real-life Amazon
Featured,  Marketing

My Real-life Amazon Ad-authortoolbox

Is an Amazon Ad really worth the money?

Since I’ve been a slacker about the website lately, I don’t have a formal article for the blog hop this week. I really didn’t want to miss it, so I thought I would talk about my Amazon ad.

In case you missed it, I released my NaNoWriMo writing guide on August 1. Here it is:

After two weeks of slow, but steady, sales, I decided to see if I could improve things with an Amazon ad.

I read most the articles and followed the advice. Setting up the ad was pretty simple. My first batch of keywords contained 43. These were the most popular books that were direct competitors to mine, and I followed Amazon’s “suggested bids.”

The results were…expensive

Since these books were popular, they were the most expensive to bid on. As a result, I had to bid high for my ad to even show up. This did help with exposure as my book was now appearing next to best sellers in my category. However, the click through rate (percentage of people who saw the ad that actually clicked on it) wasn’t that great and the actual sales were even worse.

There are a few reasons why this could be the problem

  • Ad copy isn’t effective (will research more)
  • Landing page isn’t closing the deal (Really need some editor reviews and a best seller sticker.)
  • Keywords are incorrect

First revision

Since I had a few keywords that were more effective, I decided to focus on figuring out why. The issue seemed to be that most of the ineffective books were competitors in the same broad category, but weren’t exactly the same product. Sort of like the difference between eyeshadow and mascara. Broad categories like “novel writing” had strong competition and weren’t making the cut, but “NaNoWriMo” was.

I left the ad to run untouched for a week before I started fiddling with it, just to make sure I have a reasonable set of data to work with. After my first two weeks, I paused the most expensive keywords (that had not returned a sale).

Moving Forward

As of today, I have still spent more than I have made, but the gap is only 20%. If I include KU pages read, it would be closer to even.

While I can trace the majority of my sales to my website/Pinterest following, I plan to continue using the ad to grow my brand.

My next step is to add more keywords for middle and lower position books that are my direct competitors. These should be less expensive and hopefully, I can better compete against other books who also don’t have the “best seller” sticker.

If you have any tips or tricks to help improve the ROI on an Amazon ad, I’d love to hear about them in the comments

Update:I have continued to tweak the ad by turning off the more expensive keywords that aren’t returning a sale and adding some new ones. Now, it’s a month later and the ad is in the black! The margin isn’t large. In fact, I’m spending almost 80% of the sales generated back into the ad. Hopefully, I can continue to improve this. Turning the ad off isn’t an option because it’s responsible for 70% of my sales last month.

This article is part of the monthly Author Toolbox Blog hop

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real-life Amazon
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M.L. Keller is a freelance writer and editor. Her blog "The Manuscript Shredder" is focused on helping emerging writers hone their craft.


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