View Full Version : Advertising for KDP Select

01-31-2015, 06:40 AM
Amazon's new advertising thing for KDP Select authors is worth some discussion. You set a campaign fund and how you want the advert targeted, and pay per click. It's $100 as a minimum campaign, but it costs that or more to use services like Bookbub, so if it works it might be useful. You don't need many clicks turning to sales at the lowest pay-per-click price to get the money back.

Is anyone planning on trying it?


01-31-2015, 08:28 AM
Polenth, I hadn't even heard about this until now, so thanks for bringing it up! I'd like to do a little reading and see if anyone else has had any luck with it. I'm a bit skeptical of the pay-per-click type of advertising and haven't gone down that road before, but I would be interested to see what others have to say.

01-31-2015, 09:35 AM
After reading through threads in the KDP Community and KBoards, I think I'm going to pass on this for now. A few authors who had taken part in the beta testing reported on their results, and at least those reporting did not have a decent ROI. One author beta tester spent $600, which netted him $28 in sales. :(

01-31-2015, 07:03 PM
I've heard the same thing as McLesh did, from a couple of authors who were involved in beta testing. I think I'll pass. PPC ads rarely do much for sales, anyway.

M. H. Lee
02-01-2015, 07:13 AM
I have a campaign going for a non-fiction title where the cover very clearly states what the book is about. I also priced it at the minimum per-click price. I've targeted it to other books that are similar to mine rather than a general category.

So far, 7 impressions, zero clicks in two days, so it hasn't cost me anything. I'm keeping a close eye on it and once I've paid about $5-$10, if I'm not seeing any sales, I'll cancel it.

Most of the discussion on kboards was about fiction ads that didn't do well, so I figured I'd try the non-fiction and see how it goes.

02-01-2015, 08:10 AM
I noted a lot of the examples I've seen so far didn't do much targeting. They either used a general category or did products that came up first in the search. So I'm interested in seeing how careful targeting changes things (if at all).

How many books can you target when you use that option?

M. H. Lee
02-01-2015, 06:40 PM
I don't know what the limit is. I targeted about twenty books that are all more expensive than mine. I know someone targeted a TV show with one of their fiction titles and another targeted the top five books in their genre.

02-06-2015, 06:25 PM
What kind of feedback do you get in terms of who is clicking what ad? I mainly use Twitter to advertise, and I find it useful to be able to tweak the ads presented to different groups of people.

M. H. Lee
02-07-2015, 05:35 PM
None as far as I can tell. I can't even tell which books from my list have resulted in impressions. All I can see right now is that I've had 20 impressions with no clicks yet.

It'd be interesting to know how many bid wars I've lost versus choosing books that just aren't displayed that often.

Still hasn't cost me any money, so I have no problem letting it run. (Keep in mind this is for a very clearly titled non-fiction book. I think this could be a very expensive option for someone with a great fiction cover whose book description or sample doesn't draw readers to purchase.)

M. H. Lee
02-16-2015, 12:00 AM
I thought I'd swing back by and update folks on my results.

I ended up running three campaigns total. The first one was for a non-fiction book where the title is very clear what it's about. I targeted it at similar books in that area. I ended up with 32 impressions, zero clicks, zero cost.

Second one is a short story. I targeted it at similar books that I could find. (Cute meet romances). 5 impressions so far, zero clicks, zero cost.

Third one is another short story. Romance genre. I targeted it at one of my own books under a different pen name because I think they're similar enough that folks might like this one if they like the other one and, well, the writing style is the same. Zero impressions so far although I've sold four or five copies of the targeted title since the campaign started.

I really don't mind running the campaigns at all. So far they've cost me nothing and I've had people see my titles thirty-seven times which means that maybe when they seem them again somewhere they'll have some vague positive memory and go ahead and buy the title.

I've heard that for clickthrough you need to get into the 1,000s of impressions. But I'm cheap and I don't like being forced to bid more than I should to get something that may not be worth it. So setting my campaigns at 3 cents and letting what happens happen works well for me.

02-16-2015, 01:33 AM
Personally I'd not use "click through" (CT) or "impression" based advertising.


I tried bidding for CT on Bing advertizing once and it didn't work. Aside from bot traffic and click farms, I don't like the idea of "bidding" because it puts the highest bid for something which at that stage may only be experimental for you.

I'd only go for a set price for a predetermined amount of time, having researched the websites traffic. e.g. "x amount for a side banner advert to last 1 month."

02-19-2015, 12:52 AM
I'm giving it a try right now. I don't usually advertise, and I rely on word of mouth instead, but I took a gamble on this one. I chose to target specific products (other books) and set a fairly low bid. So far, two days in, I've had about 180 impressions and no clicks. I have had slightly more sales than usual, but I'm not sure I can attribute that to the advertising. I'll report back when the campaign ends. I'm a bit suspicious of Amazon's move to sell advertising to KDP authors, I admit, but I wanted to try this one time.

02-23-2015, 02:11 AM
I've decided to give it a go. Put through my application yesterday, and got approved just before I went to bed. I've found the PPC model effective with AdWords, and on sites like Etsy, so I figured why not.

Rather than targeting categories, I targeted products, including the best sellers in my genre. I'm also going with a slow burn on this one, and set the campaign to run for six months. If I show eight sales a month, I'll break even. If it looks like it's going to cost me more than it makes, I'll let it run an extra month and then cancel it.

It takes a while for everything to update. I'm going to check back tonight and see if I'm getting impressions, or if it's just really slow to update. You also don't get any real analytics. It tells you how many clicks and impressions you have, and your average CPC, but it doesn't tell you where those clicks are coming from. There's no way to know how your targeting is actually working. With AdWords, it tells you exactly which keywords are performing, and which aren't. It also seems like there are a lot of people using this and raising their max bid to absurd levels. I kept mine at 5, with the intention to extend the campaign until my $100 runs out, should it prove successful.

I'm a bit suspicious of Amazon's move to sell advertising to KDP authors, I admit, but I wanted to try this one time.

This is how Etsy's promoted listings work. If you get your targeting down, it's an effective model. I don't mind paying a little more to the distributor in exchange for a few more sales. The trouble comes from the amount of people using it right now who don't understand it, and put their bid up to a dollar, and then target EVERYTHING. The reason I set my campaign to run for six months is in the expectation that by then, the system may finally even out as these people either wise up or pull out.