Marketing Your Book With Amazon Ads

Marketing Your Book With Amazon Ads

Amazon’s advertising business is booming during the pandemic. It’s growing faster than its retail, cloud computing, and Prime subscription divisions—and chipping away at Google’s dominant position. – Financial Times

“Enormous power consolidated around a small number of major online platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google will jeopardize future independence for authors. These dominant platforms wield their supreme power to stand between you and your audience. We’ve traded one group of authoritarian overlords for another. These platforms are the new gatekeepers for indie authors. And access comes at a cost: advertising. – Mark Coker, CEO and founder at Smashwords

I was an early advocate of advertising books with Amazon ads. In my experience, the most effective and economical marketing solution for making a book known is with Amazon ads. When I ran LPC, Amazon ads served as our core marketing strategy. Our goal was to receive $1 in revenue for every 30 cents invested. Many times we could invest as little as fifteen cents to earn $1. Those days are gone. Now many Amazon ads only break even (invest $1, receive back $1). Still, if your goal is to make your book known and you do not mind losing some money in the process, Amazon ads remain a good option.

Based on my experience Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are poor ad dollar investments. This makes sense when you think about. These platforms appeal to a large audience. With Amazon ads you target readers of print and Kindle ebooks and from within that market, you aim for niche category readers.

Bookbub is another advertising option, though again I have found Bookbub ads to be less effective than Amazon. Bookbub also lacks the granular diversity necessary to tailor your book’s add to a specific set of readers. For example, YA and middle grade are two segments, but there is no genre distinctions beyond age. An ad for a YA coming-of-age novel will appear along side YA mystery and romance novels.

All the things that worked in the past to drive sales:
  • Amazon Ads
  • Bookbub ads
  • KDP free days
  • KDP countdown days
  • Email newsletter promotions
  • Free audiobook codes
  • Publisher Rocket ebook and print keywords research
  • Facebook launch
  • Rafflcopter
  • Ask David tweets
  • Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Parlor tweets
  • BookFunnel for reviews

no longer return the results author’s enjoyed in years past. This is not surprising. With social media and the Internet, that new thing that worked for you on Friday is shared over the weekend with friends and by Monday all the world is adopting your strategy.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what works and does not.

Are Amazon Ads Worth the Money?

James Patterson, the top selling author of my generation, promotes his books.An LPC author recently asked my thoughts on investing in an Amazon ad. Here is my response.

 

For every dollar you invest in your book you earn back two dollars. That’s not the case with every title, but with your book it is. (The per-click percentage for your book is actually 69.62% but I round it down to 50% because I know an ad for your book also generates “pages read” and those “pages read” earn royalties. The “pages read” royalties cannot be factored into the per-click percentage. Amazon only sees actual sales.)

“With regards to your question about spending $10 a month for an Amazon ad. That sum works out to be thirty cents a day and the per-click charge for an Amazon ad runs around fifty cents. Thus, your ad would only run for a couple of minutes each day. Basically, you’d be wasting your money. Many top-selling Indie authors spend hundreds of dollars each month on Amazon ads. These authors often own the tops spots in their book’s category.

For my own books I spend around $100 a month and my books aren’t nearly as good as yours. (Well, they may be as good, but I’m writing middle-grade fiction for boys and that’s a small market. There’s not even a category for it on Amazon. I spend the money to make my books known because I am serious about making it as a writer and in order to do that readers need to read my work and become familiar with my voice and style. )

The old business model of writing a book and hoping it sells died in 2008 with the Great Recession. Book publishers began to retreat and book stores closed. That trend continues. Authors who enjoy success today are those who invest in their careers and market the devil out of their book. Even James Patterson, the top selling author of my generation, promotes his books. He advertises on TV, YouTube, and on Amazon.

At LPC Books we seek authors who are serious about their writing. We want to launch careers, not just publish one novel for an author. If one novel is all an author wants, they should self publish. That’s the main market for self-publishing firms – the one-book author.

Write great stories, write fast, and invest in your writing career. If you aren’t willing to work hard at your craft and career, then do something else. This business is hard. Only the dedicated succeed.

And to succeed you need to sow seeds.

Here are some suggestions from Linda Glaz’s Facebook post: “Indie and smaller press authors: how have you found the marketing environment?”

“I’ve used short-term marketing like Robin Reads, EReader News Today, Faithful Reads, Bargain Booksy, Agape eBooks, ebooksHabit, etc with very minimal short-term gains. They just don’t have the volume of readership to really build your list. Marketing companies, like Ryan Zee and LitRing are great for a swift add to your newsletter list or followers.” ~ Kari Trumbo

 

Do you have a marketing tip that works? Please share!