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Monday, June 7, 2021

Authors Can Use Amazon Advertising to Sell More Paperback Books

    I’ve tried various promotional methods to attract readers, but no method has been more effective than Amazon Advertising. I started using Amazon Advertising back in 2018 while simultaneously growing my catalog of books, and I’ve maintained a steady gross profit of $500 or more per month since March 2019. There’s a science to getting potential readers to buy books at Amazon’s marketplace, but the three key ingredients to garner sales are selecting the right keywords, setting the right bid for each of the keywords, and knowing the right format of a book to advertise. There are also several steps that an author must complete in order to set up an advertising campaign for a book on Amazon.

    Selecting the Campaign Type.

  There are three types of campaigns to choose from when creating an ad for a book―Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Lockscreen Ads. I’ve always selected the Sponsored Products campaign because it’s been more effective than the Sponsored Brands in my experience, and the Lockscreen Ads campaign is a newer creation that I’m not familiar nor have I ever tried it.

    Creating a Campaign Name.

    Once the Sponsored Product page is selected, a campaign name must be created. I usually choose the title of the book that I’m advertising, but any name can be chosen.

    Start and End Date.

    The start date is automatically the date that the advertising campaign is created. No end date is the default selection, but the ad can end on any date.

    Daily Budget.

    The minimum amount that can be spent per day is $1.00, but I set my budget at $10 per day for multiple ads that I run for each one of my twelve books advertised. However, I never spend more than $30 per day, and I’ll explain why a little later.

    Targeting.

   There are two types of targeting―automatic and manual targeting. I always choose manual targeting because I want the option of picking my own keywords that are proven to render great results. Choosing the right keywords are very important in terms of Amazon pay-per-click marketing because there are certain keywords that I use to yield me the most clicks at the lowest cost per click, for example, and these keywords also convert into the most sales. The most popular keywords for books on Amazon can be found simply by typing in part of a keyword phrase in the search bar.

    Campaign Bidding Strategy.

   There are three types of bidding strategies to choose from on the Amazon Advertising platform―dynamic bids (down only), dynamic bids (up and down), and fixed bids. I always choose the fixed bids because the dynamic bids fluctuate in price and costs can add up very quickly and totally offset an author’s profit. I set my bids at $0.25 per click on most of the keywords that I select, and I set my bids at $0.50 per click for the keywords that bring in the most conversions. Amazon will never go over a certain threshold based on the low fixed cost of my bids, even if I set the cost of each one of my books at $10 per day. I also never spend more than $0.50 per click because the average cost of printing for paperback books on Amazon is $2.70, and the author royalty is a 60-40 split with Amazon. If the price of a particular book is $7.95, the author’s royalty is $4.77 minus the cost of printing ($4.77 - $2.70 = $2.07). Five clicks at $0.50 per click ($2.50) without a sale puts an author in the red.

Author

    Ad Format.

   The next step is to choose the format of the ad for a book that’s advertised on Amazon. The two types of ad options are the standard ad and custom text ad. I like the custom text ad because it allows me to create an ad under the thumbnail of the book.

    Products.

   Once the ad format is chosen, the book to be advertised is selected from the author’s bibliography. Then there’s an option of selecting an eBook or a paperback format of the book, and this step is as equally important as selecting the correct keywords or selecting the correct bid to those said keywords. I select the paperback option whenever I create an ad for one of my books, and I’ve learned early on that there’s no profit in advertising eBooks because the vast majority of people who buy books on Amazon have Prime accounts and access to unlimited free downloads of eBooks. It’s impossible to advertise an eBook and make a profit when authors are paid based on the number of pages read (KENP), which is roughly $0.005 per page. Thus, an author can only make $1.50 on a 300-page book that is read from cover to cover.

    Keyword Targeting.

    Once the product or book is selected, the option of selecting keyword targeting or product targeting is the next step. I use the keyword feature as opposed to product targeting, and I roughly add 300 keywords for each campaign that I create. Some of these keywords are books that are similar to mine as well as authors who write in the same genre as I do. Other keywords that I use are the title of my books and the genre that I write in―for example, urban fiction or crime fiction are two keywords I use, and root of all evil is the title of one of my books and is one of my most popular keywords. I also use the broad option as opposed to the phrase or exact options in keyword targeting because my goal is to attract the most readers, period.

    Negative Keyword Targeting.

   I don’t use the negative word feature only because I’m not that technical with my ad strategy. My goal is product awareness, which is to get as many eyeballs on my books as humanly possible.

    Create a Custom Ad.

   Authors can use choose this option to create a custom ad to attract more customers by arousing interest and motivating them to make a purchase in 150 characters or less. I’ve used this feature for all of my books and has yielded me good sales.

    I’ve consistently earned a decent second income for over two years by applying these principals to create ad campaigns for each one of my books on Amazon. Through trial and error, I’ve made creating an ad on Amazon simple for the novice author who wants to attract more readers and increase book sales.

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