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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My most successful campaign on AMS ever has been rolling along for over a year. It's a non-fiction book so you know what genre it is in. It's got 81 five stars on Amazon and over 200 five star on Audible. So it's not like it's a non-performer.

As I learned on this board when something is working well don't touch it. The ACOS was sitting around 20%, CPC was in the low .20 and I was selling a good number of books for the type it is for well over a year. 

Suddenly it has stopped working. The ACOS is now over 200% but the CPC is still around .22.

Is AMS doing something different? Or has the campaign run it course? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I've read here stopping then restarting it after a while has worked but I frankly am puzzled. I don't trust AMS and use it sparingly.
 

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It's hard to say without knowing a few details like your general sales #s, targeting, etc.

Usually my instinct is to say it's the keywords that are the problem. Keywords shift over time because reader interest shifts. General keywords ("self-help" etc) will remain consistent, but if you're targeting specific authors or books, those will move over the course of months.

That said, your numbers (ACOS and CPC) are great. I wish mine were so good. I pour a lot into AMS with a couple of ads and allow myself a painful ACOS because it's the first in a long series that's in KU and it pays for itself easily.

But if I were advertising a single book, I would certainly revisit my keywords and spend some time looking at what's selling in the genre.

Another point: AMS does shift from time to time in terms of effectiveness. There's no doubt that they try new things on their end, over which we have zero control. So it's really hard to know how to navigate that. I wish I had the answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's number 20 in Emergency Medicine Kindle and number 78 in Emergency Medicine Books. I have a paperback. Overall it's barely in the top 99 thousand and change in the Kindle store.

I'm not sure there is much room for change in targeting or keywords. Paramedics, EMTs, firefighters are the audience. It is a fairly specific genre.
 

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ACOS used to count all sales associated with a click, meaning that if someone clicked on your ebook ad and then decided to buy your paperback instead (usually at a higher price), that would all be counted in the ACOS.

Now, a click on an ebook ad is only counted toward a sale if they buy your ebook. Paperback sales aren't included. This makes the ACOS figure even more useless than it was before.

In the grand scheme of things, if your rankings and total sales haven't changed, then the ads are producing the exact same results that they were before. The only difference is that AMS is reporting things differently.
 

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Hasbeen said:
My most successful campaign on AMS ever has been rolling along for over a year. It's a non-fiction book so you know what genre it is in. It's got 81 five stars on Amazon and over 200 five star on Audible. So it's not like it's a non-performer.

As I learned on this board when something is working well don't touch it. The ACOS was sitting around 20%, CPC was in the low .20 and I was selling a good number of books for the type it is for well over a year.

Suddenly it has stopped working. The ACOS is now over 200% but the CPC is still around .22.

Is AMS doing something different? Or has the campaign run it course? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I've read here stopping then restarting it after a while has worked but I frankly am puzzled. I don't trust AMS and use it sparingly.
Same thing happened to me in May last year. My best ad was running around 46% and had been for a few years. All of my ads suddenly fell off a cliff, and the ACOS on my top earner climbed to 289%. I spent almost a year trying to sort things out, but was never able to get anywhere near good enough. I barely run any ads now. Good luck.
 

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Bunker said:
ACOS used to count all sales associated with a click, meaning that if someone clicked on your ebook ad and then decided to buy your paperback instead (usually at a higher price), that would all be counted in the ACOS.

Now, a click on an ebook ad is only counted toward a sale if they buy your ebook. Paperback sales aren't included.
This makes the ACOS figure even more useless than it was before.

In the grand scheme of things, if your rankings and total sales haven't changed, then the ads are producing the exact same results that they were before. The only difference is that AMS is reporting things differently.
This doesn't seem right. Where have you read this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had not heard of ACOS only counting Kindle purchases and not counting paperback buys.

If that is true there is no way to really understand how effective your advertising is on Amazon.

I've struggled with ads on AMS for years and never got one as effective as this ad before. So I'm at a loss. It was my bestselling book by far right now.

If AMS and Facebook don't work as I've read here many times then what is left to do. Just throwing out there and hoping for the best is not a strategy in today's market. How do you get attention to your book?

An editor I've used said she is booked months in advance now because as she said 'everybody' is writing a book. I wonder if that could be part of the problem, the simple fact that so many books are hitting the market now.
 

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A Dark Path said:
This doesn't seem right. Where have you read this?
I had an email from them saying this.

Amazon are asking you to add all assins to your ad if you have a print book for results to show on your dashboard. They have made changes but I don't know the impact. Maybe it is this resulting in a higher acos

Yeah that could be it.

Amazon ad email 2nd june

In our continued effort to improve your view of advertising performance, we are making an update in our reporting process, providing you with a more actionable view of ad performance and control over spend by title.

As of 1 July 2020, sales for current and new Sponsored Products campaigns featuring Book ASINs will be reported for the advertised ASIN only. Prior to this date, reporting may have included sales for various formats of the title advertised. As a result of this change, you may see a variation in advertising-attributed sales trends. This change does not affect your billing [or royalties].

To continue viewing sales across multiple book formats, add all applicable formats to a single Sponsored Products campaign. For example, in order to see the sales for both the eBook and paperback version of your title, add both ASINs to the same campaign.

Thank you for using Amazon Advertising.
 

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Is your ad targeting an eBook and selling paperbacks??? If so the ACOS would track up like crazy in July because Amazon isn't recording adjacent orders to ads, just the exact product you are advertising. Take a look at your order pattern for this month and your royalties vs ad spend - has anything changed there?
 

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Decon said:
I had an email from them saying this.
I just went and checked the date on my email from them. It was sent this week--July 14. So for some reason they are staggering emails, and some are being sent after the fact. After the July 1 change, I mean.

Hopefully those of you who haven't received it will, at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just checked the ad and sure enough it is only showing the ASIN of the Kindle and does not include the paperback sales. I spent twenty minutes trying to figure how to add the paperback ASIN equivalent to the ad but I can't find out how.

No wonder all the sales numbers are off. Anybody know how to add the paperback ASIN to the add? Or do I have to redo the add from the beginning?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I just spent a half an hour on the phone with Amazon to try and get an answer to my concerns.

First the customer service representative says the letter stating that you have to add the paperback ASIN to a SPONSORED ad to see it's sales was never sent out. Which is strange since I just noticed at the top of the AMS campaign page there is a similar announcement.

Secondly and more importantly if you choose to have a CUSTOM ad that means one with a description of your book in the ad you can't add another ASIN to that campaign so your numbers will reflect only your Kindle sales. If you want to understand your paperback sales using a CUSTOM ad you have to create a separate ad campaign for that version of your book. The customer service rep said I would not be paying twice for having two separate ads. He said that I would not have to pay for the click on the version of the book. For example if they clicked on the Kindle version and saw it was in paperback then they could click on the paperback version and we wouldn't be charged.

The best I could figure out from his confusing explanations the Amazon rep gave me is your still paying for two campaigns if you use the CUSTOM ad I don't see how you wouldn't be paying twice. I do have a children's book that AMS says I sold none this month but BOOK REPORT shows I've sold a number of them. So AMS certainly is a gateway to paperback sales. But having two campaigns to doesn't make sense to me. It feels as if they as squeezing us for more advertising money.

It is the same with the book I started this thread with BOOK REPORT shows me selling more books than AMS. So AMS is only showing my Kindle sales. To figure out your ROI will take you trying compare numbers from two different programs to get a good answer on your advertising.

In my experience advertising your Kindle version is a gateway to paperback sales. I don't think people search by just books or just Kindle. I think they just search for a Kindle and it always comes up first. If anyone else has a different experience let me know.

Then there is the SPONSORED ad vs the CUSTOM ad. With the sponsored ad only the cover shows up no description of the book. Unless you have a very special cover or title I think that will not get the clicks or sales a CUSTOM ad does with it's brief description.

So you are stuck with choosing either a CUSTOM or SPONSORED ad or paying for two CUSTOM campaigns if you want to understand your Kindle and paperback sales.

So with all that said. I may do a short SPONSORED ad for one of my books just to see if it's worth it. I also my trying the two CUSTOM ads to see the cost of that.

Amazon just made things a lot more confusing and difficult for us independent  authors to understand our advertising costs. Something I think is hugely important for us little guys.
 

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My email is from amazon. Com not amazon. uk 2nd June

Not sure if that makes difference to what the customer service rep said to you.
 

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Decon said:
I had an email from them saying this.

Amazon are asking you to add all assins to your ad if you have a print book for results to show on your dashboard. They have made changes but I don't know the impact. Maybe it is this resulting in a higher acos

Yeah that could be it.

Amazon ad email 2nd june

In our continued effort to improve your view of advertising performance, we are making an update in our reporting process, providing you with a more actionable view of ad performance and control over spend by title.

As of 1 July 2020, sales for current and new Sponsored Products campaigns featuring Book ASINs will be reported for the advertised ASIN only. Prior to this date, reporting may have included sales for various formats of the title advertised. As a result of this change, you may see a variation in advertising-attributed sales trends. This change does not affect your billing [or royalties].

To continue viewing sales across multiple book formats, add all applicable formats to a single Sponsored Products campaign. For example, in order to see the sales for both the eBook and paperback version of your title, add both ASINs to the same campaign.

Thank you for using Amazon Advertising.
I may be wrong, but I read this as just being about the reporting of sales data. To me, it seems like a measure aimed purely at pinning down the source of a sale. If you've listed various ASINs, then you'll be able to differentiate. Otherwise, you'll just see a general listing of a sale assigned to that particular ad.
 
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