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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I'd start this thread for those of us using this for advertising. This is the "Sponsored Products" below the "Customers Also Bought", NOT the bigger Amazon Ad on the right side of the book's page. I'm distinguishing these two because Amazon's requirements and probably therefore results are different for the 2 types of ads, and it's often confusing which one people are talking about.

So I tried out my first one a few weeks ago. I set the daily budget at $1 and ran it for 6 days for the 1st book in my series. I feel like it was a really good investment. I spent less than 30 cents and sold a few books, and got thousands of impressions. I don't know if it's a fluke though. I ran a second campaign with my 2nd in the series (yes I know, I know, you're not supposed to promote the later books in your series, but this is not like other promos, but more like Also-boughts, and I wanted to test the reactions to another book cover). That one yielded no sales, but the click costs was so low, it was still worth the impressions I thought. I'm running another 6 days on the 1st in my series again, adding more keywords, to see what happens. The ad campaign started yesterday.

What I like about these are:

1. They are very easy to set up, and given that I'm very busy right now, it's a quick way to do a promo.
2. The ad runs through many days, so even though you don't get a 1 day spike with tail, it keeps your book out there. I know of so few ways to do that besides FB, but FB can easily run your wallet to the ground. This one costs very little so far.
3. It's cheap. If you even sell one book, your ROI comes back like a hundred fold.
4. The minimum $1 per day limit. It helps you not to spend more than you can afford. And anyway, I'm pretty happy with the actual cost per click they charged. We're talking about a few cents, like 3 cents per click.

What I am confused about -- I don't understand how the CPC works. Amazon recommends 50cents. I set it to 10 cents - 30cents depending on whether I want to bid for a particular keyword. But does anyone know how they ultimately decide to charge per click? The cost of the clicks I have to pay came nowhere near my chosen bid (a good thing, but I would like to know how it all works.)

Anyway, i've been wanting to do these ads for a long time and I wasn't offered this choice by Amazon 2 months ago. I'm very glad they let me do this now. i don't want to do the other ad (the one on the right side of a book's page) for a number of reasons.

If anyone else is playing ball, share your thoughts, info, or whatever here. :)

ETA: Just so we are not confused what ads we are discussing here, I'm adding this screenshot of the current #1 best seller in the Kindle store. The row of books called "Sponsored Products" under the Also-Boughts. Those are what we're talking about. All advise and info here will not help you with and will not be relevant to whatever other Amazon ads you're running.

 

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AlexaKang said:
What I am confused about -- I don't understand how the CPC works. Amazon recommends 50cents. I set it to 10 cents - 30cents depending on whether I want to bid for a particular keyword. But does anyone know how they ultimately decide to charge per click? The cost of the clicks I have to pay came nowhere near my chosen bid (a good thing, but I would like to know how it all works.)
This is what Amazon says about the CPC
Sponsored Products uses a cost-per-click, auction-based pricing model. You set the maximum cost that you are willing to pay when a customer clicks an ad. If your ad is eligible to appear in a customer's search, your ad will compete in a real-time auction. The more competitive your bid is, the more likely you are to win the auction. If your ad wins the auction and the customer clicks on your ad, then you will be charged $0.01 more than the second highest bidder.
Obviously they display more than one in the sponsored products row, so I assume that the leftmost ad has a higher bid that the rightmost. For popular keywords (e.g. 'romance') I assume there's some other filtering involved, just because of the sheer number of people who have the same bid and the impracticality of having every one of the people with that keyword factored into the bidding every time it comes up.
 

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I'm also experimenting with these ads and I like the ease and low cost. However, I do wonder about the impressions. From what I've seen, my ad can appear way down the list, meaning a user would have to scroll about 3 or 4 times before they'd even see my ad, and I'm guessing that still counts as an impression. I've started with low bids but to get any decent visibility I usually need to bid more. I've had more sales on my 99c book than my full-priced books. Doesn't seem to have much effect on my KU reads.
 

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I've been tinkering with these Ads this week as well. I've tried Facebook ads before and I've struggled with setting them up. These ads are so much easier to set up.

I changed the spend per click to .25 and had the spend at $2.00 a day. I wasn't coming close to maxing out the spend. The Dystopian/ Post-Apocalyptic books have been pretty stagnant once I reduced the spend from .50 to .25. Overall that ad was disappointing even after more and more keywords I added to the list.

However, the Western is doing really well. I've had actually several sales on a 2.99 book and the CPC is really low. That one is ending today so I copied it do it again and upped the spend to $3.00 a day to see how it goes.

My thoughts- Westerns have an audience but not a lot of new material compared to Dystopian and PA fiction. By looking at the more expensive sponsored ads at the bottom of the page of my Dystopian/ PA books, there are lots. And the Western doesn't have nearly as many.

So I'll just leave these thoughts here in case it helps someone navigate this. I'm going to try one for a YA book next. We'll see how that one goes.



 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My sales and KENP reads have gone up since I started this campaign. I think the KENP reads increase was for the first day was from the campaign. But I can't  tell right now the sales these last 2 days are from the ads because it is possible that people are discovering  the book from the histfic cross promo (I am not participating in that this weekend, but my book is up on that site at normal price).

The ad campaign itself reported no sales, but it is possible that people bought the book without clicking on the sponsored ad, and just searched the book itself. All I know is I have a sales increase than usual. I'm keeping my daily limit at $1. My total spending so far for the last 3 days is $1.11 @ $.18 CPC.

What I'm gathering so far is, this is a long game, not like a ENT, RR promo where you can get a lot of immediate downloads. But I actually still really like this Sponsored Products option because it is a very sure way to keep the book in the eyes of browsing readers. When you think about what marketing experts say, that it takes several views before people remember the product, I'm happy to get the impressions. Plus, the ROI is really good when I think about the low CPC per sale on average (assuming the sales came from this and not the histfic promo.)

Not sure if this is "the" formula, but:

1. I think the way to get your book on Page 1 of another book with low CPC is to find the top TP HNR in your genre. Usually these books are ranked very high and may even be in Pre-order. They do not have a string of Sponsored Products on their page yet. If you go with something that's big and out there for a while, it'll be more competitive.

2. The blurbs -- We're only allowed 30 characters right? Or was it 30 words? Either way, you got to get the message across and invoke readers emotions with one single sentence. I've tested 2 versions. The first one tells readers immediately what the book is about. The second one, I thought it might draw readers in by identifying the MCs and their travails. I thought the second one would improve since so many other Sponsored Products blurbs were doing it. Wrong! The first one got much better mileage.

Maybe we can do Sponsored Products blurb critiques here from time to time for those who want some help.

I think I'll need to wait till this weekend is over and the histfic cross promo to end before I know whether my sales are from this or from that.
 

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Hold your horses...

I know of the advertising option when you're book is in KDP Select. You're book will get displayed on Kindles and a few other places.

How / where do I get access to the "sponsored products" you are talking about?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
MajesticMonkey said:
@ Anma Natsu

Nice! So you can be wide and still advertise on AZ? No need to be exclusive?
Yes you can be wide and still advertise. But this option is not available to every author. I don't know what voodoo Amazon uses to decide who gets to run these ads and who doesn't. The best way to find out if you're offered this option is to go on your KDP Publishing page, click on the Advertising and Promo button of your book. If you have this option, it'll show up. If not, it'll give you the other option (the ad on the right side of other books' page.)

A few months ago I didn't have the Sponsored Products option. I tried to set it up via the normal Sponsored Products page, but the wouldn't allow "books". I wrote to the Amazon Gods, but they said this option wasn't offered to everyone and there was nothing to be done about it. Then one day, I suddenly realized I was now one of the blessed ones. Have no idea why but am glad to be blessed.
 

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AlexaKang said:
1. I think the way to get your book on Page 1 of another book with low CPC is to find the top TP HNR in your genre. Usually these books are ranked very high and may even be in Pre-order. They do not have a string of Sponsored Products on their page yet. If you go with something that's big and out there for a while, it'll be more competitive.

2. The blurbs -- We're only allowed 30 characters right? Or was it 30 words? Either way, you got to get the message across and invoke readers emotions with one single sentence. I've tested 2 versions. The first one tells readers immediately what the book is about. The second one, I thought it might draw readers in by identifying the MCs and their travails. I thought the second one would improve since so many other Sponsored Products blurbs were doing it. Wrong! The first one got much better mileage.

Maybe we can do Sponsored Products blurb critiques here from time to time for those who want some help.
Thanks for the HNR tip! I never thought of that. I'll try that with my next ad.

Yes, I find it quite hard to come up with a compelling blurb for such a short space. Will have to work on that.

I'm also thinking that as more authors use these ads I'll need to increase my bids to maintain visibility so costs could rise.
 

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Does anyone know if you can delete a keyword? I can pause them, sure, but I have one I put on the wrong book by mistake, and another couple that just aren't doing anything (fewer than 10 impressions in over a week.) It would be nice to just get rid of them.
 

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AlexaKang said:
Yes you can be wide and still advertise. But this option is not available to every author. I don't know what voodoo Amazon uses to decide who gets to run these ads and who doesn't. The best way to find out if you're offered this option is to go on your KDP Publishing page, click on the Advertising and Promo button of your book. If you have this option, it'll show up. If not, it'll give you the other option (the ad on the right side of other books' page.)

A few months ago I didn't have the Sponsored Products option. I tried to set it up via the normal Sponsored Products page, but the wouldn't allow "books". I wrote to the Amazon Gods, but they said this option wasn't offered to everyone and there was nothing to be done about it. Then one day, I suddenly realized I was now one of the blessed ones. Have no idea why but am glad to be blessed.
You don't get the promote and advertise option if the book is not in select.
 

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Ok, I had never noticed these sponsored ads so I had a look at one of my popular product pages which is set in 16th century England. The sponsored book below is about the underground railway for runaway slaves! Very topical I must say. I hope you are all getting more relevant pages than that.
 

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Is there also a way to advertise our CreateSpace books? I've seen some sponsored ads of CS books on Amazon but I don't know how we can do this!? Any idea?
 

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This is confusing. It says I need to create an account but then it says I need to log into my amazon account of which I'm already logged into. Ugh. Then I find the promotion page and its all stuff for select. My book is not in it. At the time I published my one book I put it everywhere. I don't want to take it down from other places I just want to give it mojo while I work to get a couple of others out.

Also I dabbled in pay per click back (for non book products) in the days when websites didn't punish you for being a little guy. It was so confusing. All thise double talk about impressions, and click throughs...ugh get to the point.
 

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I am extremely happy with the results I've had with these ads.  I only show one purchase, but I know I've had many plus a number of page reads.  And I have all my click prices high while I still have the hundred dollar starter money they gave me.

And remember . . . in this advertising, you can use author names and book titles.  I have gotten a lot of clicks from those.
 

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I 'paused' my ad-block to see what kinds of sponsored product ads are being discussed here.  Interesting.  (And thank heavens for ad-block.  8) )
 
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