits. Unlikely my fiction, they tend to sell themselves consistently (but in low quantities) through Amazon's basic search. As an example of how different they are than my fiction, for these three books, I sell more paperbacks and audiobook than Kindle books (probably says something about the nonprofit audience). They are priced at $6.99 for the Kindle and $16.99 in paperback (except that for the past year I'd had the Kindle book on nonprofit fundraising permafree. More on that in a second.)

First steps toward advertising them
Recently, I'd been experimenting with promoting my fiction through BookBub Ads, so that's where I initially started for the nonprofit books since I knew and liked the system. But then I discovered... not a single nonprofit author was on BookBub! That should tell you something about how small my niche is. I couldn't target by author and "nonfiction" seemed too generic, so I turned to AMS.

I started setting up a sponsored product ad for "The Little Book of Boards." And then I faced a question that, so far as I can tell, very few on these forums have grappled with: should I go automatic or should I use keywords? Normally, I would set up my own keywords in these situations. But something made me pause and eventually I set up the ad going "automatic."

Here was my theory:


Results of Going Automatic in Niche Nonfiction

On January 21, I set up the ad for "The Little Book of Boards" with a daily budget of $4 and a CPC bid of $.50.

The results have been, to be honest, astoundingly good. So good that I delayed posting here in case the ad was going to self-correct. But it's been 35 days or so, and the results are still strong (if not getting a little better) so it seems like it's working well enough to post my experience.

Here are the numbers:

Impressions: 86,925
Clicks: 171
aCPC: $0.23
Total spent: $38.59 (yes, even set to "automatic" and with a high CPC, Amazon won't spend all my money).

And the big one...

Estimated total sales: $587.36  !!!!!!

ACoS: 6.57%  !!!!!!

ACoS was actually at about 10% to 15% for the first few weeks, but then it improved again and has stayed in the 5% to 8% range.

And, I should add, I am seeing the sales directly reflected in both Kindle and Createspace. Going back to the same period in 2017, or the 30 days before this one--either way you look at it, I'm several hundred dollars ahead of where I was. Again: hard to actually imagine it worked when the ad has spent less than $40.

One note: I do suspect that I am paying for at least *some* sales I would have gotten otherwise, because I've seen the ad show up right above my book in search results. But even then, the fact that I can see the positive change in comparison makes me feel pretty good about it.

Further Experimentation in Niche Nonfiction

As you might guess, the first thing I did was try this strategy on other books.

I tried running an automatic sponsored product ad on "The Little Book of Gold" (permafree book on nonprofit fundraising) and saw a large increase in free downloads and even some money tied to the ad (thanks to the paperback). My ACoS was about 115%. But then I realized: why not just take this book off permafree and try to sell a bunch of the books in the same way I was doing with the other one? I kept using the same ad, but took the book off permafree.

That was about a week ago. The ad now shows $48.42 spent, $78.22 in estimated sales, and 61.90% in ACoS. Since I paid a lot for free downloads earlier with not much revenue, it will take a while before this particular ad shows the same ACoS as the first. But if I just zero in on the last week, it's right-sized the ACoS in a handful of days and, as with the other book, I can see the corresponding sales. So it's also doing well (though maybe not quite as well as the first, but it's hard to say for sure because I'm using an ad I'd already started).

Trying it in fiction

I tried to replicate the same "automatic targeting" formula with The Marinara Murders (a mystery that is very very close to a cozy), and that, dear reader, is where I encountered my first fail with the experiment.

Amazon wasn't showing the ad *at all* and the CTR was bad too. I cut it after a week and only spent $0.27 because I could barely get impressions.

After that, I did try a traditional keyword ad campaign for The Marinara Murders as well and have seen not-great results. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that the cover was conceived before I knew what a "cozy" mystery was (I was just writing a mystery novel I liked back in 2010 and 2011) so the cover is probably off for the genre the book is the best fit for. So maybe the issue wasn't "automatic" versus traditional key words but rather it's not the right cover fit. So I'm considering hiring out a new cover and then going back to test both "automatic" and regular ads with this one.

I suspect that all the fiction writers here are disappointed to see that this didn't translate! I am too.

That said, I *am* finishing up Book 3 of my sci-fi trilogy and will have it out by April-ish. So I'm going to wait until then and try some of these "automatic" strategies in sci-fi with Book 1 and see if I can do better. I'm not expecting that I will do as well as I am with the two nonprofit books. But I very much have appreciated that I haven't had to keyword monitor or optimize these "automatic" ads. In this one instance (niche nonfiction, relatively large margin) it has truly been "set it and forget it." A rare treat in marketing these days.

If there's anything in there that you can apply to your own experiments in ad runs, I hope it's useful. And if I do have any success with "automatic targeting" for my sci-fi novels I'll pass it along!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on February 26, 2018, 08:01:30 am
Congrats! Those numbers are nuts. I'd like a bag of them. I may have a niche-enough, nearly-non-fiction book that might make a good candidate for a modest, automated experiment (just when I've finished a week-long book harvest of descriptive, manual keywords).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: KelliWolfe on February 26, 2018, 08:09:20 am
I have a question for the hive mind. I started two new AMS ads a couple of weeks back for the first two books in a series. A week ago I started two more ads for books 3 and 4. When I checked this morning, book 1 has about 7 times as many impressions as book 2, and both books 3 and 4 have two or three times as many impressions as book 2. All are using essentially identical keywords and bids, outside of a handful of book-specific ones that generate a very low number of impressions.

Does anyone have any ideas what would cause such a low number of impressions for book 2?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: erikhanberg on February 26, 2018, 10:40:44 am
Congrats! Those numbers are nuts. I'd like a bag of them. I may have a niche-enough, nearly-non-fiction book that might make a good candidate for a modest, automated experiment (just when I've finished a week-long book harvest of descriptive, manual keywords).

If you have the keywords, you may as well experiment with both! Would be interesting to see the comparison and whether one can outperform the other.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on February 28, 2018, 09:14:01 am
According to my AMS graph I sold what was obviously a paperback. However, on my KDP graph, it has not shown up. Anyone know why this happens?

Update --It finally showed up on my KDP graph ten days after appearing on the AMS graph!  :D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on February 28, 2018, 02:42:50 pm
TOPIC: Ad Copy

That's Ad Copy not Book Description (Blurb)

Now that my ads have been running for a year and have accumulated hundreds of thousands of impressions and hundreds of clicks on each ad, I thought it was time to do a comprehensive survey to compare the effectiveness of the 7 different kinds of ad copy I have been using.

The results are drawn from very large data samples - one ad has 3,208,336 impressions and 10,638 clicks.

I found a REALLY BIG DIFFERENCE in the performance of the different ad copy examples.

My 2 worst examples of ad copy needed 1,402 and 1,725 impressions to produce 1 click.

My 3 best examples needed just 299, 302 and 356 impressions to produce 1 click.

So for all future ads, I will be rotating between the 3 best ad copy examples.  I wrote those best performing ads after taking note of the following advice:

8 words that boost engagement:

new,   free,   because,   you,   now,   imagine,   limited (time),   instantly,
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on February 28, 2018, 07:20:00 pm
TOPIC: Ad Copy

That's Ad Copy not Book Description (Blurb)

Now that my ads have been running for a year and have accumulated hundreds of thousands of impressions and hundreds of clicks on each ad, I thought it was time to do a comprehensive survey to compare the effectiveness of the 7 different kinds of ad copy I have been using.

The results are drawn from very large data samples - one ad has 3,208,336 impressions and 10,638 clicks.

I found a REALLY BIG DIFFERENCE in the performance of the different ad copy examples.

My 2 worst examples of ad copy needed 1,402 and 1,725 impressions to produce 1 click.

My 3 best examples needed just 299, 302 and 356 impressions to produce 1 click.

So for all future ads, I will be rotating between the 3 best ad copy examples.  I wrote those best performing ads after taking note of the following advice:

8 words that boost engagement:

new,   free,   because,   you,   now,   imagine,   limited (time),   instantly,



Thanks Phil.  Though you say "Not Blurb" you mean the ad copy jingle (blurb of sorts - you have 150 characters to work with I think).  I agree. That jingle is important. And the "word list" you provided for your books goes into the jingle and is not a keyword?  Correct me if I am wrong.

Keywords seem to be tricky to me too.  I have 3 keywords that are hitting out of 12 keywords or pairs.  My lowest keyword has 5 impressions and I got one click out of the whole ad of 12 keywords. The others have 25 and 45 impressions.  One key word is "sci fi", one is "science fiction" and the other is "time travel".  "Science fiction" had the 5 impressions and one click. "Time Travel" had the most impressions.  The rest are zero impressions. So later I switch off the ones with no impressions - does not matter I guess.

So the jingle has to match the book to me.  Expectations thing. If the book does not stand up to the jungle the reader will dump it.

So my ad copy so far has cost me 15 cents.  I paused for a day and thought on it.  Turned it back on.  At $1 budget that is $30 a month of clicks. No biggy - does not bust the bank. I just hate that a click will cost me some money is all. The question is do sells of sorts offset the clicks. You need clicks for sells.  See what buys of whatever sort come through.  Give it some time.

This whole concept WRT AMS is one of Bayes Philosophy (not Bayes' Rule - that is an erroneous obfuscation - but the philosophy is dead nuts correct) : i.e. if what you know about a system of choices is involved with what you want (buys) then your odds of getting what you want are improved had you known nothing.  This works well in thought and is true.  But this AMS system has more than a few variables I am seeing as I think on it and thanks for sharing. If I take you correctly, it makes good sense to me.

I think it is important here, if what I take you to mean is right : the jingle is important to get as right as you can to match the book and the words you use excite the searchers imagination (if that is what they are looking for or be interested in).  Searchers could bust your budget if what you want is clicks and the reader decides the book does not meet the jingle.  Clicks that lead to buys is the target. 

Best of luck guys ... I am off to the races.   :D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on March 03, 2018, 08:36:54 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on March 07, 2018, 04:16:32 pm
AMS has royally screwed up my billing.* I'm on my fourth email with them, they do nothing. Does anyone have the phone number of somebody at AMS who would actually have the power to fix a problem? Thanks.

*My credit card got hacked so Mastercard gave me a new one. I promptly deleted the old one in my Amazon account and entered the new one. AMS has been unable to adjust to this.  :-\
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: kalencap on March 07, 2018, 07:48:15 pm
Update --It finally showed up on my KDP graph ten days after appearing on the AMS graph!  :D

10 days? Ugh. That is hard to track.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on March 08, 2018, 06:35:24 am
AMS has royally screwed up my billing.* I'm on my fourth email with them, they do nothing. Does anyone have the phone number of somebody at AMS who would actually have the power to fix a problem? Thanks.

*My credit card got hacked so Mastercard gave me a new one. I promptly deleted the old one in my Amazon account and entered the new one. AMS has been unable to adjust to this.  :-\

Try authorcentral.amazon.com (http://authorcentral.amazon.com). There you can click on help>contact us, fill in the prompts and have Amazon "Call me now". If you've never activated your author central account, you can do so quickly as a KDP author. I used this for a KDP issue yesterday. My phone rang immediately, then I waited on hold for 10 minutes, then the first rep said, "Oh, that's a KDP issue," and transferred me to them. Five more minutes on hold got me a very savvy KDP rep (Krishna), who spoke English with a native's command and only a very slight accent. He was helpful and knowledgeable. I don't see an option to get phone help directly through the KDP help portal but this Author Central route worked.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: 39416 on March 08, 2018, 08:31:48 am
Thank you. I called them, they said Billing is automatic, there is nothing they can do, and they have no phone number to contact anyone about it.

Jeeze, I just want them to charge my credit card!

All I've got now is "Someone from Technical will look into it. Wait a few days."

Everyone I have contacted at Amazon about this has just blown me off telling me to wait a few days --it's been more than a week.  >:(
Title: AMS UK
Post by: rweir on March 08, 2018, 02:48:53 pm
Has anyone here setup AMS UK yet? I just setup mine today and it has a lot more reporting tools, and three different ad options. Though the Sponsor Ads don't have Ad Copy to create. But from what I understand since it's new you can get started with low bidding, I'm going with 0.05 to start. And they give you a 100.00 pound click credit to use for the first 90 days.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on March 08, 2018, 02:58:59 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rweir on March 08, 2018, 03:16:53 pm
You setup a Advantage Central account. Below is a link to a Google doc with instructions I got from a AMS Facebook Group run by Brian Meeks. Once you have the account setup, you login and put in your credit card info and so on. The instructions are pretty straight forward. Reporting is a little slower, impressions and click can take 24 hours before they show up, but has a whole lot more data you can access. You do have to deal with exchange rates and VAT, but with the 100 pound credit they give you it is worth a try to expand your sales, if your books are on Amazon UK.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eDgHEU_4d_Gm3-uH_EnwyXF9WUKiyZ2cpdzg6n212GI/edit
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on March 08, 2018, 06:12:21 pm
Speaking of how AMS bills....   I got an email from them saying that I hit my daily budget limit (which is NOT large).  As a result, they automatically "paused" my campaign, and it remained paused until I raised my daily budget.

I admit I never thought much about it, but I assumed that when a campaign reaches its daily budget, it would simply stop, or go dormant for the rest of that day, and pick up again when the clock strikes 12:01am the next day.  Why does the whole campaign fall into sleep mode?  Is it just Amazon's way to get you to shell out er, I mean add to your budget?  That's what a daily budget is:  the amount you're willing to spend on any given day.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on March 08, 2018, 07:10:34 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on March 09, 2018, 12:15:37 am
You setup a Advantage Central account. Below is a link to a Google doc with instructions I got from a AMS Facebook Group run by Brian Meeks. Once you have the account setup, you login and put in your credit card info and so on. The instructions are pretty straight forward. Reporting is a little slower, impressions and click can take 24 hours before they show up, but has a whole lot more data you can access. You do have to deal with exchange rates and VAT, but with the 100 pound credit they give you it is worth a try to expand your sales, if your books are on Amazon UK.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eDgHEU_4d_Gm3-uH_EnwyXF9WUKiyZ2cpdzg6n212GI/edit

Wow, thank you so much for this!

I'm up and running! I'll report back on how it goes.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on March 19, 2018, 06:58:51 pm
One more datapoint from the land of chaos.  Two books in their own campaigns sharing the same keyword [a book title].  One bid at $0.70, the other at $0.60.  I look up the title and both SP ads show.  Good.  But the lower bid comes up significantly earlier [higher ranked] than the higher bid.

Now what sort of 'auction' is this?  I suggest 'chaotic'.  A cynic might suggest that there is no rational auction process at all; AMS is simply a device to ensure authors pay something while Mamazon's vaunted algos select books to display either randomly or via black magic.

 :P
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on March 20, 2018, 04:20:54 am
I'm tapping out of AMS for now. Something changed for my ads since the beginning of the year. While most continue get decent impressions/clicks, my sales have tanked. No amount of tweaking has helped.

This is happening while promotion activity on other retail channels has consistently (and dramatically) outperformed Amazon. Kobo activity itself has skyrocketed, and their promotions haven't costed me anything out of pocket. I'm even seeing sales activity through the Smashwords store!  :o   

I'm not in KDP Select, and I wonder if this is an AMS algorithm shift that's favoring those who are enrolled? Has anyone in Select seen significant upticks in page reads this year? Or maybe it's pointless to try to figure out why, because it's simply an algo change that's not favoring me at this time.

I might dip my toes back into AMS after a while just to see if things have changed. And maybe (gasp) they will have improved their reporting? Until then I simply can't justify continuing to pay Amazon for something I hope might get better. 

   
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on March 20, 2018, 05:35:11 am
You setup a Advantage Central account. Below is a link to a Google doc with instructions I got from a AMS Facebook Group run by Brian Meeks. Once you have the account setup, you login and put in your credit card info and so on. The instructions are pretty straight forward. Reporting is a little slower, impressions and click can take 24 hours before they show up, but has a whole lot more data you can access. You do have to deal with exchange rates and VAT, but with the 100 pound credit they give you it is worth a try to expand your sales, if your books are on Amazon UK.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eDgHEU_4d_Gm3-uH_EnwyXF9WUKiyZ2cpdzg6n212GI/edit

Thanks for that, I really appreciate it. My style of humour is suited to the UK market, so advertising there makes a lot of sense. I've set everything up and created a couple of campaigns, so we'll see how it goes.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on March 20, 2018, 06:39:34 am
You setup a Advantage Central account. Below is a link to a Google doc with instructions I got from a AMS Facebook Group run by Brian Meeks. Once you have the account setup, you login and put in your credit card info and so on. The instructions are pretty straight forward. Reporting is a little slower, impressions and click can take 24 hours before they show up, but has a whole lot more data you can access. You do have to deal with exchange rates and VAT, but with the 100 pound credit they give you it is worth a try to expand your sales, if your books are on Amazon UK.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eDgHEU_4d_Gm3-uH_EnwyXF9WUKiyZ2cpdzg6n212GI/edit
You get a 100 pound credit, but to get the account I believe you're charged 23 pounds. Also, there is an annual fee you agree to for a 100 pound charge every May. It's tough to sell fiction in the UK if your books don't have many UK reviews, so the the annual fee charge could be a burden if you don't get sales. I wonder if you can get out of the contract with Amazon if your experiment with AMS in the UK isn't successful. Does anyone know the answer to this?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on March 20, 2018, 09:04:46 am
It says the Amazon Advantage annual fee is 23 pounds on their help page. Haven't found anything about a 100 pound annual fee.

I signed the AA agreements but haven't put in any other info. Bank accounts/contact info/Return addresses all blank - we'll see what happens. They might just leave it if I have no intention of actually using the vendor account on AA to sell anything.

After the initial setup of the Amazon Advantage account I headed over to AMS UK and set up four campaigns.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on March 21, 2018, 04:49:09 am
Do people use AMS ads on books other than book 1 in a series?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on March 21, 2018, 05:13:00 am
Do people use AMS ads on books other than book 1 in a series?

I'm using it right now for a new release (book 8).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on March 21, 2018, 05:22:42 am
I'm using it right now for a new release (book 8).

I'm wondering how that works in terms of sales. Do people buy that book in the series, or do they then go and by book 1? I'd imagine it could be harder to track a well performing ad?

By the way, I'm having great success with UK AMS. It works just as well as AMS US for me.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on March 21, 2018, 05:39:00 am
I'm wondering how that works in terms of sales. Do people buy that book in the series, or do they then go and by book 1? I'd imagine it could be harder to track a well performing ad?

By the way, I'm having great success with UK AMS. It works just as well as AMS US for me.

I'm kind of targeting people who may have bought or downloaded the earlier books. The first title (permafree) has had over 50k downloads since 2011, so either people will already have it, or they can check out the series and download #1 instead. Yes, it would make tracking results impossible, because they could click on #8, click on the series list from that product page, then get #1 free.

AMS UK is working for me - I've had a lot of interest in the first novel in my MG series which is also on a KDP free promo day, so that might drive a few downloads.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on March 21, 2018, 05:53:57 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on March 21, 2018, 06:15:14 am
I'm kind of targeting people who may have bought or downloaded the earlier books. The first title (permafree) has had over 50k downloads since 2011, so either people will already have it, or they can check out the series and download #1 instead. Yes, it would make tracking results impossible, because they could click on #8, click on the series list from that product page, then get #1 free.

AMS UK is working for me - I've had a lot of interest in the first novel in my MG series which is also on a KDP free promo day, so that might drive a few downloads.

That makes sense, good luck with it!

Yes, I have in the past. And Amazon's reporting is supposed to capture that. The Total Est. Sales number they report includes sales of the book you advertised, but it can also include sales of other books by you.

Ah I didn't know that! That's great, thank you.

It it possible to advertise a series page?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on March 21, 2018, 06:27:59 am
It it possible to advertise a series page?

Series were all marked invalid in my 'select your title' list.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on March 21, 2018, 06:33:08 am
Series were all marked invalid in my 'select your title' list.

I guessed that would be the case!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on March 21, 2018, 07:35:19 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on March 21, 2018, 08:11:43 am
I think if you drop the bid too low it can stop running altogether. But I have had keywords with an aCPC of 25 cents, for example, and dropped it to 21 cents and still had clicks from that. So maybe slowly bump that keyword until it starts getting impressions again and then you'll know the lower limit for it. (For now.)

I am not sure what brings a buy or KU download. I have had 2000 impressions and one click on good related keywords ... oooo success. Anyway people are seeing the cover (maybe), price, and the ad blurb which is a short book blurb.  That is my only success.

I did have a keyword "time" (time travel novella) that got 4000 impressions and 2 clicks (that was interesting).  I figured there were a lot of science researchers searching through the keyword looking for "time" related books from a technical to pseudo technical perspective and I bet mine kept showing up  :P.  So maybe I write a pseudo perspective book on "time and space" and math  :P I do have the background for that. And my novel is based on those concepts.

So - I have this, "Yeah, they get a small glance at the book," but no follow through. Anyone else getting this wimpy traction?

So it is "time" for a $0 - five day promo. But it will be a, "Just through it out there." I have no lists, or FB, or campaigns to help it. Does this draw any interest if I pitch it out there like that?

Amazon KDP does not allow a perma-free price.  The only way to do that is price-match and it be perma-free at some other site. I asked KDP thru a CU and that is what they said. Nah, but I will think on it.

So KDP has you locked into a hard to get traction kind of place. But impressions are impressions, people do see the cover.

"Red Hope" is written in the same style it seems I use. It is a bit bigger.  99 cents with 1000 reviews. This is on fire. Sci-Fi for those that don't like hard Sci-Fi. Sort of like "The Host" I guess. he must have had and has some kind of promotion effort. It worked, and it stuck, it seems to me. So he has organic growth now and only has to use AMS I guess. When a buyer sees 1000 reviews they jump on it. I have it as a free Prime borrow. Really cool book, I like it.

I have 2 ads on my book - one bid is 15 cents and the other is at 25 cents. Sort of what one misses the other may pick up. 

Just putting it out there.

Stuck in KDP and AMS land,
Max 007
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on March 21, 2018, 09:04:40 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on March 21, 2018, 01:16:49 pm
If you're in KU and haven't used your Countdown days for the 90-day period, you can run your book for free for five days. But doing so without some outside advertising option to let people know it's free likely won't result in much movement at all. You can look at using a list-based advertiser like Freebooksy to maybe get visibility on that book during a free run. And it might also get you page reads at the same time. If you're not in KU, then doing the price match option is really all you can go with for a free run.

And LilyBLily just said what I had for the rest of this post, but I'll leave it here anyway:

I'd say if you're getting 1 click per 2000 impressions that you could work on your targeting for those ads. Do you have the author name for the author of Red Hope in your keywords? What about the authors in that author's also-boughts? If not, add them in there. For fiction I find that broad terms like "romance" or "fantasy" do well for my books (which have genre-appropriate covers) and so do author names. Think how you would find a book like yours and let that drive your keyword choices.

Thanks you guys.  I went back to Select as soon as I knew there really no such thing as Perma free within Amazon.

I just added the author's name. Also added both his book's titles.  This is hot.

See where this goes for a couple days.  Then :

I get plenty of impressions and I may turn "Time" back on with its own ad and special ad blurb for the technical guys. 

Daily budget is low now at $1 a day (not even being touched  - I bet the price and no reviews throws people off.) ... soooo, when I do the $0 promo I will bump the bid to 25 cents and budget to $6 a day and let AMS run during the promo ... now the hope is ... readers catch the impressions seeing $0 ... not probably as effective as Freebooksy as that ad is likely bigger looking and stands out better (I bet they cost too ... have to look) ... this caps the AMS ad promo at $30 for the period of the promo.  Just changed the price to 99 cents. So hope for follow through.

And I get some reads and a couple of reviews. And I can do it again April 1. 

General keywords are fine, Sci Fi, science fiction, time travel, etc. etc. and generate lots of impressions.

I just need to make sure the impressions show up during the promo. 

Could this work? Has anyone tried to promo thru AMS this way? Still new to this, sorry. Actually impression is a form of traction, but no buys.  :(

Cheap way to do it. I will look into Freebooksy. But will try this AMS thing first. Don't need my credit card all over the flipping internet.  :)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on March 21, 2018, 05:18:21 pm
I have been using UK AMS for about two weeks now. I've spent my 100 free pounds and gotten back about 80 dollars in royalties, so it would so far have been a money loser if it was my money. A few points of interest: the SP ads don't use text, just the book cover. This makes them a lot easier to set up and you can advertise a whole book series on one ad, which is very nice. However, probably because there is no text, it takes a lot more clicks to get a sale. My first three ads really took off, but they died almost as fast as the US ads. They do outreach, though. I got an email from a rep wanting to discuss optimizing my campaigns. I'm scheduled to speak to her tomorrow morning. The reporting is much better. I can download a spreadsheet with a click analysis, showing what search terms readers put in and what keyword the ad responded to. I now understand why "books" works so well. I had one reader search on "kindle cowboy books" and it turned into a click, then a sale for "books." "Astrophysics books" also turned into a click and then a sale, which is strange for a science fiction/space opera, but, hey, they bought it. From now on, I will make sure that "books" is a keyword on every ad.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: WegR on March 23, 2018, 03:31:40 am
From the Amazon Advantage UK membership agreement (link below) it looks like it costs GBP23.50 to join up ("initial fee"), plus an annual "membership fee" of GBP23.50, payable every May (see this help page: https://advantage.amazon.co.uk/hz/vendor/setup/support/help/node/G200166120 (https://advantage.amazon.co.uk/hz/vendor/setup/support/help/node/G200166120) )

Have I got this right, it's going to cost me nearly 50 quid in 2018 just to participate in AMS in the UK?


Membership Agreement saying GBP23.50 for initial fee: clause 1 in this PDF https://advantage.amazon.co.uk/cgi-bin/fileUpload/VCResourceCenter/getResourceCenterFile.cgi?_encoding=UTF8&fileId=bPviLdI9%2Fudxkym9IOtopEpHwTGN0NC9MAKIafMUGQ4%3D&filename=%2BQY048z2wKFYJr5X82OyjymEYeseuzk%2Fg6LqlRLwQ3k%3D&type=Z2D%2FKCIlWDzSjE2iaXAkzg%3D%3D (https://advantage.amazon.co.uk/cgi-bin/fileUpload/VCResourceCenter/getResourceCenterFile.cgi?_encoding=UTF8&fileId=bPviLdI9%2Fudxkym9IOtopEpHwTGN0NC9MAKIafMUGQ4%3D&filename=%2BQY048z2wKFYJr5X82OyjymEYeseuzk%2Fg6LqlRLwQ3k%3D&type=Z2D%2FKCIlWDzSjE2iaXAkzg%3D%3D)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on March 23, 2018, 03:39:04 am

The keyword using an Author name and book title work.  But I am in page 14 of the carousel with a bid of 15 cents. Hmmm I see I need to change the ad blurb. it looka funky now. Plus with no reviews it sticks out like a sore thumb. But thar-she-blows!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: FFJ on March 23, 2018, 08:16:19 am
Thanks for all the crucial info folks.

Re: UK AMS and that 100 pound credit

I'm not seeing it. Does one get an email or something?


ETA: Just checked my email and saw message.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on March 23, 2018, 10:33:52 am
Not sure how much good the "outreach" is. She wanted to talk "tomorrow," then she didn't call. She was supposed to call "Thursday or Friday" and she didn't call. She's now ignored my two latest emails and one voicemail message. Not impressed with the quality of the service...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: dkw on March 24, 2018, 08:24:51 pm
Does anyone know how Total Sales and ACoS are reflected in AMS ads for permafree books?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on March 26, 2018, 08:12:03 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Alvina on April 01, 2018, 09:46:52 am
This is really unusual after I have been running my AMS ads for months, and now suddenly, there is totally no sales for more than 10 days from my only campaign even after dozens of clicks. Now I'm so disappointed after spending over $100, I have to stop the ads...   :o


(I used to have an average of 1 sales a day through the AMS for the past 9 months.)   :(
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on April 03, 2018, 05:32:25 pm
Not sure how much good the "outreach" is. She wanted to talk "tomorrow," then she didn't call. She was supposed to call "Thursday or Friday" and she didn't call. She's now ignored my two latest emails and one voicemail message. Not impressed with the quality of the service...

I got the same silence after responding to the same optimization-consult invitation with my availability. The inviting rep has failed to answer three replies to the email she sent two weeks ago. Now I have a help ticket that's updated by a different rep with each back and forth while they try to track down my 'assistant'. I made the mistake of including my phone # on the initial help complaint, and someone called me quickly with an Indian accent so thick I couldn't communicate with them (and I'm good with accents). I deciphered just enough to decide he was under-trained and under-motivated before I told him it was too frustrating to continue the call. But they continue updating the ticket--if not speeding it forward to any satisfaction for me. If an Amazon rep in South Asia calls me in the US at midday here, I've learned that it's usually someone not qualified enough to avoid their graveyard shift.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on April 04, 2018, 06:35:09 am
Well, my rep did finally call, not at the day or time she was supposed to but she called. We had a nice chat, though I didn't learn much that was useful. She did recommend running new ads with the keywords that have proven to work the best (no surprise) and she announced that she is now my designated service rep and will be in touch. We agreed that she will call again on April 12.

One thing I am bewildered by: the reporting on their ads supposedly shows the money made on each product for each ad. One ad shows that I've sold over 40 pounds worth of one book, which should come to between 18 and 23 copies (depending on when they take the VAT out) but my KDP dashboard shows only 5 copies of this book sold in the UK. I know there's a lag in reporting, but it's been this way for about two weeks. I will ask her to explain this if I ever do hear from her again.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on April 04, 2018, 10:54:02 am
Well, my rep did finally call, not at the day or time she was supposed to but she called. We had a nice chat, though I didn't learn much that was useful. She did recommend running new ads with the keywords that have proven to work the best (no surprise) and she announced that she is now my designated service rep and will be in touch. We agreed that she will call again on April 12.

My ams.amazon.co.uk rep finally called me too (she had directed my emails to automatically land in a folder she hadn't been opening). We also had a good chat and scheduled a follow up (they like to give us a couple of months of help, she said). Born in Spain, she had two years of school in the U.S. and now works in London, so I could understand her speech, thank goodness.

One good tip she gave me since my manual Sponsored keywords aren't clicking or selling much was to consider running an automatic-keyword SP ad for a month. I'm thinking of investing the remaining 93 pounds complimentary credit in that, just to get the great search-terms report out of it (and maybe sell some books). That report (not available with Amazon.com's AMS) lists all the actual search terms typed by people who clicked on an ad, how often each term was used, and how much sales resulted. With manual SP ads, the report also lists which of your keywords Amazon used to match the search terms, but with auto-keywords, the keyword column remains blank.

So I'm excited about the 93 pounds worth of free automatic-ad data, if I can ever figure out what to do with it. It should also inform any future campaigns I create in Amazon.com in the US. The rep was glad to hear that the UK offered better service and much more comprehensive and dynamic data reporting than zon.com. She's used to hearing how much better things are here (Not in AMS, obviously). She's going to look into the question of whether or not all advantage.amazon.co.uk advertisers are subject to the annual fee some have mentioned on this board.   
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 04, 2018, 11:56:34 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.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on April 04, 2018, 12:28:33 pm
You could get that type of reporting in the US as well, you'd just have to open an Advantage Central account for the US rather than accessing AMS through your KDP account, which is the type of account you "opened" in the UK to access AMS there. A few of the users on this thread do have that type of account here in the U.S.

Interesting. I missed hearing of that when I read all the complaints in these two threads about limitations of campaign data (and experienced it myself). I see there's a $99.00 annual fee for the US based Advantage account. Does the sponsored-ad-campaign dashboard reporting through the US Advantage Central offer the date-range option missing in the KDP-based metrics? Still not sure I'd shell out just for that. So far, Advantage in the UK hasn't charged me the 23.50 pound initial fee, after four weeks with them. Hoping they don't charge the same amount again as the annual fee in May. Unlike some posters here I was dumb enough to give my bank info when signing up. Sounds like those who didn't are in the clear, and I may be lucky too. Looking forward to seeing what my assigned rep says about the fees in UK.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 04, 2018, 12:42:08 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on April 05, 2018, 10:34:22 am
\

Hopefully Rising Sun can chime in about that. Or Mark Dawson. I've seen him running headline ads that are only available to non-KDP AMS accounts. I think the other user with that type of account that I know of hasn't been around in a while.

Most people haven't mentioned it because most don't have that kind of account and it sort of muddies the waters to throw it into a discussion where 95% of folks are talking about one type of account that doesn't have those features.  I haven't opened that type myself although I've toyed with the idea given the usefulness of negative keywords when running ads. If AMS continue to get more competitive I may break down and do so.

Howdy All...

Reporting in on recent experiences... To put my info in perspective...I have 9 titles ...5 novels, non-genre specific only 2 related, 1 nonfiction study guide to a novel, 1 poetry, 1  play, 1 inspirational...except for the study guide and vol 2 of a trilogy out only for a few weeks the books are unrelated although they generally appeal to similar readers. I currently advertise on AMS through KDP, Advantage US and Advantage UK and facebook and Indiegogo when I have special events or needs. Generally KDP's are priced at 8.99, printbooks 19.99. Printbooks (via Createspace ) generally produce half of Amazon units sold. We also sell printbooks wide through LightningSource but none of that goes to Amazon as we keep the wholesale margins quite low.

AMS on Advantage US... Started September last year. Have run 33 ads (sponsored, product, lockscreen and headline) I currently have 7 sponsored and i headline ad running.  Sponsored, product, lockscreen ads work same as KDP ads except that you can keyword selection does not default to broad but offers exact, phrase, not logic that can allow greater sophistication in word selection. Reporting is much better as it allows choosing a period range such as yesterday, this week, etc, Detail reports, not dashboard. also calculates CTR- click through rate which is very important to see as Amazon sees your keyword. To do real analysis none of this counts as you still have to download and run your full excel analysis-- Thanks to Cassie-- ML Humphrie's books on Excel, etc. You can advertise both print and Kindle and you can put multiple titles in a Sponsored products ad as is the case in UK---however same as UK if you do that you only have cover/title/stars/price- no text in the ad.
My real problem is that I haven't been able to make a profit from it.
My sense has been it is geared to print books as it is only recently that you could advertise Kindles so it is probably changing. It still recommends a 50 cent minimum bid on SP keywords which is ridiculous. I use it now at very slow volume, low price where it can be marginally profitable for me.
Headline ads are very problematic as they need a minimum of 3 products displeyed on a bare bones info sheet (no sales text or product description) so folks interested in a title have to click through extraneous data. Hedaline ads can also go to stores which a few majpr houses are setting up and eventually I will experiment with.
Another bothersome problem in the headline ads is that AMS closes keywords out formally at their option. i had the disgusting experience of watching them close many keywords that were hitting slightly under their standard ( I can't remember if it was 1 clic per 100 or 200 impressions) even though the titles were selling in the teens of ACoS.
Lockscreen ads hace been a complete waste for me.
My advice to any beginner would be to stay away from it as the additional capabilities mean that you can lose money a lot faster.

AMS Advantage UK.. 
I have 19 ads running currently, sponsored and product ads, no headline or lockscreen for last 3 weeks. All based on keyword or product lists as used in USA. Just broke through the 100 pounds free point producing 80 pounds royalty during that period The ads had been running much higher cost than I expected and were very unprofitable. I have crunched down on the bids and they are now slow and break even. The ads were aided by some favorable magazine interviews in UK. Next week another interview will be out. This weekend I'll try and spend time to make a special ad based on UK authors, titles, interests to advertise better the title that will have national publicity....The key thing to remember about the UK is that it is another country.
Their product ads are shorter text, larger font and have publisher logo displayed. The sponsored keyword ads Only display cover, title, stars and price...no text, making discoverability hard(this option is also available on Advantage USA and may work for some),possibly perfect for a nonfiction series ehere the title says it all). 
Additional problem is that the product page description is same as USA (and can't be altered for UK even in the Advantage console), rankings and reviews are unique to UK...effectively you start with high rank and 0 reviews although occasionally the sell page will note amazon.com reviews

AMS - KDP has been the best platform for me. Currently I have 314 sponsored product and 15 product ads running with well over 130 million impressions in the last 15 months. In the last week I did have a disaster where an important title had an impression drop of nearly 90%. I am trying to figure out what happened and will report back either asking for help or letting folks know what I did.
Ciao and Great Blessings from Dariel, Rivera's ad guy
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on April 05, 2018, 01:30:39 pm
Thanks, Dariel--very informative. Being a rank beginner, I think I'll stick with KDP's AMS for now (when advertising in the US) and learn the pertinent Excel with the help of Cassie's books.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jacob Stanley on April 11, 2018, 09:41:13 pm
Just curious if this has been confirmed by anyone else.... I'm basically positive at this point that AMS doesn't record sales of other books besides the one that was clicked on. For example, if someone clicks my omnibus, and then buys book 1 instead, or vice versa, there is no record of the sale in your AMS reporting.

There are times when I'm only advertising my omnibus, and get sales of book 1, but I've never seen a sale on my omnibus log-sheet that shows the same price as my first book. 

Right now, I'm advertising both my omnibus and series starter, getting sales of both which outnumber the sales shown on the log. I'm sure they're not organic sales, because my books get basically zero organic visibility, so when I stop running ads, sales go to absolute zero, or close to it, and I'm not pushing enough books to get any high rankings that would generate organic traffic. I probably get a few word of mouth sales but those are impossible to account for.

What's making it tough right now is I've had some Facebook ads running too, with very low click prices, but I've recently decided that they're not generating many sales, because when I raise the daily spend on them, sales don't improve. But there are still quite a few sales over the last week or so that just aren't showing up on my log at all, even accounting for a 3 or 4 day delay.

All this confusion is causing me to waste money because I don't know what the heck is going on.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rod Little on April 11, 2018, 10:03:59 pm
Just curious if this has been confirmed by anyone else.... I'm basically positive at this point that AMS doesn't record sales of other books besides the one that was clicked on. For example, if someone clicks my omnibus, and then buys book 1 instead, or vice versa, there is no record of the sale in your AMS reporting.

There are times when I'm only advertising my omnibus, and get sales of book 1, but I've never seen a sale on my omnibus log-sheet that shows the same price as my first book. 

Right now, I'm advertising both my omnibus and series starter, getting sales of both which outnumber the sales shown on the log. I'm sure they're not organic sales, because my books get basically zero organic visibility, so when I stop running ads, sales go to absolute zero, or close to it, and I'm not pushing enough books to get any high rankings that would generate organic traffic. I probably get a few word of mouth sales but those are impossible to account for.

What's making it tough right now is I've had some Facebook ads running too, with very low click prices, but I've recently decided that they're not generating many sales, because when I raise the daily spend on them, sales don't improve. But there are still quite a few sales over the last week or so that just aren't showing up on my log at all, even accounting for a 3 or 4 day delay.

All this confusion is causing me to waste money because I don't know what the heck is going on.

I would agree. Often I don't know what's going on... What is generating my sales? Are clicks on one ad converting to sales on another book? Also, since (like you) I runs ads on FB and other venues at the same time as AMS... it's hard to tell where sales are originating.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on April 12, 2018, 02:49:07 am
I was running AMS and FB, and I decided my sales were coming from FB. So, I paused all the AMS ads but my sales stopped. Okay, so then I enabled AMS again and sales returned to normal.

Then I paused FB and all my sales stopped.

There was a famous lord something-or-other who complained that 50% of his advertising was wasted money. He just didn't know which half it was.

The other thing with AMS - I'm pretty sure it doesn't include Createspace sales, because paperbacks of my MG title have been outselling the ebooks and the AMS totals don't reflect that. They're showing a 50% ROI on that particular title, but when I factor in paperbacks I'm well ahead.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jacob Stanley on April 12, 2018, 03:46:31 am
I was running AMS and FB, and I decided my sales were coming from FB. So, I paused all the AMS ads but my sales stopped. Okay, so then I enabled AMS again and sales returned to normal.

Then I paused FB and all my sales stopped.

There was a famous lord something-or-other who complained that 50% of his advertising was wasted money. He just didn't know which half it was.


This sounds so much like my last week. The most annoying thing is I can never tell when sales stop because of some screwup with my ads, or because it's just a crappy day to sell books. So I make adjustments to try and stabilize things when they're already fine and I should just leave them alone. Drives me nuts.

The other thing with AMS - I'm pretty sure it doesn't include Createspace sales, because paperbacks of my MG title have been outselling the ebooks and the AMS totals don't reflect that. They're showing a 50% ROI on that particular title, but when I factor in paperbacks I'm well ahead.

Actually I got a paperback sale yesterday, and weirdly it did show up on my AMS sales report for an ad that I stopped a few of days ago. Unlike most sales, it showed up on Amazon at roughly the same time it showed up on the report. I'm not sure how that works.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on April 12, 2018, 04:03:36 am
Okay, thanks for the data point re Createspace. I did notice their royalty page says they don't add the amount until 3 days after the book is printed, so I guess there could be a delay factor. Also, this was AWS UK, so I'm unsure how long data would take to flow back and forth.

As for going nuts ... there was one day where I thought I'd come up with a killer new blurb - at 4am - so I got up, turned on the PC, updated the product page and went back to sleep.
Morning rolls around and the freebie downloads for that book were zip. No idea whether it was a delay in reporting or not, but you can bet I switched the blurb back pretty quick.

PS I keep a file with all my blurbs in, by date. That way I can go back to one, if the latest and greatest revision is an absolute stinker.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 12, 2018, 06:37:56 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on April 12, 2018, 06:47:32 am
Okay, thanks for that. It's nice to have it confirmed. I probably haven't left it long enough for the figures to catch up.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 12, 2018, 11:31:09 am
I'm sure this has been asked before, but how do I keep track of the skewed AMS numbers when a paperback sells for $11.99 (and the ebook is selling for 99 cents) and it looks like I'm making a killing percentage-wise when I'm not?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 12, 2018, 12:05:27 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 12, 2018, 05:55:08 pm
That's part of the reason why what I do is wait until I'm billed periodically for my ads and then just compare AMS spend for the period to amount earned on the title in ebook and print sales and page reads for the same period. And in the meantime I shut down keywords for not getting enough clicks per impressions or too many clicks with no sales, but I try my best to ignore ACoS. For me that's about every two weeks, which is good enough. I can let an ad lose money for two weeks. Plus, the obviously bad ones are so obvious they just get shut down within about five days.

But my ACoS on my titles that skew heavily to paperback are also under about 30% and I get about a 43% payout on paperback sales. If I were getting a lower payout on paperbacks or my ACoS were higher, I'd probably get more serious about it and adapt the analysis I do for paid vs. KU to come up with a weighted average percent to use as a benchmark.

Thanks a lot, Cassie. My billing cycle is about every month, but now I can at least look at the 30% you mentioned if those books are getting paperback sales, which will at least give me a rudimentary benchmark. But why do you shut down keywords not getting enough clicks per impressions? What's wrong with getting the exposure?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 12, 2018, 06:43:46 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 13, 2018, 05:51:10 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 13, 2018, 09:24:23 am
It's because I'm working from the theory that AMS shuts down ads that it views as not effective. And I believe it bases that on clicks per impressions across the ad as well as sales. So a keyword getting you a lot of impressions but no clicks is bringing down the entire ad.

Thanks Cassie. I tracked with that.


The other part of it is that if I have Keyword A that gets me 3 clicks per 1000 impressions and 1 buy per 10 clicks and Keyword B that gets me 1 click per 2500 impressions and 1 buy per 10 clicks, I'd rather AMS was displaying my ad on Keyword A instead of Keyword B. They might cost the same for a sale (10 clicks), but I'm going to get a sale a lot sooner with Keyword A. As long as you have some good keywords, better to focus the ads towards them IMO.

But not so sure about this. Yes, I understand about focusing on the good keywords. But in the example you gave with Keywords A & B, why would you have to choose one over the other? (Both keywords are getting impressions and clicks and sales, so Amazon isn't going to look at either as bringing down the ad.)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on April 13, 2018, 09:41:37 am
It's because I'm working from the theory that AMS shuts down ads that it views as not effective. And I believe it bases that on clicks per impressions across the ad as well as sales. So a keyword getting you a lot of impressions but no clicks is bringing down the entire ad.

The other part of it is that if I have Keyword A that gets me 3 clicks per 1000 impressions and 1 buy per 10 clicks and Keyword B that gets me 1 click per 2500 impressions and 1 buy per 10 clicks, I'd rather AMS was displaying my ad on Keyword A instead of Keyword B. They might cost the same for a sale (10 clicks), but I'm going to get a sale a lot sooner with Keyword A. As long as you have some good keywords, better to focus the ads towards them IMO.

I am not so sure. But I am one to stick with impressions if you can get them. Seems to be all I get anyway - no clicks.

I would think Amazon does not take clicks or not into account. They just place the ad - clicks or not. Sure we want clicks that lead to buys or borrows KU - I would think Amazon does not care - what happens-happens sort of thing.  To each their own reasoning though.

It could be the ad copy and cover does not entice - but you may get plenty of impressions - so you know the ad is working. It is just the competition is better. You appear in a carousel of near 100 and you don't stand out. 

No impressions means you have a bad keyword - or - you are outbid. Likely a bad keyword. 

Plus too, I have zero reviews which spells rank-new-book and/or author. These get passed over quickly I think.  People look for what appears, at-a-glance, what they could know would be good. More reviews = more interest.  Seems KU folks are getting more discerning  - why waste your time on a new unknown book even if it is a free borrow for KU readers. There are so many now, why spend the time? I can get free books by the ton and I am not even KU (I am prime though).

So I suggest if you are getting impressions stick with it.  Maybe start a new ad copy, or change the cover. Do something after a bit. Turning off keywords that bring impressions I would not do now I think.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 13, 2018, 11:52:31 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 13, 2018, 12:07:32 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on April 13, 2018, 02:58:56 pm
If you read through the two main AMS threads on here you'll see a lot of discussion about ads that stop delivering. They get a lot of impressions but not enough clicks or sales and eventually they just stop running altogether. And I do know for a fact that AMS will shut down an ad that's getting too many impressions without clicks, because they did it to one of my early ads. (It was a 1 click to 18,000 impressions ratio on that one.)

Also, if I have keywords that generate sales for me, why would I want to keep a keyword running that doesn't? It doesn't make sense for me to do that. Lots of impressions with few clicks and no sales means poor targeting in my experience. I'm not reaching my potential audience if no one is even willing to click through and see what my book is about. (I had this with my fantasy series when I targeted Harry Potter. Lots of impressions, very few clicks, no sales. I learned it was much better for me to target Sarah J. Maas.)

I'm not so sure reviews are that important. I have a non-fiction title that's done very well in AMS. When I first started running that title it had no reviews and it didn't get its first review for three months and yet AMS drove consistent sales to that book for that entire period. And you'd think with non-fiction the quality might be an even bigger factor because you want to make sure the person knows what they're talking about. And maybe the book sold better after getting a review or two, but AMS still drove sales even without the reviews. (Especially with SP ads where the ad shows in search results, I think it's less of an issue.)

Obviously, the stronger the book overall with respect to cover, ad copy, title, blurb, reviews, and competitive pricing the better it'll do in general and with AMS. But my goal with running AMS is to generate sales. So if I'm not getting sales from my ads then I know I need to fix one of the items in that list or I need to better target my ad.

Thanks Cassie. I am not near a 3 month on ads for the book - only a month out really into the ad.  It is fiction and a short read. But you can't tell that from the ad - you have to click. I really think reviews help but only as a visual element for a buyer or KU. 

There is a strange mix of things that impact the buyer or download. 

As for keywords shutting down on you --- if you say so.  Seems Amazon is not holding up its end of the deal if your bid is high and you win the bid. So AMS is nixing your bid for a more likely sell over your ad it seems - if that is what they are doing.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on April 13, 2018, 04:23:13 pm
This is all based on my personal theory of how these things work, which could be wrong...

This is how I think of it. Say I have a budget of $5 a day for an ad. Every time Amazon displays my ad it has to reserve an estimated amount I might pay for a click against my budget. For example, if I might pay 50 cents on average for a click (just an easy number to work with) then that means within my budget I can have ten clicks per day. So Amazon isn't going to show that ad to a million people at once. It could show it to 10,000 people at once, perhaps, but it's not an unlimited number of people who will see that ad at any given time because of my budget constraints. There has to be some sort of optimization formula at play behind the scenes that works with average click rates and bids and budgets to make sure an ad doesn't drastically overspend its budget at any given time.

Which to my thinking means there are only so many slots for displaying that ad at any given time. And I'd far rather that Amazon displayed my ad on a keyword that takes 1/10 the number of impressions to get a sale, because I'll get that sale faster and maybe some organic visibility that will drive more sales. Plus, I won't have the slower keyword using up one of my potential slots that could be going to the faster keyword.

Obviously, there's some balancing you do. I don't just go with the absolute best keywords. But I do try to use my bidding to drive Amazon to focus on my  higher-performing keywords and I will also shut down those keywords that are taking too much "attention" and not delivering sales.

Interesting take. You are targeting and trying to out-guess an algo. 

But I would think the time frame of the algo, as it spins its life, would be seconds at the largest, while your attempts could take days to figure out an attack. An algo would determine if an ad failed and spin the next as quick as it could place it. True, there is a limit to how many it would determine to place not to bust the budget.

So if this is true, bump the budget and lower the bid and watch the effect? Do impressions increase?

edit : so you are trying to find that sweet spot where AMS is hunting placement for what you want. Give AMS a chance to spend your budget by finding the right people.  Make it worth their while maybe?  Does an algo have a worthwhile-level it hunts for?  :D

You seem to sort of suggest that.  Thanks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on April 14, 2018, 09:31:27 am
Seems Amazon is not holding up its end of the deal if your bid is high and you win the bid. So AMS is nixing your bid for a more likely sell over your ad it seems - if that is what they are doing.

From what I've determined are the best minds here, Amazon's main 'deal' is not with the self-pubbing AMS advertiser. It's with their browsing customer. If you're getting impressions but not interesting the buyers as evidenced by clicks and, ultimately, sales, you're wasting Amazon's shoppers' time, for which they will rightfully put an ad to sleep. An AMS rep was quoted way back on one of these threads confirming that your success is determined by a combination of bid amount AND click through rate. That's the real deal. They don't just sell advertising real estate to the highest bidder if their shoppers aren't interested in and buying that bidder's products over time. And he doesn't NEED to be the highest bidder if the algo thinks his keywords are generally more relevant to sales than higher rollers'.

Granted, the robot's decisions can seem dysfunctional and enormously capricious (even more so if you're an Advantage Central member with access to matched search terms on all keywords with clicks). Keywords that you think are sure-fire winners will be subject to insane matches to search terms. But since we can't argue with an unthinking machine, and we know it reacts badly to words that perform badly once given their dubious chance-- to the point of punishing the ad in general, what is there to do but kill and/or replace our under-performing keyword-darlings?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 14, 2018, 01:54:01 pm
This is all based on my personal theory of how these things work, which could be wrong...

This is how I think of it. Say I have a budget of $5 a day for an ad. Every time Amazon displays my ad it has to reserve an estimated amount I might pay for a click against my budget. For example, if I might pay 50 cents on average for a click (just an easy number to work with) then that means within my budget I can have ten clicks per day. So Amazon isn't going to show that ad to a million people at once. It could show it to 10,000 people at once, perhaps, but it's not an unlimited number of people who will see that ad at any given time because of my budget constraints. There has to be some sort of optimization formula at play behind the scenes that works with average click rates and bids and budgets to make sure an ad doesn't drastically overspend its budget at any given time.

Which to my thinking means there are only so many slots for displaying that ad at any given time. And I'd far rather that Amazon displayed my ad on a keyword that takes 1/10 the number of impressions to get a sale, because I'll get that sale faster and maybe some organic visibility that will drive more sales. Plus, I won't have the slower keyword using up one of my potential slots that could be going to the faster keyword.

Obviously, there's some balancing you do. I don't just go with the absolute best keywords. But I do try to use my bidding to drive Amazon to focus on my  higher-performing keywords and I will also shut down those keywords that are taking too much "attention" and not delivering sales.


Thanks Cassie. I can see the logic to that.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 14, 2018, 02:03:13 pm
On one AMS book with a $1/day budget I was recently charged $2.69/day. On another with a $2/day budget I was charged $3.38/day. I wrote AMS and asked what was up. Here was the reply:

Quote
Your average daily budget is the amount you’re 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).

Daily budgets can be exceeded as a result of a rapid accumulation of clicks on a campaign as the campaign approaches the daily limit. During high traffic seasons, it's recommended that you adjust your daily budgets and cost-per-clicks (CPC) to accommodate increased traffic and avoid overages. If overages to a daily budget occur, you will be charged only the maximum budget of the day. The difference will not be charged.

I track with everything except:

Quote
If overages to a daily budget occur, you will be charged only the maximum budget of the day. The difference will not be charged.

Which contradicts what they said in the first paragraph.

Anybody know what's up with that?

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 14, 2018, 02:08:09 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on April 14, 2018, 03:53:08 pm
In their guidance on the site they do say that your daily budget is an average for the month which is in line with that first response. But when they bill you you'll see that there's a section of the bill that includes credits for overdelivery of your ad. I assume there's some threshhold they use. So if your budget is $1 and one day it's $1.10 they're not going to refund that. But if they miscalculate on your ad and have a $2.50 day, then they'd refund the difference on that one. My last bill I had two ads that spent about $80 each that had refunds of approximately $5 credited back to them but another that spent $180 that only had 20 cents credited back to it.

I tried an experiment : I raised the budget to $6/day yesterday from $1/day and left the bid at $0.25.  I now have 3x the impressions I had before accumulated over two days. So in one day I had tripled the impressions with the increased budget. And I have a click for $0.25.  No buy. 

With KU I guess you won't know till it is read (let me know if this is true). I had 60 impressions and now 180 (gain of 120 in one day over the 60 from previous two days and one click). "Time Travel" is the keyword that got it.  The ad copy says, "... FREE to Kindle Unlimited!" at the end too.

But anyway, I am right (or you are Cassie). AMS wants to spend your money as best a bot can. And it does seem budget constraints come into play. Too many keywords and a low budget chokes the bot. Give it a chance and it will hunt better for you I think.

2nd experiment : I shutdown all keywords but the one I had a hit on.  It only had 20 impressions and 1 click.  But it seems to be a high bid word - "Time Travel".  The other 160 impressions were just impressions.  From the past, the keywords were extremely high on impressions and no clicks (8000 impressions). So turn them off. They confuse the bot I think.

The premise here is concentrate the bid and budget to one word that I know works.  This may give the bot more ability to get more impressions and more of them to the front of the carousel.  The reader has no idea the bot is directing their attention and hope my book appears first or near the front on the carousel. So I may have to go to a bid of 35 cents.

The problem is ... the book is only 78 pages.  So I need conversion or my ROI is really going to suck.  I can add in my second book to the first and make it 200 pages and keep the price at 99 cents.  So I will get more money from KU than I would a sell. I write for KU, it is a hobby ...  ;)

But I bet it never reaches the budget - it is a tool to focus the bot. As a hobby I don't mind spending a few dollars a month if this can get traction.

If this works, I schedule a 5 day $0 promo, leave AMS like it is and hope for traction just using AMS as the promo tool and raise the bid to 35 cents too. 

If that works, I ram in the second book as fast as I can in a month into the first.  2nd edition and notify previous readers if I can through Amazon.

The idea : spend a little money for exposure and traction.

Anyone see any flaws?  I would be interested to know your thoughts.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on April 15, 2018, 06:31:52 am
Granted, the robot's decisions can seem dysfunctional and enormously capricious (even more so if you're an Advantage Central member with access to matched search terms on all keywords with clicks). Keywords that you think are sure-fire winners will be subject to insane matches to search terms. But since we can't argue with an unthinking machine, and we know it reacts badly to words that perform badly once given their dubious chance-- to the point of punishing the ad in general, what is there to do but kill and/or replace our under-performing keyword-darlings?

"Punishing the ad in general" implies that you think AMS evaluates the overall performance of a campaign - not just the individual performances of its component keywords.

I don't see how this would work.  Is it not the individual keywords + ad copy + bid + history that AMS evaluates?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 15, 2018, 10:50:48 am
In their guidance on the site they do say that your daily budget is an average for the month which is in line with that first response. But when they bill you you'll see that there's a section of the bill that includes credits for overdelivery of your ad. I assume there's some threshhold they use. So if your budget is $1 and one day it's $1.10 they're not going to refund that. But if they miscalculate on your ad and have a $2.50 day, then they'd refund the difference on that one. My last bill I had two ads that spent about $80 each that had refunds of approximately $5 credited back to them but another that spent $180 that only had 20 cents credited back to it.

Thanks Cassie. I don't know though. Like I said in the previous post I was charged $2.69 for a $1 dollar limit and I've had a lot of those types of over-charges and I've been doing this for over a year and I've never received a refund of any amount.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 15, 2018, 10:54:28 am
Is increasing a bid a Catch-22? You maybe get a sale on a keyword whose ACPC is only .08. Great, since it's costing me so little I up my bid. Then the ACPC jumps right up too. If I keep increasing the bid, the ACPC is suddenly .38. My spend is rapidly accumulating and the sales aren't keeping pace. My great opportunity is now a money drain.

What's a sane way to increase bids?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on April 15, 2018, 12:38:19 pm
"Punishing the ad in general" implies that you think AMS evaluates the overall performance of a campaign - not just the individual performances of its component keywords.

I don't see how this would work.  Is it not the individual keywords + ad copy + bid + history that AMS evaluates?
AMS shutting down impressions on campaigns based on overall performance is not something I've experienced myself yet, because I just recently got my feet wet and then paused my ads which had low CTRs before this might have happened. I was going from what I thought I'd often heard here, most recently Cassie's Reply #701:

If you read through the two main AMS threads on here you'll see a lot of discussion about ads that stop delivering. They get a lot of impressions but not enough clicks or sales and eventually they just stop running altogether. And I do know for a fact that AMS will shut down an ad that's getting too many impressions without clicks, because they did it to one of my early ads. (It was a 1 click to 18,000 impressions ratio on that one.)

A couple of questions on your four-part equation, individual keywords + ad copy + bid + history: Does Amazon actually judge our ad copy other than to initially approve or reject it? And when you say history, are you referring to past CTR and sales?

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on April 15, 2018, 02:31:33 pm
Is increasing a bid a Catch-22? You maybe get a sale on a keyword whose ACPC is only .08. Great, since it's costing me so little I up my bid. Then the ACPC jumps right up too. If I keep increasing the bid, the ACPC is suddenly .38. My spend is rapidly accumulating and the sales aren't keeping pace. My great opportunity is now a money drain.

What's a sane way to increase bids?

There's not a sane way.  Especially if the book is smallish. A KU borrow for me gains me 35 cents on pages read. A click costs me 25 cents.  I will run into a negative ROI in two clicks with no buy or borrow. Book is 99 cents - so a buy is 35 cents to me.  But the keyword that gets clicks seems to have a really high bid of 25 cents a click just to be there.

The only solution is to increase the book size and price, which I can do easily - I have the second smallish book almost done - result is the book will be 3 times its size now. Really it is one book anyway; it will be about 250 pages.  Get some ROI wiggle room and set the price at $2.99.

Plus to make matters worse, if you want to be on the front of the carousel, the bid has to be higher I bet to outbid others for that spot. 

So, the best I can tell ... this is all a hobby just to get read.  For most people at KBoards that seems to me to be the case.  If your spend is $1 a day but you allow for $6 (to entice the AMS bot), you spend $30 a month to have a few people read your book (if that many). 

That is a hobby folks, spend a little money to have some fun, if that gives you a thrill and some pleasure to do just that. Big deal on ROI if you can live with the cost.

That may be the only way to keep it sane in the beginning.

Down the road if you can rank into the top 100 the tide may turn.  Plus if you have some follow on books too, this may help some.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on April 15, 2018, 03:09:10 pm
AMS shutting down impressions on campaigns based on overall performance is not something I've experienced myself yet, because I just recently got my feet wet and then paused my ads which had low CTRs before this might have happened. I was going from what I thought I'd often heard here, most recently Cassie's Reply #701:

A couple of questions on your four-part equation, individual keywords + ad copy + bid + history: Does Amazon actually judge our ad copy other than to initially approve or reject it? And when you say history, are you referring to past CTR and sales?

Yeah. Me too. 

It would be odd to me to think the AMS bot has accumulative data slots to tally and collect to determine that an ad should be shut down for each and every ad the turns on and off and changes for each keyword.  That's a lot of data to collect and spin off of behind the scenes. 

It could be there is some herd effect going on. After awhile the keywords that worked in the past naturally become less effective - readers see the same books appearing and they migrate to a different path if they don't pick any books.

AMS really acts like a "Carnival Barker" trying to get someone's attention.  But the keywords should start working again after some time - days - weeks - whatever.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on April 15, 2018, 07:29:57 pm
AMS shutting down impressions on campaigns based on overall performance is not something I've experienced myself yet, because I just recently got my feet wet and then paused my ads which had low CTRs before this might have happened. I was going from what I thought I'd often heard here, most recently Cassie's Reply #701:

A couple of questions on your four-part equation, individual keywords + ad copy + bid + history: Does Amazon actually judge our ad copy other than to initially approve or reject it? And when you say history, are you referring to past CTR and sales?

1.  If it is the case that AMS evaluates a campaign as a whole, then it would make sense for us to remove all non-performing keywords, leaving only the high performers.  That would greatly improve the performance of the ad as a whole and produce better results.  I just don't see it working that way.  I think it's down to the individual keywords and their associated components (ad copy + bid + history) being evaluated irrespective of the performance of the other keywords in the ad they happen to share and the overall performance of the ad in which they sit.

I would like to be wrong about this.

2.  I believe ad copy is where 'relevance' comes in.  It is certainly judged for relevance when being approved, but I would think its relevance would continue to be evaluated as time progresses.  But evaluated per associated keyword, not evaluated per ad overall.

3.  Yes, 'history' being past CTR and sales.

That said, I'm no less in the dark than most here.  My assumptions may all be wrong.  However, somebody, somewhere, does know exactly how the AMS algorithms work.

But, so far, they're not talking.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 16, 2018, 10:05:16 am
There's not a sane way.  Especially if the book is smallish. A KU borrow for me gains me 35 cents on pages read. A click costs me 25 cents.  I will run into a negative ROI in two clicks with no buy or borrow. Book is 99 cents - so a buy is 35 cents to me.  But the keyword that gets clicks seems to have a really high bid of 25 cents a click just to be there.

The only solution is to increase the book size and price, which I can do easily - I have the second smallish book almost done - result is the book will be 3 times its size now. Really it is one book anyway; it will be about 250 pages.  Get some ROI wiggle room and set the price at $2.99.

Plus to make matters worse, if you want to be on the front of the carousel, the bid has to be higher I bet to outbid others for that spot. 

So, the best I can tell ... this is all a hobby just to get read.  For most people at KBoards that seems to me to be the case.  If your spend is $1 a day but you allow for $6 (to entice the AMS bot), you spend $30 a month to have a few people read your book (if that many). 

That is a hobby folks, spend a little money to have some fun, if that gives you a thrill and some pleasure to do just that. Big deal on ROI if you can live with the cost.

That may be the only way to keep it sane in the beginning.

Down the road if you can rank into the top 100 the tide may turn.  Plus if you have some follow on books too, this may help some.

Thanks Max. Yeah, definitely a hobby for me at this point. Although some people invest big-time in it. And yeah, the 99 cents thing is just about impossible to even break even.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 16, 2018, 10:19:06 am
Trying to figure this out.

4/15/18 (https://s14.postimg.cc/v6h1k7ukx/Selection_285.png)


4/16/18 (https://s14.postimg.cc/llxexd7tt/Selection_286.png)

So 4/15/18 and before I was getting an average cost of .14/click. So I raised my bid and then my very next click cost me .72? Wow. Kind of surprised. Sure, I moved up in the carousel but (with all due respect to the author) this author was hardly Stephen King.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 16, 2018, 10:22:34 am
So it seems to me, if you're content to be on the back pages you can have a maintain a modest bid, but if you increase your bid enough to move up to the front page, you're likely to get hit with a big cost for a click. (Even with smallish authors.) Would this be accurate?

And yet, sometimes, even with a high bid, the ACPC stays the same (with more clicks).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on April 16, 2018, 12:43:11 pm
2.  I believe ad copy is where 'relevance' comes in.  It is certainly judged for relevance when being approved, but I would think its relevance would continue to be evaluated as time progresses.  But evaluated per associated keyword, not evaluated per ad overall.
I spoke with a KDP rep today who said that the auction algorithm does not consider the ad copy. If the ad copy is found to be compliant with the Book Ads Creative-acceptance Policy (a process that I think is about advertising rules, not relevance), and the ad is approved, then the individual keyword impressions are determined by keyword relevance to searches, bid price, CTR history (if there's a history), etc. Naturally, the ad copy always pays a huge part in every keyword's click-through rates. If shoppers aren't intrigued by an ad, they don't click, and the CTR falls. But the AMS algorithm doesn't directly look at the ad copy to match a search and provide a sponsored impression, according to this rep and my earlier suspicions.
However, somebody, somewhere, does know exactly how the AMS algorithms work.
But, so far, they're not talking.
You're more confident than I am that such a somebody exists :-). The more I think I've learned about how the reactive (not thinking) robot operates, the harder it is to comprehensively retain and explain. And I know next to nothing, compared to what that somebody would have learned. There are probably many more than three or four factors that the robot is looking at to make the most profitable choice (For Amazon) between competing bidders. Other factors might include sales rank, trending, and sale price, just off the top of my head. To make us dreamers fully aware of all the nuances involved in the algo's choices might be like a casino teaching blackjack players how to count cards. Not a wise investment of the house's energies.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on April 16, 2018, 01:00:25 pm
Cassie, I have a couple questions regarding how you pause keywords that don't fulfill your desired minimums of 1 to 2 clicks per thousand impressions and one or more sales per every ten clicks:

1. Do you pause a click-less keyword as soon as it reaches a thousand impressions, or do you give the word a few thousands to show an average? If the latter, at how many thousands do you usually judge?

2. Similarly, do you pause a no-sale keyword at the 10-click event? If otherwise, how many clicks do you allow to determine a more-averaged sales-to-click ratio?

Bonus question to you or others: Can you give a no-click keyword all the time it needs to get a thousand impressions? How long is too long with slow-to-show words that might have promise over time?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on April 16, 2018, 01:01:00 pm
So it seems to me, if you're content to be on the back pages you can have a maintain a modest bid, but if you increase your bid enough to move up to the front page, you're likely to get hit with a big cost for a click. (Even with smallish authors.) Would this be accurate?

And yet, sometimes, even with a high bid, the ACPC stays the same (with more clicks).

It seems so to me too Greg. Depends on what the algo bot sees that it can do to place the ad - bid of 75 cents can turn up costing only 14 cents too CPC but likely 75 cents as you are bidding to be first on the carousel it seems to me at 75 cent bid. Depends on other bidders and the key word.

Up front on the carousel is going to cost you. You are likely to get more clicks too I suspect. You have the first, "Wow! Let's see what this is about."  And they move on likely leaving you with the bill. 

So for a new author like me and not so many other works, you are a hobbyist. This is going to cost you to get read. Really it is not a lot of money. But KU book coffers are full I suspect and they are super picky it seems.

So if your work is not Hemmingway or King - stay with 15 cent top bid and appear on the back of the carousel and your costs are just hobby costs it seems to me. You may never hit a $6 a day budget at 15 cent bid.  I bet even at 75 cents you won't either - depends on the number of keywords and if they all have that high bid. But you may feel a lot more pain $ wise if you have a high bid and budget and lots of keywords that get impressions. Readers can click you to death and say, "Nah," as the look it over.

If you write a good story, it seems you need to give it a lot of time, a lot more than I imagined when I tried this 8 years ago. The mass of books is the problem for those just now getting into the game (hobby). Unreal now it seems to me.

So give it time and a fair bid and budget I can live with. Flesh out the book to 250 pages from 78 and get some AMS wiggle room. But after awhile, even with a fair number of clicks, and a few buys or borrows, I drop this hobby. It was fun, but not worth the money and time I am putting into it. I have as much fun reading and leaving reviews.  I pick up plenty of free books, more than I can read, and I am not even KU. 

If you like reading and commenting on the book, Amazon has a ton of free stuff.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on April 16, 2018, 01:23:10 pm
I spoke with a KDP rep today who said that the auction algorithm does not consider the ad copy. If the ad copy is found to be compliant with the Book Ads Creative-acceptance Policy (a process that I think is about advertising rules, not relevance), and the ad is approved, then the individual keyword impressions are determined by keyword relevance to searches, bid price, CTR history (if there's a history), etc. Naturally, the ad copy always pays a huge part in every keyword's click-through rates. If shoppers aren't intrigued by an ad, they don't click, and the CTR falls. But the AMS algorithm doesn't directly look at the ad copy to match a search and provide a sponsored impression, according to this rep and my earlier suspicions.You're more confident than I am that such a somebody exists :-). The more I think I've learned about how the reactive (not thinking) robot operates, the harder it is to comprehensively retain and explain. And I know next to nothing, compared to what that somebody would have learned. There are probably many more than three or four factors that the robot is looking at to make the most profitable choice (For Amazon) between competing bidders. Other factors might include sales rank, trending, and sale price, just off the top of my head. To make us dreamers fully aware of all the nuances involved in the algo's choices might be like a casino teaching blackjack players how to count cards. Not a wise investment of the house's energies.

I don't think this is like gambling.  But as you point out, let's say push-come- to-shove you have a bid equal to another ad, algo bot I bet does look at the ASIN rank, history, reviews, etc (info that is already available to the bot and in the system) and bumps you or the other deeper into the carousel.

The best answer you will get from Zon is it is a proprietary algo. But we know it does and may have to do some considering beyond what we initially think on the surface. I just don't think it keeps a history on the ads performance WRT keywords (that is a lot of frivolous and erratic data to me). But it may rank the bid differently than what we hope against other close bids to ours and bump the other or ours further down the carousel so to speak.

There is a lot of info the bot does have access to, to make a determination, and you brought it up. And it will always likely default to what is likely to make Zon money --- if there is a choice of choices that appear equal at first glance to the algo bot.

If it can place your ad, I think it always will.  That is the AMS promise sort of, in a way, ... to you, ... maybe ...  :)

I've turned my ad off for now. I will flesh out the book to 250 pages for more wiggle room to mess with AMS better.

I will know soon enough if I am spinning my wheels. 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 16, 2018, 02:51:59 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BigSlimJim on April 16, 2018, 07:26:36 pm
Thanks a heap for that help. I admire your discipline regarding fluke-sales keywords. Now its on to acquiring as well as admiring it.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on April 16, 2018, 08:36:13 pm
Quote
I tend to focus in on the 20-30 keywords that are generating sales for me and the 10-15 that are sucking up impressions

Is there a general consensus, or evidence, that keywords with many impressions, but no clicks, "suck up" impressions that would otherwise go to other keywords within a particular ad?

Because, if it is the case, then we should be removing those keywords.  If it is not the case, then we might as well just leave them.

I'd really like to know.

Philip

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 16, 2018, 08:36:44 pm
Can I up or lower an ad's daily spend limit whenever I want? I mean, just for the sake of illustration: can I up a limit and then ten minutes later lower it back down? That sort of thing. Are there any quantitative time limits? Are there any downsides to frequent changes?

P.S. Still wondering about my Reply #79 too if anybody gets a chance.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jacob Stanley on April 16, 2018, 09:21:11 pm
That's a great question, but how would we discover the answer? I just paused a bunch more keywords that had a few thousand impressions in the past two weeks and under 10 clicks and no sales. I really don't know how much time to give a keyword, but I suspect that waiting another two weeks wouldn't have gotten me a sale on any of them. That's the problem with the "collect a thousand 'out there' keywords" paradigm, IMO. You can waste a lot of time and spend a lot of cash on keywords that aren't closely targeted to your book and so never produce a sale. A hundred keywords that cost only 50 cents each before you pause or kill them still add up to $50. One of the insidious issues with AMS ads is how much they can cost through the sheer preponderance of nonproducing keywords.

My latest ads are down to 115 known sellers,. They move less volume but are much more profitable. Still, if I hadn't done a long term fishing expedition with  500+ keywords, I would never have found a lot of these. My books are slow sellers so it took a long time to gather enough data to be useful. At one point I had 700+ keywords and was bleeding money like crazy.

I'll probably start an experimental ad soon for testing out small numbers of new keywords.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 17, 2018, 11:58:02 am
Yes, you can. But don't try it on a BB CPC ad. BB wouldn't let me reduce the daily budget at all, or the keyword bids.

Thanks Lily
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 17, 2018, 12:02:12 pm
Still wondering about this one. Is this sort of thing an aberration or does it happen regularly? (It doesn't seem to happen that much on most of my other keywords but this just kind of freaked me out.)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/n9xhet9b5/Selection_294.png)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 17, 2018, 12:58:27 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 17, 2018, 01:08:58 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on April 18, 2018, 08:59:24 am
There are definitely high bidders and low bidders. One instance of proof was when my poor keyboarding led me to create a bid of $27.00 instead of $0.27...I noticed it simply when I saw an accepted bid of over $2.50.... Similar instsnces have occurred several times. I have started experimenting with duplicate keywords at differing price band in seperate campaigns.

Impression volume is related to system capacity to use the keywords and to relevancy of keywords at any time and changes rapidly. When the Fire and Fury (Trump expose book) was released early I had 3 keywords in 3 campaigns each that cumulatively hit well over 5 million impressions in 4 days. prior to that  they were running just hundreds per day.  CTR rates were quite low and winning bids were in both lower and upper tier for me, but Amazon probably had a tremendous amount of space to sell.

I am doing a lot of keyword review right now and observe (not empirically proven) that many cumulative CPC tend to center around half the bid rate. If this is true it becomes dangerous as we psychologically feel we can raise bids thinking they won't be accepted. Comments anyone/
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on April 18, 2018, 09:37:34 am
Now that I have a list of over 100 'effective' keywords, I'm wondering if I should put them all in one ad or split them between, say, three ads.

Would it make any difference?

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 18, 2018, 09:54:30 am
I laid out my reasoning in post 700. Some may agree, some may not. That's the interesting thing with AMS. A lot of different approaches and strategies seem to work for different people. What I know is that I'm still generally pleased with the results I'm seeing, so as long as that's the case I'll keep taking the approach I have which includes pausing keywords that aren't getting clicks, keywords that don't get enough clicks per impression, and keywords that get clicks but don't convert to sales.

Thanks Cassie. Do you have quantitative ballpark benchmarks for what I'm calling "Cassie's Three Rules"?

1) Pause keywords not getting enough clicks (how many is not enough clicks over what length of time?)

2) Pause keywords that don't get enough clicks per impression (Let's use 1000 as the base for impressions. So how many clicks is not enough for 1,000 impressions?)

3) Pause keywords that get clicks but don't convert to sales. (How many sale-less clicks before bailing?)

I'm sure there are variables that come in to play via genre, advertising, etc but ballpark benchmarks (no matter how fuzzy) would be good.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 18, 2018, 10:19:43 am
That's in line with a theory I have that there are bands of people bidding at different levels. You'll see here that a lot of people take a low-bid strategy (15 cents or less). I tend to take a higher-bid strategy. But when I pay for a click I'm not paying 16 cents. I'm paying more than that, so who I'm up against is not the low-bid crowd.

So when you upped your bids you probably moved into a new "bidding band" (for lack of another word) and now you're competing against people who bid in the 70 cent range. All it takes is you and one other person bidding that high and hitting at the same time to end up paying that kind of bid. But like LilyBLily said earlier, I tend to end up paying about half what I bid in general, so unless it's a highly competitive word you shouldn't see this most of the time. I think AMS makes some effort to spread bidders out across searches that are occurring at the same time and so the 1 cent higher than the next highest bid that you get charged isn't going to usually be right at what you bid.

But if it continues you may want to try dropping your bid just a bit to something like 70 cents and see if that changes things.

Also, I can confirm that you can change your budget whenever. At least I've never run into an issue. I lower mine back to $5 most mornings and then adjust them upward throughout the day, sometimes three or four times. The only issue I could see would be if you dropped a budget when you'd already exceeded that level and then I assume the ad would convert to over budget status.

Thanks Cassie. Great explanation. And thanks for reinforcing the ability to change the budget. And yeah, like you, to my experience most of the CPCs stay relatively constant. In the example I gave too there were only 3 clicks so the average was easily skewed. I ended up reducing all my bids in a panic but now I'll go back and raise them. (Except not that one!)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on April 18, 2018, 11:03:07 am
Thanks Cassie. Do you have quantitative ballpark benchmarks for what I'm calling "Cassie's Three Rules"?

1) Pause keywords not getting enough clicks (how many is not enough clicks over what length of time?)

2) Pause keywords that don't get enough clicks per impression (Let's use 1000 as the base for impressions. So how many clicks is not enough for 1,000 impressions?)

3) Pause keywords that get clicks but don't convert to sales. (How many sale-less clicks before bailing?)

I'm sure there are variables that come in to play via genre, advertising, etc but ballpark benchmarks (no matter how fuzzy) would be good.

Hopefully, Cassie will answer with her ballpark benchmarks.  For me:

I pause keywords that have 2,000+ impressions with no clicks.

I pause keywords that have 20+ clicks with no sales.

I pause ads that have gone 4+ days without a click (and extract and recycle any of the keywords from within that ad that have produced sales in the past - before the ad stopped working).

However, I'm not completely strict about those benchmarks and do make some decisions based on 'gut feelings' about certain keywords.  This stuff may be more art than science.


Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 18, 2018, 11:20:25 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 19, 2018, 09:37:50 am
Hopefully, Cassie will answer with her ballpark benchmarks.  For me:

I pause keywords that have 2,000+ impressions with no clicks.

I pause keywords that have 20+ clicks with no sales.

I pause ads that have gone 4+ days without a click (and extract and recycle any of the keywords from within that ad that have produced sales in the past - before the ad stopped working).

However, I'm not completely strict about those benchmarks and do make some decisions based on 'gut feelings' about certain keywords.  This stuff may be more art than science.


Philip

Thanks Philip. That's very helpful.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 19, 2018, 09:38:37 am
Here's what I said in AMS Ads for Authors. On a day-to-day basis I'm a little more loose with the rules than this, but I think it's still a good starting point and when I reviewed the book at the time I launched the video course I decided to leave it unchanged:
What I do:
1.   I pause any keyword that has 10,000 impressions or more and no sales.
2.   I also pause any keyword that has 10 or more clicks and no sales.
a.   If the book is in KU and I can see that the author's books are in my also-boughts, which indicates potential KU borrows, I won't pause the keyword.
3.   I pause any keyword that has more than 2,000 impressions and no clicks.
4.   I pause any keyword where the number of clicks per 1,000 impressions is over 10 and I've spent at least $1.00 and there are no sales and the author is not in my also-boughts.
b.   Normally, I expect to see around 1 click per 1,000 impressions and maybe 1 per 500 impressions. Lately, though, I seem to be seeing more clicks per 1,000 impressions than before, but if I'm not seeing a corresponding increase in sales I pause the keyword.
5.   If I have a keyword that's showing a 0 for number of impressions and I think it's a good keyword for my book, then I will try raising the bid on the keyword to see if I can get impressions. Same with a keyword showing a - instead of a zero although in that case Amazon may have decided the keyword isn't relevant for my book so I don't worry about those as much.
6.   I pause any keyword where my spend on it is more than what I can earn on one sale of the book and the author isn't in my also-boughts.

Thanks a lot, Cassie. That's great.

I just went through an ad campaign and tracked with everything but #6.(I get the also-boughts part.)  Did you mean "I pause any keyword where my ACPC is more than what I can earn on one sale of the book..." ? The "spend" didn't make sense. If you have a lot of sales on a keyword the spend could be huge.

And do you do anything about the about the ACoS percentage? Any quantitative guidelines on that?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 19, 2018, 11:00:36 am
Thanks a lot, Cassie. That's great.

I just went through an ad campaign and tracked with everything but #6.(I get the also-boughts part.)  Did you mean "I pause any keyword where my ACPC is more than what I can earn on one sale of the book..." ? The "spend" didn't make sense. If you have a lot of sales on a keyword the spend could be huge.

And do you do anything about the about the ACoS percentage? Any quantitative guidelines on that?

Good catch. That should be amended to say when there is no sale on that keyword. So if I've already spent more than I'll make from a sale, even if none of the other shutdown criteria have been met yet, I shut that keyword down.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rcullison on April 19, 2018, 12:05:29 pm
Is this the right thread to ask for newbie help?

I just started my first AMS campaign and set up 37 keywords, but then I found this thread. People are talking about having hundreds of keywords, so I feel like I'm missing an important piece of knowledge.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on April 19, 2018, 01:08:36 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rcullison on April 19, 2018, 01:15:19 pm
Quote
are you getting good results with the number of keywords you're using?

Unknown. I probably posted too soon. It's literally only been active since this morning and shows a whopping 4 impressions. Looks like I'll need to wait a few days.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on April 20, 2018, 06:34:43 am
First:
Is this the right thread to ask for newbie help?

I just started my first AMS campaign and set up 37 keywords, but then I found this thread. People are talking about having hundreds of keywords, so I feel like I'm missing an important piece of knowledge.

I never thought I'd be able to get more than 50 keywords, but I kept adding words that were related to my book / genre, and even added words that relate to my target audience, and things that that audience might like.  For example, if you write crime thrillers, you might want to use "criminal minds" as a keyword.  Chances are, your audience and the audience for that show (or other shows/movies of similar genre) likely overlap.  Or, if you write sci-fi books, you can use "comic con" or "cosplay" or "geek" as keywords.  Get creative, cast a wide net.   ;)


Now, as to my own issue...
My biggest ad has been running for months.  THing is, it's reached a plateau and I'm treading water, having been at a break-even point for a month or two.  So while I'm not losing money (at the moment), I'm not really making any, either.  Should I continue the ad?  Pause it?  It seems to me that the jury is out on whether pausing and then unpausing ads works, or if, once paused, it would be better to simply copy the ad and start over.   :-\
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on April 20, 2018, 07:50:28 am
I just started my first AMS campaign and set up 37 keywords, but then I found this thread. People are talking about having hundreds of keywords, so I feel like I'm missing an important piece of knowledge.

In my opinion, you should always be expanding your keyword territory.

For example, I figured out a way to mine a group of keywords that no one is bidding on. It took some rudimentary programming skills to mine and massage them, but the result is a clean list of 11,000 keywords. And they're low-competition keywords.

I've been testing this list on one of my books, and it has delivered several hundreds of clicks in the last few weeks at $0.05 to $0.07. The ACoS on the campaigns - I had to split the list into 12 campaigns - is below 20%.

Here's my point...

If you do what everyone else is doing, you're going to face high bids. That's okay if you have hyper-targeted keywords, high-converting sales copy, and an airtight funnel (mailing list, multiple books, print + audio, etc.). But if you can find keywords that escape the notice of your competitors, you can get them for a song.



Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on April 20, 2018, 08:43:31 am
This is the "lady or tiger" question. I paused one that had been doing well for a long time, and it has been limping ever since I restarted it. Tweaking your keywords, adding new ones and pausing old ones, and changing the daily budget might get yours going with more energy. But there's no saying for sure. Cassie has suggested buying an ad outside AMS to goose sales so AMS will take notice that the book is selling and then start moving the AMS ad better. I'm finally trying that with BB CPC ads, but there's a learning curve there, of course.

Yeah, I regularly (every 3-4 days) check my keywords, and bump them up or down a penny or two depending on how effective they've been.  But I sort of feel that all that does is play yo-yo with the details.  Also I admit that I'm reluctant to raise the bids on my best-performing keywords too high ("too high" being a relative term, of course) since I'm afraid my spending will skyrocket, with no guarantee of corresponding sales.  Ah well, guess I should bite the bullet...  nothing in life is guaranteed.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rcullison on April 20, 2018, 09:04:58 am
In my opinion, you should always be expanding your keyword territory.

For example, I figured out a way to mine a group of keywords that no one is bidding on. It took some rudimentary programming skills to mine and massage them, but the result is a clean list of 11,000 keywords. And they're low-competition keywords.

I think this is what I'm missing. People mention continually adding keywords or having huge lists of keywords, but everyone is very cagey about what those keywords actually are, which is understandable given how this works.

My book is epic fantasy, so I put that in, of course, and fantasy, and fantasy and science fiction, and other stuff like that. I assume those are all very common ones and may not work well. Then I looked at other books in the same category and put all those authors in as keywords, plus the names of their series. I typed "fantasy" into the Amazon search and added one letter at a time and grabbed anything that looked relevant to my book. But now I'm at the limit of my keyword-savviness.

My book has no dragons in it, for example. I could use "fantasy without dragons" as a keyword (which I did, just to see what happens), but I don't know if anyone actually searches like that.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: munboy on April 20, 2018, 10:15:55 am
So, I've heard the hundreds of keywords advice several times before. The problem I run into is the fact that I can't think of that many. I use genre, tropes, similar books/authors, and different elements in the story like "magic" "dragons" "mutants"...that type of stuff. Then I hit a brick wall and only have less than a hundred.

What other types of keywords would I be using to fill out that many?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on April 20, 2018, 11:27:08 am
Good catch. That should be amended to say when there is no sale on that keyword. So if I've already spent more than I'll make from a sale, even if none of the other shutdown criteria have been met yet, I shut that keyword down.

I try to avoid the ACoS as much as possible because of all of the flaws it has. Within an ad, I do pay attention to ACoS but only as a relative measure. So if I have two keywords that are delivering sales for me and one shows an ACoS of 25% and one shows one of 10% I try to have a higher bid on the keyword with the lower ACoS.

In Excel for Self-Publishers I walk through a way to take the information they give you and gross it up for KU borrows and adjust for series sellthrough and the difference between list price and what you actually receive and then calculate an adjusted ACoS from that (which is way more than I can get into in a post here). I only go through all of that when I'm trying to launch a new big ad, but it does let me know an approximate breakeven ACoS for a series that I can use as a bit of a rule of thumb. So, for example, my romance series that has two titles and is in KU, I know that as long as my ad's ACoS is below 250% I'm very likely profitable. But with my fantasy series when it was in KU that number was more like 125% because of the ratio of buys to borrows and the list prices involved. It really is a case-by-case analysis.

Thanks a lot, Cassie. That's good to know that an ad could have a 250% ACoS and still be profitable. I'm not quite at the excel/analysis point but I'm convinced every little bit of quantitative information helps. Appreciate your help very much.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on April 20, 2018, 06:51:03 pm
I can't change the bids on any of my keywords. Is this happening to anyone else?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on April 20, 2018, 07:59:06 pm
So, I've heard the hundreds of keywords advice several times before. The problem I run into is the fact that I can't think of that many. I use genre, tropes, similar books/authors, and different elements in the story like "magic" "dragons" "mutants"...that type of stuff. Then I hit a brick wall and only have less than a hundred.

What other types of keywords would I be using to fill out that many?

As I mentioned earlier, I think about my target audience-- in my case, my book is a middle-grade adventure book.  So I look for all things that a 12-year-old girl or boy might be interested in.  Not just books /authors in a similar genre (Rick Riordan and the Percy Jackson series, for example), but also anything else that kids that age might be interested in:  movies, TV shows, games, etc.  Here's a partial list of some of my keywords-- probably not the most effective ones, but ones which give an idea of what kind of audience I'm trying to reach.

siblings
strong female
summer read
summer vacation
teen beach movie
vacation
vacation read
young jedi knights
boys adventure
action books
action books for boys
middle grade boys
mg boys
tween boys
junior high boys
lazy reader
star wars books
descendants junior novel
disney junior novel
star wars jedi academy
american revolutionary war
united states history
historical fiction us
middle grade
paperback
patriot
scholastic
scholastic books
adventure book
action
american patriot series
girl power



 
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: munboy on April 21, 2018, 05:20:55 am
As I mentioned earlier, I think about my target audience-- in my case, my book is a middle-grade adventure book.  So I look for all things that a 12-year-old girl or boy might be interested in.  Not just books /authors in a similar genre (Rick Riordan and the Percy Jackson series, for example), but also anything else that kids that age might be interested in:  movies, TV shows, games, etc.  Here's a partial list of some of my keywords-- probably not the most effective ones, but ones which give an idea of what kind of audience I'm trying to reach.

I've used yasiv.com, which is kind of like kdp rocket only free, and gives you book titles and authors. And I've done the Amazon search thing, where you start typing in the category or the book title and variations pop up on the screen. Use them all. But TBH, it's too much work. Initially, yes, you should use all kinds of keywords. A total of 100-200 is quite adequate. Then watch them. If they don't produce, pause the worst and try new ones. You do not need 100 active keywords. You only need a handful that reliably sell your book. But you won't find out what they are until you try a big batch, and you should always keep adding to them. 


Thanks so much! My latest book I'm pushing hard in AMS is a YA urban superhero book. Ready Player One provided a nice little spike when the movie came out, but oddly enough "manga" has provided the most sales overall. At first, it was getting a lot of clicks but not many buys and at one point I paused it, but then I second guessed myself and made it active again and it started generating sales. Glad I decided to play the long game with that keyword.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: WyandVoidbringer on April 21, 2018, 07:11:25 am
I've been really trying to figure out AMS of late, but I'm confused by one thing.

I can have one ad that's doing pretty good on impressions and clicks, but if I copy that ad and change one variable, like the ad text, to test a different approach, the impressions for that second ad never take off.

Why/how does AMS throttle impressions for ads? Is that something out of my control?

There's no way to test if a different ad will get clicks/sales if it's never presented to anyone.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rcullison on April 21, 2018, 12:30:36 pm
It's been 72 hours since I started my newborn baby campaign. I added 25 more keywords. I have 431 impressions, with one keyword accounting for 1/3 of that, and also my sole click. How long should I wait before I make changes? What changes would I even want to start making? All my bids are the default 25 cents (though my single click only cost me 13 cents).

I am strongly reminded of that feeling when you start a new job and you realize you have no idea what you're doing and you hope nobody notices, while also realizing it's normal.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: WyandVoidbringer on April 21, 2018, 12:32:31 pm
I am strongly reminded of that feeling when you start a new job and you realize you have no idea what you're doing and you hope nobody notices, while also realizing it's normal.

I love that feeling!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: brianna515 on April 22, 2018, 11:10:31 am
Hey everyone :)

Since we've been talking about keywords, I thought you might like this PDF I put together for my blog.

It lists ALL the methods I use to find categories. Would love to know what you think and/or welcome any suggestions for other methods :)

Here it is: https://authorstech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AMS-Keywords-Playbook-Final.pdf (https://authorstech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AMS-Keywords-Playbook-Final.pdf)

Thanks and ciao from Italy
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on April 22, 2018, 11:14:25 am
I put a 39 cent bid on Sean Penn and Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff (separate keywords for the author name and book title in the AMS ad for my third book, since it's a political novel like Penn's horrid new book. When I search for the book in Amazon and click on it, there are 15 pages of carousel under sponsored items, including what seems like a lot of unrelated books. Why don't I show up at all??
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Bob Stewart on April 22, 2018, 11:49:09 am
In my opinion, you should always be expanding your keyword territory.

For example, I figured out a way to mine a group of keywords that no one is bidding on. It took some rudimentary programming skills to mine and massage them, but the result is a clean list of 11,000 keywords. And they're low-competition keywords. ....

Anarchist,

Without giving away a family secret, can you offer some hints of how this was done? Did you set up a bot that requested a page and then looked to see if ads were on it?

Finding 11,000 is pretty impressive. Can you maybe give an idea of what sort of terms they are?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on May 04, 2018, 07:47:42 pm
My AMS stats have been steady. I haven't really had hardly any success except for when I first ran an ad for a new release. So the only thing that has been going up is the spend. But today on that same ad there were all kinds of sales missing. And the sales had been there for weeks. I know people can return books but don't they have a one week period only to so? Any idea what might have happened? Thanks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on May 04, 2018, 08:08:20 pm
My AMS stats have been steady. I haven't really had hardly any success except for when I first ran an ad for a new release. So the only thing that has been going up is the spend. But today on that same ad there were all kinds of sales missing. And the sales had been there for weeks. I know people can return books but don't they have a one week period only to so? Any idea what might have happened? Thanks.

I recently paused a long-running ad that had become more or less stagnant, and then restarted it, after less than a week.  So far, the performance of the now-active ad has been....  underwhelming.  If it was sluggish before, the ad is downright comatose now.   >:(
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 05, 2018, 06:13:22 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on May 05, 2018, 09:36:29 am
I had this happen on an ad. It was at $8,600 in estimated sales one day and $8,300 the next. But no returns either on the ebook or the paperback side, so I figured it was some sort of random adjustment to the AMS dashboard.

Back in the good old days of the Model T, Henry Ford paid his suppliers by simply weighing their invoices and making a guess at the amount he owed.  Apparently nobody complained; business was booming.  Do we have a similar situation here?  Or just an element of chaos?   ;D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on May 05, 2018, 10:14:15 am
I paused four of six AMS campaigns on Monday (April 30). On Tuesday the dashboard showed 26 new sales, many on keywords that received no new clicks over the past 24 hours, and on several that have shown no new clicks in over a week. Weird.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on May 05, 2018, 10:17:33 am
I recently paused a long-running ad that had become more or less stagnant, and then restarted it, after less than a week.  So far, the performance of the now-active ad has been....  underwhelming.  If it was sluggish before, the ad is downright comatose now.   >:(

Thanks Jena
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Gregg Bell on May 05, 2018, 10:25:24 am
I had this happen on an ad. It was at $8,600 in estimated sales one day and $8,300 the next. But no returns either on the ebook or the paperback side, so I figured it was some sort of random adjustment to the AMS dashboard.

Thanks Cassie. I checked my returns. For the book with the biggest loss, I've had no returns in this month and only one in last month. Even if the one return was a paperback I still lost sales. I could write AMS but since I'm doing so little sales, I'm figuring it's not worth the aggravation. I'll just write it off as a "random adjustment." Do random adjustments ever add sales? ;)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 05, 2018, 12:08:28 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on May 05, 2018, 12:12:04 pm
I watched a paperback sale disappear from one of my new AMS ads the other day. It was a 6.99 sale, easy to spot because my report-processing software showed -6.99 against that same ad the next day. That sale was still missing this morning, then appeared again this afternoon.

It's happened with smaller amounts too - maybe they have different servers or databases processing figures, and which figures you get depends which one is serving them up to your browser at the time?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on May 06, 2018, 11:15:20 am
My most recent novel came out on 5/1. That afternoon, I put up a SP ad with about 500 keywords, bids between 25-40 cents. I put up 2 more the next day, same bids, each another 500 keywords. Each ad was approved after 2 full days, which is longer than ever before but much, much worse than the long approval time, all 3 ads are completely dead, just dashes (not even 0's) where impressions and clicks should be. Amazon usually supports new books with at least a few days of excellent impressions, but I've never had a SP ad, let alone 3, show absolutely nothing. The first ad is now on its 3rd day, with no response at all. Has this happened to anybody else?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque on May 06, 2018, 11:26:44 am
My most recent novel came out on 5/1. That afternoon, I put up a SP ad with about 500 keywords, bids between 25-40 cents. I put up 2 more the next day, same bids, each another 500 keywords. Each ad was approved after 2 full days, which is longer than ever before but much, much worse than the long approval time, all 3 ads are completely dead, just dashes (not even 0's) where impressions and clicks should be. Amazon usually supports new books with at least a few days of excellent impressions, but I've never had a SP ad, let alone 3, show absolutely nothing. The first ad is now on its 3rd day, with no response at all. Has this happened to anybody else?
[/quote

You have to understand the algorithm, which works like this:

Round about the couldron go:
In the poisones entrails throw.
Toad,that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweated venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first in the charmed pot.
Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blindworm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing.
For charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and couldron bubble.

Scale of dragon,tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd in the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat; andslips of yew
silver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by the drab,-
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For ingrediants of our cauldron.
Double,double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

 ;D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 06, 2018, 12:05:40 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rikatz on May 06, 2018, 03:03:37 pm
Since they're not running, you have nothing to lose. Try pausing two of the ads and see if that gets the third one running. Or up your bids. If that doesn't work it sounds like AMS has been glitchy on new ads this week. Might try shutting those down and resubmitting.

Cassie, thanks. I had hoped that doing the second and third might be enough to get the first one running, but nope. I'll give it a day or two and wait to see what Amazon has to say. My bids are already pretty high (25-40 cents). I don't think that could be the reason that these ads are dead on arrival. Shutting them down and re-submitting is something that I had not thought of but I'll try it if I can't get them to run in another couple of days.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Accord64 on May 11, 2018, 04:28:37 am
It finally happened. Unless my math is wrong, or my regular Amazon dashboard is not recording recent sales, the cost of my AMS ads so far in May is greater than the income from sales.

Sorry to hear this. I pulled out of AMS a couple of months ago because I hit the same wall. I planned to test the AMS pool soon, but I keep hearing more and more of the same stories. I'm sure it's not the same for everyone, but it seems that AMS has dried up for too many. I'll keep my focus on other channels for now - at least until the almighty algos make a favorable shift.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 on May 11, 2018, 05:40:27 am
I've never made money with AMS ads, but fool that I am, I continue to use them. Even on days when I don't see sales, I often see two to four rank drops on Beyond the Forest, so I'm getting KU borrows, and readers typically work their way through the trilogy. Now I have book one out in a spinoff series, and I was hoping AMS might be useful for Wards and Wonders. Otherwise, I'm depending solely on follow-through reads. But alas, it's not looking good. At the moment, I have 11,609 impressions and 16 clicks but no sales. Any idea what I'm doing wrong?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 11, 2018, 06:55:21 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: It's A Mystery on May 11, 2018, 09:31:23 am
I think AMS results must be related to genre because my results don't seem to match anyone's in this thread. Then again, that doesn't make sense because as far as I can tell I'm in a competitive area (mystery).

Here are some of the ways my experience has differed...

1. I have never reached any of my daily limits or even been close to that. So now I set them all to $8 a day regardless
2. I have always had a very good ACOS (apart from 2 ads I cancelled), generally around 30% on all of my ads (and I'm in KU so page reads are on top of that)
3. I only bid low across the board and it seems to work

This is just using author names by the way.

I've also noticed that even if I add say ten ads that don't get any clicks, my sales rachet up a notch again regardless.

It's all slightly odd and mysterious, but I am mystified when I here of people spending thousands a day as I just don't see how that's possible!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on May 14, 2018, 01:49:25 pm
Well, after I paused my one ad that was performing decently and then restarted it again, the ad seems to be dying on the vine.  Guess I should pause it to put it out of my misery.

Maybe I should copy all the more successful keywords and launch another ad, to start fresh.    >:(
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 14, 2018, 02:05:35 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Kay7979 on May 14, 2018, 02:51:22 pm
The book's in KU and it's a fantasy title. So I wouldn't worry about no sales until about 25 clicks. But as LilyBLily says above, if you want a better click:buy ratio than that then look at possibly tightening your keywords.

25 clicks would cost about $8.25 on a book with a royalty of $2.70.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: "Serious" ... but not really on May 14, 2018, 07:24:40 pm
25 clicks would cost about $8.25 on a book with a royalty of $2.70.
Funny ... .  :P  new age math ... increase the bid ...  :D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 14, 2018, 07:38:40 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on May 22, 2018, 06:16:10 pm
Here’s the scoop on Amazon limiting us to 10 categories.

Providing you let Amazon handle everything, they’re happy.  If you sell via Kindle and/or CrateSpace no problem, you’ll get your 10 categories (maybe even more - one of my eBooks carries 13).  But, of course, expect the usual Amazon confusion and hassles along the way.

If you’re like me, and self-publish (and do your own printing, shipping, etc.) it’s a different story.  Basically, they want a bigger cut of the action.  Which is what I’ve suspected all along.

For me to get my 10 categories, I have to enroll in their “Advantage” program - where they get a 55% cut (but, they store my paperbacks in inventory and covering shipping).  They also charge me an Annual fee of $99.  It’s a sweet deal - for Amazon.

With my self-publishing set-up, Amazon gets a 36% cut, as detailed in the following paragraph (which I posted a few days ago):

“Amazon charges customers $13.48 for my Solar Wizard book (of which $3.99 is for postage) (my price is set at $6.39), gives me $8.67 - they’re left with $4.81 - a 35.7% cut (4.81 / 13.48) - which seems reasonable to me.  In short, if it were not for their postage charge of $3.99, which they factor into their pay-out equation, they would be sending me a lot less than $8.67.”

Why Amazon can’t be upfront about all this is upsetting.  Seller Support sends me a barrage of emails with B.S. about limiting categories to just one, and implying that they will “Auto-resolve” the category issue (whatever that means) if I don’t respond within 48 hours.

Some way to run a business!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on May 22, 2018, 07:04:56 pm
Following is a direct quote from a Seller Support email of May 20.  What I find especially amusing is the “Although hard to believe, after …….“ part.  Actually, it wasn’t hard at all - I never did believe a word of it.

I love the “…multiple nodes intertwines….” crap.  Where do they come up with this B.S.?  Talk about creative writing!  They must mistake us all for Idiots!

But not to worry.  All I need do is enroll in the Advantage Program, and the 10 Categories dilemma will magically disappear!

“Although hard to believe, after extensive research they have found that actually having multiple nodes intertwines the search-ability within the system and caused cross conflict of category information for an item resulting in a sales decline. Please note, we do not use node paths any longer to change the category for products in Amazon.com.

Existing ASINs that already have 2 or more nodes assigned to them may remain however any addition or attempts to add will reduce it to one and new ASINs in the catalog are prohibited to have more than 1.”
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on May 22, 2018, 07:36:42 pm
Has anyone seen software that can (preferably easily) be used to download lists from Goodreads and/or yasiv.com???
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 23, 2018, 11:47:10 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: brianna515 on May 23, 2018, 12:43:39 pm
You might want to start a new thread and ask this question so those who don't come here can see it, too. I'd love a little tool that mines my book's also boughts for me...

Rising Sun: You can use a tool called import.io. I explain in this guide I created: https://authorstech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AMS-Keywords-Playbook-Final.pdf
 (https://authorstech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AMS-Keywords-Playbook-Final.pdf)
Cassie: KDP Rocket scrapes your also-boughts...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on May 23, 2018, 02:25:51 pm

 My stats also suggest that maybe this book doesn't sell well on the west coast, so no need to boost the budget


I wouldn't write off the west coast folks - at least not those from California.  To test new mailing lists, during my many mail order years, I usually did limited test mailings to Californians.  My philosophy always was "If Californians won't buy my books, nobody will."
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 23, 2018, 02:47:55 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on May 24, 2018, 08:13:32 pm
Rising Sun: You can use a tool called import.io. I explain in this guide I created: https://authorstech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AMS-Keywords-Playbook-Final.pdf
 (https://authorstech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AMS-Keywords-Playbook-Final.pdf)
Cassie: KDP Rocket scrapes your also-boughts...

Thanks so much for your guide. i purchased the KDSpy and am using it for Amazon category bestseller lists. Easy to use and efficient.

I downloaded the import.io. software but it seems over my head... I an hoping for something turnkey but maybe I am not seeing the import.io. program clearly
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: danpadavona on May 25, 2018, 12:03:32 pm
Another AMS glitch over the last few days. Apparently, all ads entered in the last 2-3 days are displaying 0 impressions/clicks/spend/etc. There is a Facebook thread on the glitch. Someone contacted AMS and received the standard "maybe your bids are too low" reply, so in usual Amazon fashion, they are denying the problem exists.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 25, 2018, 12:23:18 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on May 25, 2018, 12:51:11 pm
I started one yesterday and have been dumbfounded that there has been zero activity in every metric, despite a healthy bid offer. So, thanks for the post, it was driving me crazy.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 25, 2018, 04:26:36 pm
For me, the glitch lasted 2/3 days with new ads showing no impressions at all.  Seems to be back to normal now. For me at least.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on May 25, 2018, 06:09:34 pm
For me, the glitch lasted 2/3 days with new ads showing no impressions at all.  Seems to be back to normal now. For me at least.

Philip

Note that that 2-day glitch applied to AMS ads in the UK. The US ads, for me, continued reporting as usual.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on May 29, 2018, 01:21:41 pm
Well, I finally paused my long-running ad that has pretty much lost all juice lately.  In about a week or so I'll copy it and run it again, to see if a reboot gives the ad a fresh kick-off.

BTW, I don't know why we can both pause and terminate our ads.  Is there any specific benefit to doing one over the other?  (Other than the fact that you always have the option of re-starting a paused ad.)  In other words, I wonder if AMS treats our ads differently if we pause rather than terminate.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on May 29, 2018, 08:17:47 pm
Well, I finally paused my long-running ad that has pretty much lost all juice lately.  In about a week or so I'll copy it and run it again, to see if a reboot gives the ad a fresh kick-off.

BTW, I don't know why we can both pause and terminate our ads.  Is there any specific benefit to doing one over the other?  (Other than the fact that you always have the option of re-starting a paused ad.)  In other words, I wonder if AMS treats our ads differently if we pause rather than terminate.

I've had mixed results with pausing ads, so I only terminate.  Also, I'm a bit paranoid about copying ads; feeling that AMS will assign lower priority the second time around.  My approach is to terminate all non-productive ads.  If you intend to resubmit the same ad, I would advise adding several keywords to change the ad dynamics.  Otherwise, AMS may recognize it as being identical and assign lower priority (again, my paranoia kicking in).  AMS retains copies of all terminated ads, as evidenced on our Advertising Campaigns chart.  One of their motivations for doing that may be checking for ads with identical keywords, or even high levels of keyword duplications.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Annelie on May 29, 2018, 11:44:57 pm
What are some of the best clicks-to-impressions anyone's heard? Is there such a beast as 1 click per 100 impressions?

Up to 1 click in 30 impressions for new releases and keywords that word best in that series.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Annelie on May 29, 2018, 11:54:04 pm
Has anyone found a viable way of A/B testing different ad copy? The last time I tried running ads with the same keyword targets but different text, one got all the impressions, so there was no way of telling how the others would have performed in comparison (since no one saw them). I'm assuming they were competing against each other, but it's frustrating because if I use different keywords for each, there's no way of knowing whether differences in performance are due to the targeting or the ad copy. :P

Before I started an A/B test, I tested the test by using triplets of identical ads (keywords, bids, copy, book all the same, no variations whatsoever). They were all served differently and evolved differently. So if I want an A/B test to give me statistical significance on ad copy variations, I would run at least three identical campaigns for each copy and collect half a million impressions. Which is a [crap]load of money :/
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 30, 2018, 07:27:31 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on May 30, 2018, 12:43:22 pm
I don't know if they treat the ads differently but I never ever terminate an ad. I've had way too many experiences where I tried to start a new ad for a book and all it did was spend a lot of money with no sales. But I could go back to the old ad and it started performing well for me again. Or at least it generated sales for me. Early on I accidentally terminated one of my best ads and I've never been able to get an ad that performs that well for that book going again.

So maybe instead of copying the ad and running it fresh, I can simply unpause it after a week (??) and it will behave "like new."   ::)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on May 30, 2018, 01:17:25 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on May 30, 2018, 03:12:33 pm
Maybe not like new but I have definitely had ads that had died off pick back up when they were unpaused. Sometimes it takes 12 hours, sometimes it take a couple days, sometimes it takes a week or so to sit before it starts running again. If you have an ad that has a good history (so good click rates and sellthrough) I always think it's worth trying to keep it going rather than start with a new ad.

Good to know.  I paused the ad on Monday or Tuesday, so maybe after this coming weekend I'll unpause and see what happens.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rcullison on June 01, 2018, 12:57:20 pm
Can I copy my ad campaign, keep all the same keywords and bids, change the ad copy, and test them against each other? Based on replies here, it's unclear. Some say one ad will take all the impressions, others say it works.

I suspect my ad copy isn't good enough. That 150 character limit is rough. My campaign has 36k impressions but only 13 clicks. I've had some borrows, but I don't know how many (I am getting page reads though). I'm at that (non) magical place where a single sale or borrow is enough to jump my rank 100,000 spots or more. A handful of borrows jumped me to 36000 rank, but then it just trickles back down day by day. Ah, fun times.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on June 01, 2018, 01:20:23 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CasperValentine on June 01, 2018, 01:23:07 pm
Can I copy my ad campaign, keep all the same keywords and bids, change the ad copy, and test them against each other? Based on replies here, it's unclear. Some say one ad will take all the impressions, others say it works.

I suspect my ad copy isn't good enough. That 150 character limit is rough. My campaign has 36k impressions but only 13 clicks. I've had some borrows, but I don't know how many (I am getting page reads though). I'm at that (non) magical place where a single sale or borrow is enough to jump my rank 100,000 spots or more. A handful of borrows jumped me to 36000 rank, but then it just trickles back down day by day. Ah, fun times.

I was wondering the exact same thing! I'm in the same boat as you trying to figure out the AMS ads. Nearly the same numbers too. I had 38k impressions and 23 clicks. I paused that ad and redid my 150 char copy from a basic tagline to more of a sales pitch this morning. I used the exact same keywords but have only had 49 impressions today! At least the old ads that weren't getting many clicks were generating over 1500 impressions a day. I can't figure these AMS ads out. I've been trying to spend $5 a day for 21 days and over this time I've only spent $3.42. This is literally the hardest I've ever tried to spend money. LOL

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rcullison on June 02, 2018, 12:48:27 pm
You definitely want to fix something there because for 36,000 impressions I'd want at least 36 clicks and hopefully more. Do you have a keyword in there that's pulling most of the impressions but not getting many clicks? If so, I'd shut it down.

My top 2 keywords, in terms of impressions, are one with 19k impressions and 7 clicks, and one with 5500 impressions and 0 clicks. I will pause them. Something that just occurred to me would be to pause them and then create a new campaign with those keywords using different ad copy and see what happens. I stand very little to lose. Those two are the majority of my campaign, so I need to rework this thing one way or another.

My best performing keyword is 1 impression for 1 click.  :) I'm pretty sure it turned into a borrow who then read the entire book. If only I could stumble on other such perfect customers...
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on June 04, 2018, 09:01:13 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on June 04, 2018, 02:51:51 pm
A few months ago I took the plunge and dove in with a Product Display ad for my non-fiction book.  (I'd run the other type of ad for the book and didn't have great success.  Well, now, after all these weeks, I've spent a grand total of... (drum roll, please)... sixteen whole cents.   :P  That's since the end of February. 

The bad thing about PD ads is that, as far as I can tell from my dashboard, I can't tell which targeted pages led to my whopping expenditure.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on June 04, 2018, 09:05:43 pm
A few months ago I took the plunge and dove in with a Product Display ad for my non-fiction book.  (I'd run the other type of ad for the book and didn't have great success.  Well, now, after all these weeks, I've spent a grand total of... (drum roll, please)... sixteen whole cents.   :P  That's since the end of February. 

The bad thing about PD ads is that, as far as I can tell from my dashboard, I can't tell which targeted pages led to my whopping expenditure.

Products Display ads behave much differently than Sponsored Product ads.  They usually take at least 2 weeks to gain traction, if they ever do.  But once they gain traction, Impressions usually begin to quickly accelerate.  Also, their CTR's are usually much higher that SP ads.  I've run hundreds of PD-I (Product Display - Interest) ads, and they usually outperform  SP ads by a factor of at least 10:1.  The downside being that bids must be higher than those for SP ads.  Thus, it's easy to get badly burned if PD-I ads with high bids start producing tons of Clicks, which they usually do.  In other words, if you run PD ads with high bids, be sure to keep a close watch.  I advise starting with low bids, and working your way up.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Philip Gibson on June 05, 2018, 06:10:53 am
Well, this might explain some of the declining sales reports that some of us saw recently: https://www.kdpcommunity.com/s/article/Amazon-Marketing-Services-Sponsored-Product-Campaign-Reporting-Update?language=en

"As of May 3rd, we’re updating the reporting for Sponsored Products campaigns on Amazon Marketing Services for KDP authors. The update will remove purchases that were cancelled or declined within 72 hours of the initial purchase to help you better measure the effectiveness of your advertising.  Please refer to your KDP sales reports for your final sales numbers, which may be different from the number you see in your Amazon Marketing Services dashboard.

These changes are retroactive to January 1, 2018. As a result, you may see a change in advertising-attributed sales trends. This change does not affect your billing or royalties, or any campaign data prior to January 1st."

That explains some fluctuations I've been seeing in my AMS sales pages during this past month.  Thanks for posting it.  I would have thought I'd have received the notice in an email.

Philip
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on June 06, 2018, 09:12:34 am
I took the Udemy course by Cassie Leigh, Easy AMS Ads. (https://www.udemy.com/ams-ads-for-authors/learn/v4/t/lecture/9533488?start=235)

I found it well done and informative, a good value.  Now, it's off to read her book, AND then I'm going to study some FB advertising instructions.

Basically I'm having to embrace DID...

Blah.

Well, seeing as I have a book that's ranked at 500,000 and has no sales, while at the same time having positive editorial reviews from 4 best selling writers in the same (or similar) genres...it makes sense to advertise. And here I thought I'd become organically discovered and become the next Hugh Howey (minus the yacht...I want a penthouse in the city).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on June 06, 2018, 09:46:59 am
Well, seeing as I have a book that's ranked at 500,000 and has no sales, while at the same time having positive editorial reviews from 4 best selling writers in the same (or similar) genres...it makes sense to advertise. And here I thought I'd become organically discovered and become the next Hugh Howey (minus the yacht...I want a penthouse in the city).

Organically discovered used to work, and still does for some. On the other hand, a bit of low-cost advertising can give a book or a series a bit of a kick start. I like the fact there are so many options to promote our work now, because if one doesn't work or tails off, we can try another.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on June 06, 2018, 06:50:07 pm
Products Display ads behave much differently than Sponsored Product ads.  They usually take at least 2 weeks to gain traction, if they ever do.  But once they gain traction, Impressions usually begin to quickly accelerate.  Also, their CTR's are usually much higher that SP ads.  I've run hundreds of PD-I (Product Display - Interest) ads, and they usually outperform  SP ads by a factor of at least 10:1.  The downside being that bids must be higher than those for SP ads.  Thus, it's easy to get badly burned if PD-I ads with high bids start producing tons of Clicks, which they usually do.  In other words, if you run PD ads with high bids, be sure to keep a close watch.  I advise starting with low bids, and working your way up.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, with Product Display ads it's very disconcerting that you can't tell which "target" has brought your clicks or impressions.  Plus, ALL your target products fall under the same bid, unlike the other ads, in which you can set different bids for different keywords.  It just seems strange, after having run Sponsored Product ads for so long.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on June 06, 2018, 07:34:17 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on June 07, 2018, 08:01:06 pm
As I mentioned in my earlier post, with Product Display ads it's very disconcerting that you can't tell which "target" has brought your clicks or impressions.  Plus, ALL your target products fall under the same bid, unlike the other ads, in which you can set different bids for different keywords.  It just seems strange, after having run Sponsored Product ads for so long.

When I mentioned that my PD-I ads outperformed my typical SP ads by a factor of at least 10:1, I wasn't exaggerating.

My typical SP ad averages 1,000 Impressions per day, producing 1 Click - for a CTR of .10%.

Here's the actual numbers for my most extreme PD-I ad, when it accelerated into what I term a "Clicking Frenzy."

6,653 daily Impressions, with a CTR of .55%.  Working the math:  6.653 x 5.5 = 36.5

In other words, that single PD-I ad was equivalent to over 36 of my average SP ads!

Normally that would appear to be great news.  Problem was, its Conversion Rate sucked big-time - the ad was basically breaking even.  So, I terminated it along with close to 40 other PD-I ads.  The risk was much too high to continue running marginal ads.  I not in the business of lining Amazon's coffers.

My SP ads always had decent Conversion Rates, on the order of 15:1.  But, for whatever reason, my PD-I ad Conversion Rates were terrible.  I never attempted to closely analyze them since they were so totally "off the wall" that it would have been a waste of time.  I'm very conservative; I was bidding only 10-Cents on those 40+ ads.

In short, beware of running PD-I ads with high bids - keep a close eye on them.  You can get taken to the cleaners in short order when they enter Clicking Frenzies - which they will do!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on June 08, 2018, 07:29:06 pm
I haven't taken the time to really delve into PD ads, but I think if I were trying to run them seriously that I would actually split up my products and run a zillion ads with just one or two products per ad since the PD ads don't seem to interfere with each other the way SP ads do. That would give you an equivalent to keyword level control on those ads.

"...since the PD ads don't seem to interfere with each other the way SP ads do."

I don't see SP ads competing within my own series of SP ads but I an sure it is possible to effectively cause an increase in the prices I pay. If i have 2 ads running with the same keyword at 2 different price levels, the higher price ad will normally win simply because it is beating someone elses ad bid...not my lower price ad bid.  If no one was bidding between the bid prices of my 2 ads then under Amazons ad rules the lower price bid would take it

One strategy to run multiple SP ads is to use widely divergent keyword lists....using the idea of finding keywords that do not compete.  for instance you might use best-selling title or author lists from related sub-genres and genres...related authors and authors related to them...books of thpse authors...Looking at also-boughts you might also look at the also boughts related to the also bought books and authors. The advantage of multiple ads is that ad copy can be specialized for each.

Unfortunately it is extra work to keep the ad bases completely free of duplicates. It is much easier to use similar pricing across all ads which also prevents inadvertant competition within and between keyword lists/ads.





Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on June 11, 2018, 10:39:20 am
I haven't taken the time to really delve into PD ads, but I think if I were trying to run them seriously that I would actually split up my products and run a zillion ads with just one or two products per ad since the PD ads don't seem to interfere with each other the way SP ads do. That would give you an equivalent to keyword level control on those ads.

So, I finished reading Meek's book and it seems you and he have a mirrored philosophy (or strategy) on this because he swears by the PD ads. He put his numbers in the book, I forget exactly but it was like 85-90% PD ads to sponsored.

So I wonder if it's merely finding the right strategy for each and running both OR finding the right strategy for your genre (if they are different...it would be hard to see why except for maybe the non-fiction vs. fiction distinction).

I just watched Dave Chesson's video on AMS ads (which is free, a funnel for KDP Rocket) but seemingly straight forward and he does a good job of explaining the mechanics.

I found his ideas of A/B testing ad copy using display ads intriguing (and probably a lot of work).

Since a zillion ads seems a bit excessive....I wonder what the sweet spot for number of ads AND number of books targeted for each would be?

Am I right in assuming that in sponsored ads, Zon gives you the impressions and clicks for each and every keyword, but in display ads they give you nothing specific?
That's why you've got to made ten ads, for instance, if you wanted to see the numbers for say targeting Jaws as opposed to Cujo?

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on June 11, 2018, 10:57:30 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Steven Slavick on June 14, 2018, 10:42:11 pm
I've read through some of this thread, but not all of it because it's so darn long, but did someone state that when an author begins selling more copies, their placement in sponsored ads actually moves up on the hierarchy of any given keyword, despite keeping their bids at the same price?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on June 18, 2018, 12:24:47 pm
I've read through some of this thread, but not all of it because it's so darn long, but did someone state that when an author begins selling more copies, their placement in sponsored ads actually moves up on the hierarchy of any given keyword, despite keeping their bids at the same price?

I am pretty sure most folks believe this. The statement would probably be best modified that overall rank is not the key (or we would only see the top 100 sellers in the ads) but that the ranking in related categories is probably more important. and that this is also modified by other characteristics....new books, new ads, etc. I also think cclick thru rate CTR is weighted more on the current individual keyword CTR and not the historical rate or ad rate.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on June 18, 2018, 12:30:11 pm
I have been doing a daily ad analysis for a while made at the same time each day and have noticed in the last month swings of 30-50% in impressions, cost etc. on my KDP SP ads... Sometimes the swings are even much larger. Fridays seem to be the most likely to drop...even over 50%. The swings effect both printbook and Kindle sales.

This is occuring over all my books. Most of my books are on political themes but I see it even in my poetry and TYA books.

Anyone else seeing big swings?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rising Sun on June 18, 2018, 01:07:03 pm
What is the effect of advertising later books in series. I have assumed it should drive sales to the first book and the later in series book that is advertised....

Is this the case? Do the advertisements for the later books have similar dynamics (impressions, costs etc) particularly when using same keysord SP ads??

We just released a #2 of a trilogy, 5 years after the first book. ....I know that is wrong strategy... but I am thinking now that branding it as #2 might actually be hurting the sales of a good stand-alone novel. The readers I attract are virtually all non-fiction readers interested in the subject of my books....nonviolent civil resistance and are not used to series

What bothers me most is that the impressions gained for first SP and PD ads for book #2 skyrocketed far more than I have seen on new books then fell worse than a rock....and it is tough to resuscitate them or create good performing new ads.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on June 19, 2018, 03:08:38 am
We just released a #2 of a trilogy, 5 years after the first book. ....I know that is wrong strategy... but I am thinking now that branding it as #2 might actually be hurting the sales of a good stand-alone novel. The readers I attract are virtually all non-fiction readers interested in the subject of my books....nonviolent civil resistance and are not used to series

I think you should wait until you've completed book three in the trilogy. You've lost a lot of goodwill from your readers by taking five years to do book two, so they won't trust you to get three done. Ads for book two are unlikely to work unless you can specifically target those who read book one (and only a small number of them will likely buy since it's been five years).

I'd get book three done, then advertise book one, after sales start tailing off then put together a boxed set and advertise that also.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on June 19, 2018, 05:24:43 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Superchaise on June 19, 2018, 07:50:53 am
Has anyone noticed an improvement in the reporting speed since the maintenance a few weeks ago? It's pretty much the same on my end. Granted, Amazon never specified what the maintenance was about, so I may be looking for a change that wasn't even attempted on Amazon's end.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on June 19, 2018, 09:02:59 am
No difference that I could see.

Re advertising the second book in a series, I've run ads for a range of different titles. Best results have always been for the first book, not so much for later books.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on June 19, 2018, 05:01:21 pm
Perhaps a dumb question... The AMS dashboard right column says "Copy". I know what the word means, obviously, but how does it apply? I don't want to copy an existing campaign, but it would be nice if I could grab its keywords--will it do that? Or does it just automatically fling a new campaign on your dash? I don't want to do that.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Superchaise on June 19, 2018, 05:19:16 pm
Perhaps a dumb question... The AMS dashboard right column says "Copy". I know what the word means, obviously, but how does it apply? I don't want to copy an existing campaign, but it would be nice if I could grab its keywords--will it do that? Or does it just automatically fling a new campaign on your dash? I don't want to do that.
You're safe to press "copy" without anything popping up on your dashboard. There's a process before anything goes live that you can opt out of whenever you want. In my experience, yes, it does copy the keywords, but there is a screen where you can add/remove them as you'd like. Obviously, that can't be done once the campaign has started, so it's quite useful.

The "draft" page you reach once you press "copy" on Campaign A looks like the draft page of Campaign A just before you pressed "submit".
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on June 19, 2018, 05:47:40 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on June 21, 2018, 02:16:08 pm
A few question about this topic of running ads in a series.

If you advertise the second (or higher) book in a series, isn't it likely that most readers would then click through to book #1 and screw up the relevancy of the advert?

Or is a sale a sale and it doesn't matter?

If it doesn't hurt, let's say I had a series of a dozen books.

Could I run SP ads with identical keywords, but with different bids on each ad to see which price point is best?

In other words, one ad at .15, one at .16, one at .17, etc, and thus find the sweet spot for bidding?

Or would they just self-defeat each other?

Would it be better to run 3 or 4 ads with a different set of keywords for book #1 at different price points to see if one price point works better and then migrate the keywords over to the best performing bid price?

it seems that the smartest strategy seems to be sniping auctions as opposed to trying to ram your bid through, but I've heard different philosophies about what area to aim for (high bid strategy or low bid strategy).

At the end of the say it seems like the official answer is:  "Throw a lot of mud at the wall and see what sticks."
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on June 21, 2018, 11:49:21 pm
I got the idea that if someone clicks through to book one from an ad for book two, that sale is still attributed to the AMS ad figures.

I guess that's why it takes several days (up to 2 weeks?) for the sales to appear on the AMS dashboard.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on June 25, 2018, 08:25:02 am
A few more questions after running my first campaigns for a week.

I have two keyword ads with 500+ keywords.

Ad #1 has 968 impressions, 11 clicks, 2 sales. The bid is set at .15
Ad #2 has 1244 impressions, 1 click, 1 sale. This bid is also set at .15

I realize that with such a low amount of statistical info, these numbers are not very significant. However, it at least seems promising and I'm wondering if I just let this sit (and for how long) or if I up the bids inside this ad, OR copy it with a higher bid and allow both to run?

Let's say these numbers continue roughly the same, the percentages are great, but making a few extra sales a week is hardly worth the effort. It needs to be scaled up, and I'm wondering what the best practice would be here.

My gut tells me I need more impressions and to up the bids, but I might just be being impatient.

Another micro question.

One keyword has 15 impressions with 2 clicks and 1 sale.  Again, this isn't statically significant because it's such a small sample size, but let's say the keyword continues to function well and I want to try to get more impressions, do I simply up this keyword bid inside the existing ad?

Or is the common wisdom (which I've heard....I think....) to create an entirely new ad when you want to make changes like this?

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on June 25, 2018, 08:59:41 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CasperValentine on June 25, 2018, 09:23:28 am
I recently came across an interesting scenario that makes no sense to me. I created an AMS ad using a list of hundreds of keywords I'd been working on and kept the default .25 CPC bid across the board. I was getting impressions but no clicks. My first thought was that it was possibly my ad copy, my blub, or look inside but when I looked closer at my keywords I noticed the ones I thought would be the best weren't getting any impressions at all. Nearly all the impressions were coming from just a handful of keywords and they were vague. For the keywords, I really liked I upped the CPC bid from $.25 to $.50. Almost immediate I started getting impressions and clicks. The part that confuses me is that none of the clicks have cost me greater than $.24.  With all of the clicks being under my first bid price I don't see how upping my bid should have had anything to do with things. I don't see how this can be right.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on June 25, 2018, 09:53:33 am
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I paused a long-running ad, because it had somewhat stalled and started costing more than it earned.  As the Independence Day holiday approaches, I'm tweaking some keywords (and adding a few) and will unpause the ad later this week.  The book has relevance to the Revolutionary War, so that's why I'm focusing on the holiday.  (Plus, it's the middle of summer, and who doesn't like a good book to read while on vacation??  8))  As always with this ad, my main goal is to sell paperbacks.  And of course read-through to subsequent books in the series.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on June 27, 2018, 05:04:45 pm
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I paused a long-running ad, because it had somewhat stalled and started costing more than it earned.  As the Independence Day holiday approaches, I'm tweaking some keywords (and adding a few) and will unpause the ad later this week.  The book has relevance to the Revolutionary War, so that's why I'm focusing on the holiday.  (Plus, it's the middle of summer, and who doesn't like a good book to read while on vacation??  8))  As always with this ad, my main goal is to sell paperbacks.  And of course read-through to subsequent books in the series.

Well, I think I discovered why my ad began to spend more money than it made.  And I'm an idiot.  Instead of changing one of my keyword bids to $0.20, I inadvertently changed it to $20.  :-[  :o  >:(   *head-desk*

Now, if you'll pardon me, I'm going to go rig up a way to kick myself in the butt repeatedly.   



Note to self:  each time I tweak keywords and bids, always run a 'sort' by bid, and be sure none of them are over $1.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on June 30, 2018, 08:35:07 am
Question regarding rejected ads.

So, my method right now:

Submit ads.
Half are rejected.
Re-submit same ad.
Half are rejected.
Re-submit same ad.
Half are rejected.

Eventually, it seems, I get them all running.

Same exact ad, I mean I literally open from the "edit" button (rename the SP again because it defaults--annoyingly--unlike the PD ads which retain their name like a stubborn step-child) and resubmit the campaign....

It's such a stupid waste of time.

Is there a workaround to this?  Or is it just what it is?

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on June 30, 2018, 09:24:58 am
I normally get 50-70 clicks in a 24 hour period. In the past 15 hours, I've received 200. Has anyone else noticed a big jump today?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on June 30, 2018, 10:33:03 am
I normally get 50-70 clicks in a 24 hour period. In the past 15 hours, I've received 200. Has anyone else noticed a big jump today?

A new SP ad I created only yesterday has 800 clicks as of now, which was surprisingly fast.
However, I attributed it to a high bid more than anything, but we'll see.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on June 30, 2018, 10:39:08 am
A new SP ad I created only yesterday has 800 clicks as of now, which was surprisingly fast.
However, I attributed it to a high bid more than anything, but we'll see.

Indeed, unless you mean "impressions".
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on June 30, 2018, 10:45:40 am
Indeed, unless you mean "impressions".

Yeah, that's a typo....hahahaha...I wish I meant 800 clicks...

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on June 30, 2018, 12:01:02 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: rcullison on July 02, 2018, 01:32:19 pm
My old ad was anemic (44k impressions for only 16 clicks), so I paused it, copied it, put in new ad copy, and started a new campaign.

The new one was clearly more effective (16k impressions for 11 clicks, and if I remove a nonperforming keyword with 4k impressions and 0 clicks, it looks even better) and I was seeing some KU borrows and page reads, and figured I'd done a good job improving things. My rank was improving, my other numbers were going up.

But then it just died on the vine. A week has passed and it's still in the 16,000's, with less than 50 impressions coming in each day. I made no changes, though since then I've tried upping my bids to get it going again, with no luck. This bread is toast.

What the heck happened? Did Amazon decide my keywords were misleading or something? Did that bad keyword with lots of impressions but no clicks make them think my ad sucked?

Should I pause it for a while? Should I copy it (again), remove that one keyword, and try again?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on July 02, 2018, 01:42:04 pm
Some people have speculated that the removal of various bad hatters from Amazon would result in cheaper ad costs. </quote]

Or higher too in a roundabout way. I have a few keywords that never got clicks and suddenly clicks for them are through the roof. I believe it's because they're no longer buried by high black hatter bids.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on July 05, 2018, 10:36:44 am
Some people have speculated that the removal of various bad hatters from Amazon would result in cheaper ad costs.

Not sure why people would think this.

Imagine you're making a million a year.  Amazon bans you.

Do you go become a used car salesman?  Or do you simply ramp up one of your other pen names that was established previously on an entirely different platform with no link between persona A and persona B?

If anything, the new platforms are causing bids to go up.  Again, imagine you're used to doing a million a year.

You have money in the bank, obviously.

Amazon bans your account.

What are you going to do with your Account B?  Start bidding like crazy would be my course of action, to re-establish my presence with the new pen name.

Having been playing this game for only a few weeks, I can see what the big players in the genres I'm attacking are doing and I can get close guesses to what their bids are.

So the game is now one of playing chicken.  I bid X plus a penny.....so-and-so bids X plus 2 pennies.....and so it goes....until someone says, "Okay, that ROI is too low for me."

Of course Amazon is laughing all the way to the bank.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on July 05, 2018, 10:39:12 am
What are they giving you for the reason?

It's the phrase "NY Times bestselling author" mostly.

Also they nailed a few ads for using the series name in all-caps, but I think that's more minor.  The series name is all caps and NY Times is a valid claim, so it's just a matter of re-submitting over and over.

We did send CS an email to ask if there could be some way to not have to do it like this....so we'll see.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: ZanaHart on July 05, 2018, 02:51:33 pm
So despite the hassles, authors who are using it, do you still recommend it?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: KelliWolfe on July 05, 2018, 03:29:17 pm
I've had a $4 cap on one of my romance first in series since I started advertising it last year. I think it has topped out maybe half a dozen times until now. Over the past few days it has been topping out daily, despite doubling the ad cap. Something has definitely changed. As with everything else, it's both more expensive and more difficult to get the same visibility in AMS as it was a year ago. But I've turned off the ads to test and I make more money with them than without them.

For that series I run ads on each individual book. They're all more or less standalones in a shared setting with shared characters, though, so any book can be an entry point. It seems to work pretty well. If it was a strict chronological series I'd probably only run ads on the first and last book.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on July 05, 2018, 04:43:54 pm
I restarted my ad late last week.  So far the gap between spend and sales has not narrowed appreciatively.    :'(
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Superchaise on July 08, 2018, 02:25:02 pm
EDIT by Superchaise: Removed long-winded rant about a super-specific problem.

Edit 2: Jena H, I'm sorry to hear that about your restarted ad. I'm having similar problems on my end. AMS is really taking a lot of time out of my schedule (not to mention what it's taking out of my pocket, at least temporarily)!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on July 09, 2018, 06:10:51 am
In my opinion, the reason so many people are having trouble getting their sponsored product (keyword) AMS ads to earn out is because they're doing what everyone else is doing.

It's like being a gladiator, and grabbing a scutum and short sword to compete. That merely puts you on a level playing field. No advantage. The victor is the one who grabs the only assault rifle on the rack.

Here's an image of a few of my campaigns:


(https://i.imgur.com/KhrQgVS.png)


Yes, the figures are small. But I have nearly 1,000 active campaigns, and I'm building more every week. And I can guarantee my competition is paying a lot more for clicks (we talk).

The key is to zig when others zag. That goes for keywords, ad copy, sales funnels, etc.

The above ACoS numbers are sorted by smallest. The majority of my other campaigns are close, mostly because my competition isn't where I am.

Also, notice that some sales are for paperbacks. In my opinion, a lot of authors are missing an opportunity by not promoting print in their AMS campaigns.



Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: KelliWolfe on July 09, 2018, 09:45:40 am
Looks lovely, but what constitutes zigging while others zag? We're all doing these ads. The keywords that pay off for my ads remain the same, even though I try new ones fairly often.

Are your books romance or women's fiction? Because I can't get any notice in those categories without bidding very high. BookBub even told me my bids were too low on one CPC ad--and basically didn't serve it at all. BB flat out said bids should be between 30 and 60 cents. That's too much for a $2.99 romance, but it can work for a $5.99 women's fiction. Just barely, if the cover and blurb are right so the click-to-buy ratio pans out.

I'm leery of stopping and starting my AMS ads; there's been so much anecdotal evidence that the ads just don't re-start.

I'm running a BB ad right now on top of an AMS ad. It seems to be helping, but only with Amazon sales this time around. Topping them off, as it were, whereas scaling up the AMS ad for the same book has not produced additional sales. If I thought I could get steady ad results from running the BB ad continuously, I would drop my daily budget for the AMS ad on that title. But so many BB ads are for discounted books that I'm afraid that audience is getting trained to expect the same level of discount they get in the main BB newsletter featured ads.
I bumped my BB ads for my YA and contemporary romance set to 40 cents and I still can't get any impressions. That's close to three times what I'm paying for clicks in AMS, and it's a fast way to go broke.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rollie38 on July 09, 2018, 01:28:05 pm
When using ATM (Automatic Targeting) is it possible to download a report of keywords and the ACOS, similar to a targeted campaign?  I've found numerous threads of sellers claiming they've done this, but none in the KDP realm.

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CasperValentine on July 09, 2018, 02:02:11 pm
I bumped my BB ads for my YA and contemporary romance set to 40 cents and I still can't get any impressions. That's close to three times what I'm paying for clicks in AMS, and it's a fast way to go broke.


Same here. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground on impressions. You can bid 40 cents and only get impressions in the double digits but bid 65 cents and get thousands. I can generate sales from BB but with the high CPC I've yet to be cost-effective.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on July 09, 2018, 02:23:05 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rollie38 on July 09, 2018, 02:34:56 pm
If you have an Advantage account you can. I can't do it using KDP to access AMS, though.

Cassie, thanks a bunch.  I couldn't find anything anywhere.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on July 17, 2018, 03:27:59 pm
I bumped my BB ads for my YA and contemporary romance set to 40 cents and I still can't get any impressions. That's close to three times what I'm paying for clicks in AMS, and it's a fast way to go broke.

I was just thinking about Bookbub ads, which is why I came to this thread today, as a matter of fact.  But this doesn't sound promising.  I would assume (might be totally off-base, though) that romance is very popular on BB, so if you're not having much luck with YA & contemp romance ads, then I would have no chance at all.  (I don't write romance, although I have a couple of "love stories" or "relationship books.")

So yeah, I came to get an idea of what are the hottest, most popular genres to advertise on BB.  But it sounds like BB ads might not be any more cost-effective than AMS ads.  I had to pause my long-running AMS ad again because it's still not performing at a profit anymore.  Rather than resume it, I think I'll end up copying it and do a new one.

(Still wanted to hit the BB audience, though.  Darn.   :( )
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Harald on July 17, 2018, 05:36:42 pm
I was just thinking about Bookbub ads, which is why I came to this thread today, as a matter of fact.  But this doesn't sound promising.  ... (Still wanted to hit the BB audience, though.  Darn.   :( )

Don't give up on BB ads yet. The key is to test hard and fast and judge the results. BB are incredibly responsive. I'm following David Gaughran's advice: (1) do CPM vs. CPC; (2) bid on the upper end of the range they suggest; (3) do single-day tests; (4) select "fill as quickly as possible"; (5) put in a small Max Daily Budget (e.g., $10), and then just see what happens. You'll know within hours (sometimes before noon) if you have a winner or loser.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on July 17, 2018, 06:26:11 pm
Don't give up on BB ads yet. The key is to test hard and fast and judge the results. BB are incredibly responsive. I'm following David Gaughran's advice: (1) do CPM vs. CPC; (2) bid on the upper end of the range they suggest; (3) do single-day tests; (4) select "fill as quickly as possible"; (5) put in a small Max Daily Budget (e.g., $10), and then just see what happens. You'll know within hours (sometimes before noon) if you have a winner or loser.

I'm not really good at doing comparison ads or testing.  Although my AMS ads usually have daily budges of $2 or $3, so the "small daily budget" thing is under control.  8)  I may try a BB ad soon.  (Just hope they're easier to create than FB ads, which as I recall were a pain in the backside.)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CasperValentine on July 18, 2018, 06:57:17 am
Please explain how using CPM is going to beat that. I know others have said it, but I don't really grasp the concept.

I concur with you here. For the CPM option, it says "Other partners are on average bidding $6.00 to $10" per 1000 impressions. I toyed with it by starting with a low bid and raising it until I started getting impressions. I had to go up to $2.51 to get a 1000 impressions. It ended up averaging me $1.50 per click. I walked away from that experiment!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Harald on July 18, 2018, 10:55:51 am
I concur with you here. For the CPM option, it says "Other partners are on average bidding $6.00 to $10" per 1000 impressions. I toyed with it by starting with a low bid and raising it until I started getting impressions. I had to go up to $2.51 to get a 1000 impressions. It ended up averaging me $1.50 per click. I walked away from that experiment!

You may be targeting too broadly. I dropped a BB CPM ad today and am currently at $0.35 Effective CPC. On an early ad I had targeted an author with a huge following and I was at $1.20 CPC. Tightening the target made the difference.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Harald on July 18, 2018, 11:10:12 am
If I bid on the upper end BB suggests, that's 55-60 cents a bid. With CPC, and an average click-to-sale ratio of 10 clicks to one sale, I'd be spending $5.50 to sell one $5.99 book. Bleeding money. Please explain how using CPM is going to beat that. I know others have said it, but I don't really grasp the concept. ...

Cassie, apologize if we're hijacking this AMS thread. Hope it's relevant enough.

LB: Not sure of advantage of BB CPM over CPC, but Gaughran suggested it and so I did. If I drop $10 into a BB CPM ad with a high bid, all I need is 3 sales to break even on a $4.99 book. You only need 2.5 sales for $5.99. If you have a CTR of 3-5%, that seems pretty doable. I just dropped a $10 BB CPM ad and have sold 2 books; 1 to go! ;-). But this is the first time I'm not offering a "deal" and BB is known for its deals. So my 2.45% CTR is a little lower, and probably for that reason. Will see how it ends up at the end of the day.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on July 18, 2018, 11:17:25 am
I think we should have great *separate* threads like this *AMS* one for Facebook Ads, BookBub ads. It tends to get confusing since folks don't always provide the context in their replies about which platform they are referring to, and could cause some to make bad decisions.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Harald on July 18, 2018, 11:35:36 am
I think we should have great *separate* threads like this *AMS* one for Facebook Ads, BookBub ads. It tends to get confusing since folks don't always provide the context in their replies about which platform they are referring to, and could cause some to make bad decisions.

You're probably right. I just edited my posts above to make the BookBub parts clear. This is Cassie's thread so she can advise us.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on July 18, 2018, 02:52:06 pm

I'm running a BB ad right now on top of an AMS ad. It seems to be helping, but only with Amazon sales this time around. Topping them off, as it were, whereas scaling up the AMS ad for the same book has not produced additional sales. If I thought I could get steady ad results from running the BB ad continuously, I would drop my daily budget for the AMS ad on that title. But so many BB ads are for discounted books that I'm afraid that audience is getting trained to expect the same level of discount they get in the main BB newsletter featured ads.

 
I've been researching BB ads and have read that the most successful ads are for books that are on sale. BB subscribers want bargains.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on July 18, 2018, 04:57:19 pm
You're probably right. I just edited my posts above to make the BookBub parts clear. This is Cassie's thread so she can advise us.

Not my thread, I just happened to have started it and participate a lot. But Jena H has now started a new thread for Bookbub CPC ads here: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,265201.0.html
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Harald on July 18, 2018, 05:12:57 pm
Not my thread, I just happened to have started it and participate a lot. But Jena H has now started a new thread for Bookbub CPC ads here: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,265201.0.html

I still call it "Cassie's Thread" ;-))). Will head over to the new linked thread for BB-specific conversation. Thanks.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on July 18, 2018, 05:16:02 pm
I still call it "Cassie's Thread" ;-))).

Haha! :)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Dpock on July 19, 2018, 07:25:44 am
Two mornings in a row (and sporadically over the past few weeks) I've woken up to lower spend and click levels than the night before (I take screenshots at 6:00 pm and 7:00 am PT daily). Has anyone else experienced this?

And is there a time of day, every day, when AMS does a major update?

Unrelated: My KDP dashboard KENP seems to freeze at 8:00 pm (ish) every night and come alive again at 11:30 pm. There's also a morning freeze usually between 6:00 am and 8:00 am, then again around 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Is this everyone's else experience too?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: erikhanberg on July 19, 2018, 09:55:00 am
What's the current thinking on multiple sponsored product campaigns for the same book? Am I risking driving up the CPC by doing it? I haven't seen any noticable effect but wanted to make sure I'm not missing something. Thanks!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: TromboneAl on July 29, 2018, 07:24:28 am
Added headings ...

(https://i.imgur.com/B2Jn2F1.jpg)

For the ad at the top, you got four clicks, and made $19.98.

I'm not criticizing and I appreciate seeing your data ...

My interpretation is that with 1,000+ ads, sorted by ACoS, what we're seeing here is just a fluke. Just by chance, several of the four clicks paid off, but that's not representative of your ads as a whole. Does that sound right?




Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: TromboneAl on July 29, 2018, 07:40:24 am
Don't give up on BB ads yet. The key is to test hard and fast and judge the results. BB are incredibly responsive. I'm following David Gaughran's advice: (1) do CPM vs. CPC; (2) bid on the upper end of the range they suggest; (3) do single-day tests; (4) select "fill as quickly as possible"; (5) put in a small Max Daily Budget (e.g., $10), and then just see what happens. You'll know within hours (sometimes before noon) if you have a winner or loser.

Do you evaluate the success of the ad based on clicks or actual sales?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on July 29, 2018, 07:54:25 am
Added headings ...

(https://i.imgur.com/B2Jn2F1.jpg)

For the ad at the top, you got four clicks, and made $19.98.

I'm not criticizing and I appreciate seeing your data ...

My interpretation is that with 1,000+ ads, sorted by ACoS, what we're seeing here is just a fluke. Just by chance, several of the four clicks paid off, but that's not representative of your ads as a whole. Does that sound right?

It sounds like you're referring to conversion rate. That particular ad sold two paperbacks with four clicks. I obviously don't get a 50% conversion rate across the board.

I've heard other folks claim CRs in the 1:10 range. Mine tend to be stronger, but I've also got some dogs out there. Ongoing pruning is important to plug the leaks.

Here's my worst-performing ad (long since terminated):


(https://i.imgur.com/tqRw4tP.png)


That was a poorly-targeted Product Display - Interest ad from early 2017 (before I knew what I was doing). I created it and unfortunately forgot about it. Obviously, it's an outlier (lol @ 2,000% ACoS), but a good example that some ads are dogs.

These days, my PD ads tend to have ACoS's under 70%, but that's mostly due to a targeting tactic I'm now using. This tactic has dramatically improved CR on these types of ads.

At the end of the day, though, I favor Sponsored Product ads because they kick off sooner and they're far more predictable.




Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: TromboneAl on July 29, 2018, 11:02:16 am
Here's my worst-performing ad (long since terminated) ...


(https://i.imgur.com/tqRw4tP.png)


As advertising lessons go, that was pretty cheap way to learn ($22.27).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on August 03, 2018, 01:08:07 pm
These days, my PD ads tend to have ACoS's under 70%, but that's mostly due to a targeting tactic I'm now using. This tactic has dramatically improved CR on these types of ads.

I'm sure you have some hard to obtain secrets in this, but do you mind elaborating just a bit?

I'm most curious about whether I can actually successfully run a PD ad with only a few targets.

I'd like to tailor an ad to a writer, for instance, to be able to write ad copy that references Dan Brown or Nelson DeMille, for instance.

However it seems that my PD ads with small targets don't generate any impressions (granted I've only been at this a couple months, but I have SP ads with hundreds of thousands of impressions and PD ads with like 114 impressions....)

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on August 03, 2018, 06:58:06 pm
Do we know how retroactive are the fees that we're charged for AMS?  I paused my most active ad around the first of July (or maybe the second, I don't recall).  With that ad paused, my only other two active ads aren't very profitable, and in fact my ad spend for July has been laughably low.  (Which is fine; I was busy in July and didn't have time to spend with tweaking keywords or bids, etc.)

Anyway, today was the day for payments to AMS and guess what??  The draft from my account is more in line with my prior months' amounts, rather than the piddly charge that I actually ran up during July.

So my question is, is the payment they take in August for the activity in July, or is it retroactive a month, and today's amount is really for the month of June?  Because I can tell you for a fact, my ad activity in July does NOT match the amount that is reflected in my bank account.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on August 04, 2018, 07:30:14 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H on August 04, 2018, 08:03:36 am
Yeah, I can see the breakdown of the monthly charge, but I still have trouble believing that an ad that only ran for half of the month (or thereabouts) would be almost as much as full months' charge.  I'm sure their info is correct, but somehow it doesn't make sense to me.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NerdyWriter on August 05, 2018, 11:11:18 am
For Sponsor Ads, what are the grammar/punctuation guidelines for adding keywords in manually? Can I add periods in author names, apostrophes, and ampersand in titles used as keywords? Are there any frown upon symbols?

Thanks for reading!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on August 05, 2018, 11:28:01 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Nobody222 on August 05, 2018, 12:51:41 pm
Does anyone advertise on ams Canada or ams Australia in here? (or any other besides usa/uk).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A past poster on August 05, 2018, 02:01:37 pm
(The quote function is broken.)   I didn't like what was going on with one ad (41 cents a click, arrgh) and slashed its budget--and now it's selling more and I'm paying less.

Did you lower your keywords or just your budget?

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: NerdyWriter on August 06, 2018, 05:26:26 am
Thank you for such a fast response, Cassie! Loved your book and this thread (read it all in one day . . . not too sure if I'm ready for that 70-something page behemoth of a thread)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on August 06, 2018, 06:00:04 am
Glad you liked the book. And I think you can probably skip that other thread at this point if you've read this one.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anna Drake on August 06, 2018, 12:56:44 pm
I am an AMS failure. I ran a display ad, not long after AMS started up, I think. It did okay. I don't think I lost money, or if so, not much. I currently have two AMS sponsored ads running. I haven't lost money on them, but that's only because they aren't being displayed much nor clicked on in any meaningful way. The bids are low, the daily spend is practically nothing.

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?

So tell me, are AMS ads still worth it? And if so, how deep does one's pockets need to be?



Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on August 06, 2018, 01:45:10 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on August 06, 2018, 02:34:36 pm
Running Product Display ads.

Anyone have any idea what the viable minimum number of products an ad has to target to get traction?
Or does it depend?

I ran some ads using Amazon's category feature, but it was too broad. I was getting a decent number of clicks, but not enough sales to justify the ads continuation. I wonder why Zon doesn't allow targeted products in these ads to show up with stats like in the keyword ads.

So, since the broad categories was too broad, I've tried running three different approaches:

One, lots of keywords (or better, targeted products). I think I've got a few with close to the limit (which I think is 750.....)
Two, only keywords tied to a specific writer (ie their catalogue the best I can find using the search function) some of these only have 10 targets.
Three, something in the middle of this where I end up with maybe 100 books targeted (ie using two authors catalogues).

So far it's too early to tell if I'll get any impressions.

And, finally, I have a question about running ads for multiple books in a series. Does anyone have any good experiences running multiple SP ads for a series where you've got the same keywords and same ad copy for books 1 - whatever....?

I realize there is going to be some cannibalization going on, however, if the ROI is good, it's good, and I can't seem to get enough impressions (so far) with just advertising book one in a series.*

* in other words, I have two similar SP ads going for two series and one is getting 10x the impressions (I used the same methodology for both).

I think the lower impressions is because the genre is more competitive, so I want to run ads for books 2 and up to see if I can force more eyeballs simply by offering Amazon more chances to run my stuff.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: R. C. on August 06, 2018, 02:39:41 pm
I started reading this thread from the beginning.   Yep, read every page up to page 12 (Mid-Dec 2017).  I had to stop reading, the gray cloud of depression was growing with each comment and post. 

Jump ahead to page 34, (Mid-May 2018 - I think) and the gray cloud of disappointment was omnipresent.

First: Cassie Leigh rocks!   Other posters are good but Cassie is spectacular. 

History: I splashed a comprehensive ad campaign the weekend before the July 4th holiday.  Splashed means, many platforms, many specials, lots of free stuff to read.   The campaign was successful.  Comparatively speaking, the number of units sold and pages read is tiny but I have readers now.   I received my first royalty check! 

My FB following is now sorta large.  Up from nothing is still small but it is a start.   The primary goal, to create a following, was met.  The secondary goal, to create follow-on readers, was met.   

To maintain the momentum I received from pre-holiday campaign, I tried AMS again.

After reading the thread, and reviewing the the current AMS AD results, there is but one conclusion: AMS is broken. 

AMS is too hard to use.  It does not provide enough information to easily determine which ADs are successful.  Micro targeting is non-existent.  Even with the Machete add-on, for reporting and analysis, understanding the AD delivery process is almost impossible.  Using hundreds of keywords is a shotgun approach that results in more confusion and maintenance overhead that is unnecessary.   (Unnecessary if you can accurately target your market.)

In summary, thank you to all who have participate in this thread.   The amount of knowledge conveyed is phenomenal. 

Now... Back to what worked and try and pull a few more sales from old ad copy. 

Cheers,
Ruairi
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on August 06, 2018, 02:49:52 pm
Since Machete was mentioned....

I got this a month ago.  I'm not even sure if I'm using it....what good does knowing all this tiny micro level stuff matter?

I'm not sure if I'll keep it around and pay for it as I don't see what I'm getting out of it.

Is there something here I'm missing?  Some super helpful feature?

I mean, I go to an SP ad and run through the keywords....bad ROI? turn off.....good ROI? leave on...

What else is there to do?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: R. C. on August 06, 2018, 03:40:33 pm
Since Machete was mentioned....

...what good does knowing all this tiny micro level stuff matter?
...
I mean, I go to an SP ad and run through the keywords....bad ROI? turn off.....good ROI? leave on...

What else is there to do?

If you can accurately target the audience, narrow the options to the highest probability of buying, you reduce the time requirements for ROI experimentation.

Example 1: With the FB campaign, I knew my YA shorty stories were being downloaded by English speaking women ages 15-33.  I had excluded men and non-English speakers and hit the target on the first attempt. 

Further, for those of us for which this is an avocation, not a vocation, time is limited.   Experimentation and campaign refinement is necessary, and prudent, but it takes precious time.  The closer you are to the intended market, the more likely the results are to be positive. 

Cheers,
Ruairi
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: R. C. on August 06, 2018, 03:50:42 pm
... is only one-half of the AMS ad placement game, and not the best half.

Exactly!  Super Bowl ADs are the most expensive because they get the most eyeballs.  They are, however, notoriously bad for ensuring sales.   Ever watch Jeopardy?  Who has the last ad before coming out of commercial for Final Jeopardy? 

Jeopardy is the #3 syndicated TV show in the U.S which is why it is the lead in to the #2 show: The Wheel of Fortune.   The median age of Jeopardy viewers: 62.4.  This explains the massive commercial block between the Final Jeopardy category and the start of The Wheel.   They are paying premium AD rates to reach a specific demographic. 

The last AD before Final Jeopardy?  GEICO.   Why?  Because people are invested and the 10 million weekly viewers want to see the question and who will win. 

Demographics are the core, the life of, and the bane of marketing.

Cheers,
Rauiri

Sources: http://thestrategicretreat.com/8-facts-about-jeopardy/  and https://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/sdsdskdh279882992z1/syndicated-tv-ratings-jeopardy-dr-phil-live-with-kelly-michael-lead-talkers-for-week-ending-april-5-20/
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 on August 08, 2018, 08:58:11 am
AMS is the poorest business model I have ever come across - totally unfathomable.

During my 30+ years in the mail order business, I was able to nail everything down - totally predictable.

All that was necessary was to procure legitimate mailing lists; which is more art than science.  The vast majority of lists are garbage but, once legit lists were obtained, they were like owning money machines.

With AMS, the BIG question is: why do they do things the way they do?  I cannot attribute it to incompetence, but can imagine all sorts of nefarious motivations.


Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: R. C. on August 08, 2018, 09:05:56 am
AMS is the poorest business model I have ever come across - totally unfathomable.

During my 30+ years in the mail order business, I was able to nail everything down - totally predictable.

All that was necessary was to procure legitimate mailing lists; which is more art than science.  The vast majority of lists are garbage but, once legit lists were obtained, they were like owning money machines.

With AMS, the BIG question is: why do they do things the way they do?  I cannot attribute it to incompetence, but can imagine all sorts of nefarious motivations.

Agreed, something odd is going on...

Cheers,
Ruairi
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on August 09, 2018, 10:27:28 am
With AMS, the BIG question is: why do they do things the way they do?  I cannot attribute it to incompetence, but can imagine all sorts of nefarious motivations.

Because even though Amazon started in books, their other areas of business (cloud, selling other crap) makes the book ad business a mere bag of shells. It's a pittance to them, a dalliance. Therefore, a red-headed stepchild that gets little attention. That's my theory, anyway.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan on August 09, 2018, 11:53:04 am
So anyone have an idea on the metric to use for the following situation.

I have a keyword (and author) that is getting 1 in a 1000 clicks.
The author is in Kindle Unlimited.
The book I'm advertising is in KU as well.
The books, however, aren't in the same sub-genre (they are close enough to know there's cross-over...but what percentage is anyone's guess).

The clicks have hit 23 without a sale.

About ten bucks in spend.

At what point do I decide that his keyword is not profitable?  I think one sale in about 20 is probably profitable, but I'm not sure how many clicks past 20 without a sale is enough to say that it's failed. Seems like a complex math problem.

If most of the big readers are in KU and they are the ones clicking...then it goes to reason I'm probably making money even though no sales show...but this is guessing.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on August 09, 2018, 12:18:15 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: C. Rysalis on August 10, 2018, 10:25:03 am
So I don't understand what's going on with my AMS and hope someone can help me 'get' it.

I've had two ads (for the two books in my sig) running for two and a half days now, and even though I chose relevant keywords for the genre (powers, heroes etc etc) and my bids seem high (0.42$ on most) I'm getting a very small number of impressions. One ad has accumulated 1500ish impressions over those two and a half days, the other less than 300.  :o The keywords for both are similar but not identical.

The daily budget for each is 3$. I'm not even remotely close to reaching it with that amount of impressions. I've had two clicks from one keyword that generated 100ish impressions, that's it.

Can any of you experts help me out?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: R. C. on August 10, 2018, 11:17:50 am
So I don't understand what's going on with my AMS and hope someone can help me 'get' it.

I've had two ads (for the two books in my sig) running for two and a half days now, and even though I chose relevant keywords for the genre (powers, heroes etc etc) and my bids seem high (0.42$ on most) I'm getting a very small number of impressions. One ad has accumulated 1500ish impressions over those two and a half days, the other less than 300.  :o The keywords for both are similar but not identical.

The daily budget for each is 3$. I'm not even remotely close to reaching it with that amount of impressions. I've had two clicks from one keyword that generated 100ish impressions, that's it.

Can any of you experts help me out?

C. Rysalis - I feel your pain.

I am experiencing an identical process with AMS.    Your numbers are shockingly similar to my AMS numbers for two ADs.   The difference is my bids are much lower but I am increasing them slowly.   The bid increase, several increases over several days, has had no effective toward more impressions. 

To check my AD copy and process, I started a similar AD on FB a couple of days ago.   As of this morning, I had to pull back (narrow) the demographics to improve market results.   The FB AD started on Aug 8th, and, as of a few minutes ago, has 39k impressions,  1.3k clicks, for about $13 USD.

Cheers,
Ruairi

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: C. Rysalis on August 10, 2018, 11:30:37 am
C. Rysalis - I feel your pain.

I am experiencing an identical process with AMS.    Your numbers are shockingly similar to my AMS numbers for two ADs.   The difference is my bids are much lower but I am increasing them slowly.   The bid increase, several increases over several days, has had no effective toward more impressions. 

To check my AD copy and process, I started a similar AD on FB a couple of days ago.   As of this morning, I had to pull back (narrow) the demographics to improve market results.   The FB AD started on Aug 8th, and, as of a few minutes ago, has 39k impressions,  1.3k clicks, for about $13 USD.

Cheers,
Ruairi

Interesting that your results are so similar... how are Facebook ads these days? Has FB implemented self-serve ads yet, or changed the requirements for them? Because the Facebook ad discussion we had not that long ago sounded kind of frightening. I might give them a try if the doom and gloom from that thread didn't actually become a reality, though.  :)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MajesticMonkey on August 10, 2018, 12:10:53 pm
Does AMS now starts counting paperbacks in the ACOS?

I'm asking because I have several sales where the math doesn't add up.

For example: 1 click = $15 sales Or 2 clicks = $15 in sales.

In both cases my ebook is priced at $3 and my CS paperback at $15.

(Obviously with 1 clicks and 1 sale of an ebook, the max sale could only be $3.)

Thoughts?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: R. C. on August 10, 2018, 01:16:25 pm
Interesting that your results are so similar... how are Facebook ads these days? Has FB implemented self-serve ads yet, or changed the requirements for them? Because the Facebook ad discussion we had not that long ago sounded kind of frightening. I might give them a try if the doom and gloom from that thread didn't actually become a reality, though.  :)

I am not sure what you mean with the question of "self-serve" ADs.   

Basically. I used the FB ADs Manager portal, specified a campaign, created an ad set, and then created the ad.   I capped the total spend and the amount of spend per day.    The best part for me is the geography and demographics.   I know my clicks are hitting my target market.   I check the countries every couple of days and exclude any that are not likely candidates for a lot of pull-through.   The proof is in KU pages and numbers of downloads.

A few other points of relevance re: the FB AD process:

1) A by-product of so many impressions is it is building an fan base that is associated with my book's FB page. 
2) Set to: English speaking only and exclude India, China, Russian, etc.   India will suck up the daily spend with little pull-through, even at $.99 USD.
3) The FB ADs link out to the KDP page for the books.   Sales and download are not through FB.

Cheers,
Ruairi
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: C. Rysalis on August 10, 2018, 01:19:22 pm
Thanks so much, Ruairi. That was very helpful.  ;D
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: R. C. on August 10, 2018, 01:36:37 pm
Thanks so much, Ruairi. That was very helpful.  ;D

You are very welcome.  I have to be nice, Courtney G. threatened me with the gom jabbar if I am not nice. 

Cheers,
Ruairi

For those wondering: http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Gom_Jabbar (http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Gom_Jabbar) and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrCfivcQe48 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrCfivcQe48)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL on August 10, 2018, 01:38:42 pm
Does AMS now starts counting paperbacks in the ACOS?

AMS have included paperback sales for at least a year or more if not forever.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MajesticMonkey on August 10, 2018, 10:00:02 pm
AMS have included paperback sales for at least a year or more if not forever.

Really? (They didn't used to count paperback as far as I know.) Guess I'm slow to catch up on that then. And thanks for the info. It means a lot. :)

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Evanesco on August 11, 2018, 01:27:18 am
So I don't understand what's going on with my AMS and hope someone can help me 'get' it.

I've had two ads (for the two books in my sig) running for two and a half days now, and even though I chose relevant keywords for the genre (powers, heroes etc etc) and my bids seem high (0.42$ on most) I'm getting a very small number of impressions. One ad has accumulated 1500ish impressions over those two and a half days, the other less than 300.  :o The keywords for both are similar but not identical.

The daily budget for each is 3$. I'm not even remotely close to reaching it with that amount of impressions. I've had two clicks from one keyword that generated 100ish impressions, that's it.

Can any of you experts help me out?

I had a call with Amazon yesterday (to talk about my UK based AMS ads) and their suggestion that ads should be run for a minimum of 2 weeks to give any meaningful numbers, with a month being better. Don’t know if this applies to non-UK ads as well though.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: thanksfortheadvice on August 11, 2018, 01:59:23 am
I had a call with Amazon yesterday (to talk about my UK based AMS ads) and their suggestion that ads should be run for a minimum of 2 weeks to give any meaningful numbers, with a month being better. Don’t know if this applies to non-UK ads as well though.

In my limited experience this sounds about right for US as well. I've never been able to determine anything from a few days of data. For one thing, the numbers update at an irregular pace. A sale will show up on KDP hours, if not days before AMS acknowledges it. The impressions and clicks have been known to decrease. It's an odd system for sure. I usually record data at two week intervals.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Rafael Pombo on August 11, 2018, 02:13:40 am
I had a call with Amazon yesterday (to talk about my UK based AMS ads) and their suggestion that ads should be run for a minimum of 2 weeks to give any meaningful numbers, with a month being better. Don’t know if this applies to non-UK ads as well though.

I've heard people mentioning similar numbers concerning the time an ad should run before it gets really effective. "Three weeks or so," I remember a lady who claimed to have great experience and success with AMS saying. She also recommended that people try the automatic targeting, which may seem weird since I always hear from other authors that's not a very good option because you can't choose the best keywords.

But guess what: my first ad was an automatic and it still gives me better results (higher conversion rate) than the manual one I created some time later.

Go figure.

I guess the automatic targeting is more intelligent than I am when it comes to thinking up the keywords that are relevant to my book. Too bad I don't know what those keywords are.

(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.)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: C. Rysalis on August 11, 2018, 03:40:03 am
Is there any disadvantage to running an automatic ad alongside a manual one (for the same book)?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Evanesco on August 11, 2018, 03:52:03 am
Is there any disadvantage to running an automatic ad alongside a manual one (for the same book)?

Not that I can see. They do take a while to get going though - I have an automatic ad alongside manual ones - the automatic one is my best performing by far, but it took over 2 months to get there. I’m inching up the spend on it to see if I can scale it up.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: khotisarque 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 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.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 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).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan 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.

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: randallcfloyd 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan 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.


Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: randallcfloyd 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: weigle1234 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).
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: sailingthevoid 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: sailingthevoid 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... :)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: sailingthevoid 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
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Parker Rimes 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: C. Rysalis 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: C. Rysalis 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!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: sailingthevoid 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:
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:

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
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist 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!

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: CassieL 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Einnie 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: sailingthevoid 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!
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: chrisanthemum7 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H 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....
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan 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).

Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: C. Rysalis 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
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H 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.    ::)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: MichaelRyan 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Nobody222 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Lennon 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Carol (was Dara) 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Parker Rimes 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes 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.)


Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H 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.)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Simon Haynes on August 26, 2018, 05:41:29 am
Well if everyone gives up it'll leave the field wide open for you ;-)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Jena H 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....    ;)
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn 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.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist 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.





Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: DrewMcGunn 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
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: botolo 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?
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Decon 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?????
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: C. Rysalis on August 27, 2018, 02:31:45 am
What's your opinion?

I don't have an answer for you, but I'm in the same boat. Lots of clicks, no sales and hardly any KU borrows.  ??? Might start a thread for all of us unlucky ones to figure out what's going on.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: BillyDeCarlo on August 27, 2018, 03:51:54 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?????

You're reading it wrong (and it's badly worded/named). It's not telling you to 'click' something. It's telling you about something called a "click credit."
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: A Dark Path on August 27, 2018, 04:27:46 am
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.)

Amen to this. I'm glad I'm not the only one.
Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: Anarchist on August 27, 2018, 06:33:09 am
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'm a big believer in finding virgin territory.

It's weird how seemingly unrelated keywords can drive impressions, clicks, and sales. The best part is that such keywords are nonintuitive. So while everyone else is fighting to be king of the mountain - or even just picking up scraps - bidding on titles and authors, you get to pillage the new territory.

Here are the numbers from a recent campaign I launched (small numbers, but it's early days yet):


(https://i.imgur.com/FXuu848.png)


It's based on a keyword that's only tangentially related to my genre. But it's converting. I think other authors in my genre are missing it completely because their books aren't present in the ad space.

Eventually, this territory will be plundered. But by then, I'll have cemented my positions with high-converting ads (I'm convinced AMS uses campaign conversion history as a factor in determining ad placement).


Here are numbers from another recent campaign that shows promise (though the conversion metrics need attention):


(https://i.imgur.com/qMxNqxy.png)


Same deal as above. It's based on keyword territory that lies on the periphery of my genre. No one seems to have discovered it yet. So I'm trying to build my conversion history while the competition is light, ensuring I keep my top positions at lower bids later, after the barbarians have breached the gates.

I have a lot of similar campaigns. And I'm always trying to launch more.

My point, and I know you know this already Drew, is that it pays to unearth keywords that are being overlooked by other advertisers in your space. Some will be dogs, of course. But some turn into gems. :)



Title: Re: A New AMS Thread
Post by: sailingthevoid on August 27, 2018, 07:47:01 am
<