PDA

View Full Version : Daffyjkl's questions about advertising



Daffyjkl
12-10-2016, 11:25 PM
Hi AW Members,
I am looking at paid advertising for my book either on Kindle or Goodreads. Which is the best in terms of sales? What is the minimum number of reviews that I need before advertising becomes viable?
Thanks in advance for the advice.
Jason

Justin K
12-11-2016, 12:33 AM
Hands down I would say Amazon, (the 'sponsored pruducts' ads, not so much the 'product display' ones) and that's just my personal limited experience. Goodreads is great for exposure, but there are fewer users clicking on ads, and it's impossible to know whether you're getting any return on that investment. The one good thing about Goodreads however, like other social media, is that you can set the parameters for who sees your ads; on Amazon, you don't get that control. Goodreads ads are great for when you're doing a Goodreads giveaway.

Goodreads users generally are looking for the word-of-mouth books, and money doesn't buy that well. It seems that Amazon is where people are looking to actually make a purchase. Interesting as well, you don't actually need a single review to sell books. I know this because I sold around 20 copies without one (not to say it wouldn't help a bunch), but what you do need is an absolutely killer blurb, one that just hits people in the face, and of course, a mind-blowing cover and sample chapters.

Keep in mind, I wouldn't expect any positive return on ads regardless. Success is basically if you make your money back. Good luck!

Daffyjkl
12-11-2016, 12:43 AM
Thanks Justin K. My research says that post Christmas is the best time to advertise as people are trying out their new Kindle Christmas presents. I'll try Amazon and hope that my 2 reviews are enough to generate some sales.
Thanks again,
Jason

allthefeels
12-11-2016, 09:47 AM
For me - I rely on Goodreads to find new books (even though I pretty much buy them all from Amazon, if I'm purchasing online). I use the Goodreads recommendations (heavily aided by user reviews) and would be more inclined to click on an ad that was related to the type of book I was seeking out on that website. However, I am not in a position to speak for anyone else, and Justin has some pretty solid logic for why Amazon might be a better option.

Old Hack
12-11-2016, 12:22 PM
As this is about book promotion I'm going to move it from Self Publishing to the appropriate room. Daffyjkl, I'd be grateful if you'd ask your questions about promotion in the right place in future. Thanks.

WriterBN
12-11-2016, 11:11 PM
Hands down I would say Amazon, (the 'sponsored pruducts' ads, not so much the 'product display' ones) and that's just my personal limited experience.

Absolutely. I spent around 8 months testing various Goodreads ad campaigns, and none of them made any statistically significant differences to my sales.




Keep in mind, I wouldn't expect any positive return on ads regardless. Success is basically if you make your money back. Good luck!

I optimize my AMS campaigns so that they're always profitable. It takes time, and you have to be ruthless: kill keywords that aren't working and boost ones that are. The one problem with AMS is that the reports are delayed (by days for impressions and weeks for sales) so you can't react in real time. Still, I like to have my average cost of sales (ACoS) at less than 30%.

Daffyjkl
12-11-2016, 11:21 PM
Hi AW Members,
I don't have an author website yet, but hope to do so by Christmas. If I was to enrol as an Amazon Associate and promote my book would I be breaching any of Amazon's rules. If someone was to visit my site and then buy my book I assume I would get another 3%. Is this ok?
Thanks in advance.
Jason

Cindyt
12-12-2016, 01:03 AM
Doesn't amazon have a Terms of Use page for associates?

Daffyjkl
12-12-2016, 01:19 AM
It certainly does, but I'm not sure if the conditions answer my question.

Jason
12-12-2016, 07:58 AM
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/agreement

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, or pretend to be one online. That said, based on a cursory reading of the above I see no legal problems with you promoting your own work on your own site that you are selling through Amazon. After all, why wouldn't you be able to do that?

As to payout rates, I have no idea as I did not see the payout schedules listed above.

Daffyjkl
12-12-2016, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the reply. That was my impression as well. I thought there may have been some unwritten Amazon rule that prevented associates from taking commission from their own products.

Daffyjkl
12-12-2016, 12:44 PM
Thanks for the reply. That was my impression as well. I thought there may have been some unwritten Amazon rule that prevented associates from taking commission from their own products.

Daffyjkl
12-13-2016, 12:26 AM
Thanks for the response. Is there a minimum/maximum Cost per click bid that you recommend?

WriterBN
12-13-2016, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the response. Is there a minimum/maximum Cost per click bid that you recommend?

It really depends a lot on genre and individual keywords. However, this time of the year is probably the worst to start a new campaign, because bids can be ridiculously inflated by the holiday rush.

In any case, what I do is start at or close to the minimum, check back in a week (due to the reporting lag), increase the bid a bit, rinse and repeat. It takes time, but it avoids blowing your budget overnight.

Whibs123
12-14-2016, 02:10 AM
You can take commissions on your own products for sure. I've been doing it for a while. Every post I make on FB and my website has an affiliate link in it. It's also a great way to see if your links are being followed.

Daffyjkl
12-14-2016, 08:48 PM
Hi AW members,
Does anyone know if the Amazon Sponsored Product advertising is global or regional? I can't see any settings to specify a particular region. I would like to focus on the UK, but it looks to me as though it's through the .com site. Am I missing anything?
Thanks,
Jason

WriterBN
12-14-2016, 09:47 PM
Sadly, all of AMS is US only, and has been for a while.

Daffyjkl
12-14-2016, 10:58 PM
Thanks. Does that indirectly help UK sales?

Daffyjkl
12-15-2016, 12:08 AM
Thanks Whibs123. Great to know that I wasn't going to do the wrong thing. I hope to launch my author website next week.

WriterBN
12-15-2016, 09:12 PM
Thanks. Does that indirectly help UK sales?

I doubt it, unless they're UK residents purchasing something from the .com store.

Daffyjkl
12-29-2016, 11:54 PM
Hi AW Members,
Has anybody used Facebook advertising with success? I've tried Kindle Advertising, but the metrics are slow and pretty poor to be honest. I can't assess the program due to the slow updates for sales. I can see new sales, but because it takes up to two weeks to post them on the Campaign Management page it is hard to assess how the campaign is performing. Has anyone had success with Goodreads?
Thanks in advance.

Old Hack
12-30-2016, 03:27 AM
Daffy, I wonder if it might be better for you to have just one thread where you can ask all your questions about the various advertising choices ahead of you. Here are some of the other threads you've started on the subject, just for reference:

Amazon Sponsored Product advertising (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?324761-Amazon-Sponsored-Product-advertising)Amazon Associates (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?324676-Amazon-Associates)Kindle vs Goodreads advertising (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?324652-Kindle-vs-Goodreads-advertising)
While I understand that you've asked different questions in each of these threads they're all about the same sort of thing, and it might work out more useful for you and everyone else if they were merged. Just a thought.

Daffyjkl
12-30-2016, 10:09 PM
Hi Old Hack,

I am happy to merge these threads if it will benefit the AW community. How do I 'merge' the posts?

I realise I am asking a lot of questions at the moment, but I am learning quite a bit about Amazon Advertising and I hope to be able to post some helpful information for the group in the next week or so. Goodreads and Facebook Advertising is on my radar and I will post feedback on those results too.

I apologise if I am not following protocol, but I do search before I post to see if my question has already been answered.

Thanks for the advice.

Old Hack
12-30-2016, 11:16 PM
Hi Old Hack,

I am happy to merge these threads if it will benefit the AW community. How do I 'merge' the posts?

I realise I am asking a lot of questions at the moment, but I am learning quite a bit about Amazon Advertising and I hope to be able to post some helpful information for the group in the next week or so. Goodreads and Facebook Advertising is on my radar and I will post feedback on those results too.

I apologise if I am not following protocol, but I do search before I post to see if my question has already been answered.

Thanks for the advice.

You don't merge the posts. I do.

It's fine that you're asking a lot of questions. I like that! But because one question tends to follow on from previous answers it would probably make for a more useful conversation if your threads were merged. Because otherwise our members will waste their time answering questions which have already been answered.

I'll merge them now.

Daffyjkl
12-31-2016, 12:02 AM
Thank you. I promise I will contribute soon!

Daffyjkl
01-04-2017, 12:06 AM
Ok. I started a Sponsored Products Campaign on 13/12/2016. Initially, I accepted the Amazon recommended Keywords (about 10), set my Bid at $0.10 and waited three days. I managed to get 4 Impressions (no Clicks), which wasn't great. I then upped my Bid by $0.05 a day for the next couple of days. This got me a total of 74 Impressions (no Clicks) at $0.25 Bid price. I then decided to add Keywords, about 50 in total. Suddenly, my Impressions started to jump into the hundreds and then thousands. Eventually, I got to 275 Keywords and managed to get 221,000 Impressions (140 Clicks) over the course of the Campaign. The Campaign ended on 31/12/2016. The metrics are very poor, they don't update realtime. According to the Campaign Management page I had no sales, although the Help pages suggest it takes up to two weeks for sales to show. I have no online presence apart from Amazon and a Goodreads page so I can be fairly sure that my sales during this time were all down to the Amazon Advertising Campaign. I managed 5 sales and about 3000 pages KENP read. The total cost of the Campaign was $17.76. Sales were $12.55. I am guessing that the KENP Royalties will push that close to break-even. If so, I think it was worth the effort (approx 12 hours). I'll post again when I have firm figures. I will look at Goodreads advertising next, followed by Facebook... and of course continue writing.

WriterBN
01-04-2017, 11:13 PM
AMS is a long game and you're right: the metrics are far from real time. Sales can take 3-4 weeks to show up, even after you've terminated a campaign. It takes a fair amount of optimization to make your campaigns profitable, but it can be done. I try to keep my ACoS under 30%; if it goes above that, I kill the campaign and start another.

Daffyjkl
01-04-2017, 11:15 PM
Thanks for the reply. Have you tried Goodreads? Do they have better metrics?

WriterBN
01-05-2017, 08:56 PM
Thanks for the reply. Have you tried Goodreads? Do they have better metrics?

I spent around 8 months a couple of years ago running and analyzing Goodreads advertising campaigns. I concluded that they made no statistically significant difference to my sales.

Their metrics are more up to date than AMS; however, they lack the most critical one, which is sales numbers.

Daffyjkl
01-06-2017, 12:05 AM
Ok, thanks for the reply. I will try Goodreads in the next week or so and post my results. Facebook advertising? Have you tried that or Adsense?

WriterBN
01-06-2017, 08:47 PM
I haven't tried Facebook ads; I know a couple of authors who swear by them, but many see no results, and I dislike seeing them in my timeline, anyway. The consensus seems to be that you can only make a profit if you have a series with several books already published. Search the forums here; I think there are a few discussions on FB ads.

I like AMS because it targets potential readers who are already on the Amazon site. The only other PPC advertising that I may try is the new Bookbub advertising. I haven't heard much about how useful it is, but I'll post my results here if I do.

Daffyjkl
01-06-2017, 11:17 PM
Hi WriterBN, thanks for the reply. I am running two new Amazon advertising campaigns. Another Sponsored Product Campaign (SPC), using my previous Keyword list, but a changed Ad wording. And I'm running a Product Display Campaign targeted at Interests (PDI). It's too early to tell, but the SPC is getting a Click (48) every 820 Impressions and the PDI is getting a Click (3) every 21 Impressions. The PDI is only getting 20 Impressions a day, the SPC, 8000. The previous SPC was getting a Click every 1578 Impressions, I hadn't run a PDI before. The new Campaigns have only just started running in the last week and Sales have only been 1, so I'll post clearer results after a week or two. I aim to trial both Goodreads and Facebook campaigns by the end of the month. I am hoping to get the campaigns running to generate a couple of Sales a day at cost.

Daffyjkl
03-02-2017, 01:00 AM
An update. I have no online profile apart from Amazon and Goodreads. I have several Amazon advertising campaigns running and I'm seeing sales (about 1 a day). The Amazon reports don't record many sales, far less than I am seeing. What else could be generating these sales? I can only think that the Amazon reports are inaccurate. Thanks.

WriterBN
03-02-2017, 08:57 PM
What else could be generating these sales? I can only think that the Amazon reports are inaccurate. Thanks.
You could have sold enough books that your book is now appearing on the "Also Bought" lists. That can definitely boost sales, and it doesn't cost you a thing.

Daffyjkl
03-11-2017, 10:27 PM
FYI. I stopped one of the campaigns and I saw sales drop to nothing for a couple of days, when I reactivated it I saw sales start again. But no sales recorded against the campaign. Odd. The stats suggest I shouldn't continue the campaigns, but the real sales suggest I should. I can only assume that people look at the book, go away, and then return. It's not costing much, royalties from sales and KENP are more than I spend on advertising, so I guess I'll keep going.

CathleenT
03-30-2017, 09:06 AM
Sorry this reply is so late. I've been studying this some lately. To my mind, even an ad campaign that merely breaks even is worth doing--if nothing else, you're building name recognition. An ad campaign that makes money seems to be successful by definition. Steve Dawson, who's really good at this, warns that all ads become stale in time, so it's probably a good idea to keep an eye on your stats, which I know Amazon makes it tough to do.

And I've gone back to books and bought them later, so it seems reasonable that this could be happening.

Daffyjkl
04-09-2017, 11:34 PM
I've definitely noticed the ads go stale. After two weeks they seem to slow down. I'm still not sure that the reports are accurate. I see sales, but nothing is reported against the campaign and I have no other online presence. Is it possibly word of mouth?

Daffyjkl
04-17-2017, 09:13 PM
Update. After 3 months of tweaking my ads, I have now got to the stage where I am selling a book a day. I have two Sponsored Product and two Product Display campaigns for my book. The Royalties are in excess of the cost of advertising. The estimated sales for each campaign is below my actual sales. I assume this is because the sales data from Amazon is not entirely accurate. Otherwise, I am making sales from word of mouth, which is even better. Apart from a Goodreads page, I have no other online presence for my book, so I can only assume the sales are from the Amazon campaigns. I will continue tweaking, adding to each of the campaigns daily.

WriterBN
04-18-2017, 10:19 PM
Update. After 3 months of tweaking my ads, I have now got to the stage where I am selling a book a day.

That's great--congrats!


I have two Sponsored Product and two Product Display campaigns for my book.

I now run only sponsored product campaigns, because I found the ROI on the other types were terrible, due to high CPC bids after the system got flooded. I'd be interested to hear how the two types compare for you, in terms of ACoS.


The Royalties are in excess of the cost of advertising. The estimated sales for each campaign is below my actual sales. I assume this is because the sales data from Amazon is not entirely accurate. Otherwise, I am making sales from word of mouth, which is even better.

You're selling enough copies now that you could be getting ancillary sales from the "also bought" feature. These won't show up on your AMS sales report.

Daffyjkl
04-19-2017, 12:14 AM
Hi WriterBN,
Thanks for the congrats, it's been a lot of hard work. I have built up my lists to be 1000's of targeted authors and books. My Sponsored Product campaigns are not showing any sales. My only sales are against the Product Display campaigns and according to that it's running at a loss, but overall my advertising costs are less than my advertising. I wish I knew where the sales are coming from, word of mouth would be great, but as I have no other online presence I have to assume it's from the campaigns. I need to get back to writing and get the next book out. Thanks for the support.

Daffyjkl
04-19-2017, 10:59 PM
Is there any way of seeing how many times your book features in the "also bought" category without clicking on countless books? Thanks in advance.

WriterBN
04-20-2017, 08:06 PM
Is there any way of seeing how many times your book features in the "also bought" category without clicking on countless books? Thanks in advance.
Not that I know. I generally stumble upon them when looking at other books and authors that are similar to mine.

Daffyjkl
04-27-2017, 10:53 PM
The ACoS for me are about 120%. But I persist because the only online presence I have is KDP and Goodreads, so I have to assume my sales of one book a day are from the advertising. I don't mind making a small loss if my book is being read. When I factor in the KENP I'm in front. I have noticed that my Impressions and Clicks slow down towards the end of the Campaign. Next I will try shorter Campains of two weeks instead of four. If that doesn't help, I will try running normal length Campaigns and then cancel them midway through and restart. I will post results soon.