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Saturday, August 14, 2021

Do Analytics Help Authors Sell More Books?

 Ever since the inception of Amazon Advertising for authors back in 2016, many authors have seen a dramatic increase in their book sales. But the key to a successful advertising campaign is simple―don’t go into it blind or else you’ll lose your shirt. Analytics are a very important aspect of book sales because like Google ads, it’s easy to rack up advertising costs quickly if an author doesn’t have a firm grasp of marketing on these platforms.

I started my first advertising campaign on Amazon in June of 2018, and book sales were slow in the beginning because I had a huge learning curve on how to navigate my way around Amazon’s advertising platform and only two books to market at the time. I didn’t start to see a profit until 2019 when I started to build up my book catalog, and when I began to study the analytics of keywords, sales per click (SPC), and cost per click (CPC).

Analytical Chart

Keywords.

I compiled a list of three hundred keywords that I inserted manually for each ad campaign I created, and I studied how each word or phrase did in terms of CPC and SPC for an entire year. What I learned was that 90% of the keywords used for each ad campaign were ineffective, so I eliminated the bad keywords by archiving them on Amazon’s platform. If a keyword doesn’t yield any type of return on investment in a year’s time, get rid of it so that you maintain a healthy profit margin.

Sales Per Click (SPC).

My best sales month was during March of 2019, when I almost made $800 in gross sales. However, my sales per click percentage was very low hovering around 6%. I learned much later that many keywords were costing me a hefty sum of money without garnering me any book sales. Trimming the fat more than doubled my SPC, and in turn, increased my profit margin significantly.

Cost Per Click (CPC).

A solid default bid for each keyword in the beginning of my advertising campaigns were $0.25 per click―it was low enough so that it didn’t eat up my profits and high enough to gain a good number of impressions on Amazon’s marketplace. Unfortunately, sales became stagnant, so I increased the default bid to $0.50 per click. This increased ad impressions greatly, but it didn’t increase sales at the same rate. I soon discovered that increasing the bids of my best-performing keywords to $0.50 per click was much more effective than merely raising the default bid to $0.50 per click all across the board.

In conclusion, analytics play an important role in making a profit as an independent author on Amazon. One should only use the 10% of keywords that are most effective and discard the dead-weight keywords, and this small adjustment will not only increase the SPC but allow the author to increase the default bid in order to gain more ad impressions and increase sales even more.

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