Welcome to our post that will help the author who is selling their books through Amazon’s KDP platform reach new readers. By paying Amazon to promote your book, it appears in new and highly visible locations on the Amazon website and not just the naturally occurring shop locations such as the category/ genre pages.
Before we get started, is paying Amazon to promote your title really the right option for you? Let’s have a look….
The Deal Breakers
The save our curious readers the time it takes to read the whole post, here are some important bits of info that might be deal breakers.
- You can only advertise a book that is currently enrolled in the KDP Select programme. Only those authors who have promised Amazon exclusivity for a minimum 90 period may promote their title/s.
- The minimum you can spend on each advertising campaign is $100.
- Your eBook must be written in English.
- Amazon will only accept payment for the promotion via credit or debit card. I chose to list my Mastercard from Payoneer.
Let’s get your obvious question out the way, here is an example of what a paid promotion for an eBook on Amazon looks like.
Creating your online advertising campaign – Where to start?
Here is a step-by-step guide helping show you how to pay Amazon to promote your eBook. I have included images highlighting each step, I really hope it helps you.
Step 1 – Log on.
Log into in your KDP Dashboard, this is where the magic begins.
Select the “Promote and Advertise” button appearing alongside your title. As mentioned, only your titles appearing in KDP Select are eligible for paid-promotion on Amazon. If your button does not look like mine does below, there is a very good chance that your eBook has not been enrolled in the KDP Select programme.
Step 2 – Start the campaign
Welcome to the Promotion Manager screen, you will be facing a multitude of enticing buttons on this screen, I need you to remain focused (for a short while longer…then go wild). From this screen you are able to make use of promotional tools that will set your eBook free or discounted for up to 5 consecutive days, ignore these buttons.
Instead select the “Create an ad campaign” option circled below.
Step 3 – Confirm the title
Very simply, confirm the book you wish to pay to promote. Obviously the book should tick the boxes we mentioned at the start of the post (KDP Select, English etc). Whilst creating my first paid ad on Amazon I chose to promote a metaphysical eBook from one of my authors.
Promoting a title from a niche genre has implications that I will bring to your attention a bit further in the post.
Step 4 – Chose how you target the ad
Amazon allows you to promote your book by matching specific genres/ interests OR by matching particular products.
An important point for those authors promoting by matching an existing product is that your chosen target product does not have to be another book. You could promote your children’s eBook to Amazon customers who might have paid for the Angry Birds app for example.
Step 5 – Targeting by Genre
Authors choosing to target their promotions by genre/s, you will see the following genre-selection lists.
Warning – Not all genre options are listed here. I could not find a suitable genre match for my author’s metaphysical eBook and was forced to rather promote by targeting similar products. (see next step)
Step 6 – Targeting by product
Search for an eBook/ app/ product whose customers you think would enjoy reading your eBook. If you for example think that your YA story would be enjoyed by readers who purchase the Harry Potter books, select one of the Potter eBooks by searching by title or Amazon’s unique ASIN number.
Note – You would obviously not want your promotion to target a product that you can see is receiving negative publicity or not selling. This would limit the visibility of your eBooks advert. Rather target a product you can see is receiving mostly positive comments and/ or selling well, as seen by a high sales rank score.
Also pay attention to the small tick box underneath the product selection lists (see image below). If ticked your eBook would obviously be seen by Amazon customers on related product pages and not just that particular Harry Potter book page.
Step 7 – Deciding how much to pay
Setting the campaign budget. Those readers familiar with Googles Adwords program or Facebook for business would have no problem understanding the next part. This is where you decide how much you will spend on the advertising of your eBook.
Set the campaign name, the maximum cost you will pay per click, and the total amount you are willing to part with for the duration of the campaign. Not sure how much to bid per customer-click? Not to worry, as you can see below Amazon will make a recommendation depending on your selected method of targeting.
I started my first campaign with a CPC budget of $0.30. This means every time a reader clicks on the advert for my author’s eBook, I shell out a maximum of $0.30. I then opted for the bare-minimum overall budget of $100 (Currently equal to R1400 ZAR.)
Note – Similar to the CPC bidding systems of Google, with a bid of $0.30 per click from the customer, and assuming you win the online auction that takes place behind the scenes. You only pay a cost equal the second place bidder plus $0.01
Step 8 – Campaign dates and budget pacing
This simple step is where you decide the timelines of your promotional campaign. The pacing options then tells Amazon if they should eat up your advertising spend as soon as possible or space out the promotional budget to last the entire date range you specified? (I prefer the smoother, second option)
Decide on the headline for your advert, this cannot be longer than 50 chars.
Step 9 – Campaign summary
Your campaign summary. The summary is shown on the right hand side of your screen. As you progress through the various stages of setting up your campaign, the summary is updated. Make sure you happy with the summary before you proceed to the final step!
Step 9 – Previewing the ad
Preview your advert, as the customer would see it. This is also where you decide on the dimensions of the advert. Selecting the different ad sizes will affect where your advert appears within the Amazon ecosystem.
Once you are happy submit your advert to Amazon for review.
Congrats! – You are ready to create your own Amazon ad.
Important - once submitted, you can no longer edit all of the campaign variables, so be sure you are happy with all your choices before submitting.
Whilst completing the campaign for the promotion of my author’s metaphysical title, I was not allowed to submit the campaign for some reason. The submit button remained greyed out despite my settings being perfect. Don’t worry if this also happens to you, I was able to fix and submit my campaign after sending a quick message to the Amazon support team, querying the blockage.
You now know enough to create your first paid-promotion on Amazon, here a few questions you might have.
Question One – How do I monitor the performance of my Amazon promotional campaign?
Your campaign’s performance is monitored from your KDP dashboard as seen from the images below.
Selecting the Ad campaign report link will take you through to a screen that looks something like my image below. From this summary screen you can see the important campaign measurements such as impressions of your advert and the customers that actually clicked on the ad.
Question Two - Where do I setup the payment method for the promotional campaign?
You load the MasterCard or VISA card details into the Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) interface as seen below. As mentioned, I used my Payoneer MasterCard to pay for my advertising campaign. This is a nice circle as it is the same account that I used to collect my royalties from the sales of our author’s Kindle eBooks.
This essentially means that the campaign was funded from eBook royalties.
Question Three - What happens if my advert is not performing?
As seen from the screenshot of the campaign performance summary in question one, my initial advert was not performing well at all after a number of days. I decided to tweak two variables that I thought would increase the performance of the advert and encourage clicks.
- I upped the CPC bid from $0.30 to $0.70
- I also targeted additional products that I thought my target readership would be purchasing.
I will let you know the results of the tweaking soon :)
Much of the information found in this post is sourced from Amazon, stay up-to-date by visiting the source here: Advertising for KDP Select.
Please let me know if this article helped you, I love hearing from our blog readers!