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Learn the Basics: Breaking Down the Barriers to Amazon Ads

Amazon ads–when done properly–can be an amazing tool for selling more books on Amazon

Or it can be a money suck that destroys your marketing budget within a matter of weeks.

So, how do you avoid the latter from happening? While there are zero guarantees in the world of book marketing, you can exponentially improve your chances of Amazon ads success. All it takes is a little bit of time learning the ins-and-outs of Amazon’s advertising platform.

Which type of Amazon Ad is Right for You?

Amazon provides you with two different styles of ads to choose from. 

Sponsored Product Ads and Lock Screen Ads.

Each of these has its own unique mode of operation. Today we’ll be looking at Sponsored Product ads exclusively, as they’re easier for authors to use.

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Product ads are used when you want your potential customer to see your book after typing in a certain search query. In your Sponsored Product ads,you’ll assign certain keywords, search terms, and phrases to your ads. And whenever someone searches that term, they could see your book at the top of the results. 

These are awesome ads geared specifically to active searchers! And there’s a couple ways to run them. You can either run them automatically where Amazon selects your keywords based on your product information OR manually where you can specifically control which keywords are used. 

I personally recommend manual control coordinated through an Amazon keyword tool such as Publisher Rocket. This way you get maximum oversight and input to your AMS campaign with optimum chances of selling more books.

Impressions, Clicks, and Conversions, Oh My!

Amazon ads work on a pay-per-click basis. This means that you only pay for your advertisement when somebody clicks on it. Here’s some basic definitions you need to know about managing your ads campaigns:


Impressions are recorded when people see your ads. Track these to determine whether or not your ad is actually being seen.


This is when a potential buyer clicks on your advertisement. Obviously, the better the ad… the more clicks. (Not to mention, more money out of your budget.)


These are what you’re hunting for. This is when a reader has seen your ad, clicked it, and then purchased your book. 

The ideal progression for this is high impressions > high clicks > high conversions. 

However, this normally doesn’t happen when you first start your campaign. That’s because Amazon ads campaigns require dedication. I advise that you check in on your campaigns at a minimum of three times a week. Amazon ads are not the set-it-and-forget-it type of advertisement. 

But what do you do if you’re struggling with impressions or clicks or conversions?

How To Adjust Your AMS Campaigns for Better Success

Thankfully, there are measures that you can take to individually bolster your impressions, clicks, and conversions to sell more books.

Low Impressions:

If you’re not getting the impressions you’re looking for, you may have set your price bid too low. Just remember, you probably aren’t the only one out there pursuing certain keywords. And if they have a better price set for Amazon…your ad becomes secondary.

High Impressions, Low Clicks:

Let’s say you’ve mastered the art of getting impressions. But how about clicks? If you’re failing to get clicks, there’s probably something going on with your ad copy. Most of the time the problem here lies with your book covers. Be sure to choose appropriate book covers for your genre and have them professionally done. 

High Clicks, Low Conversions:

This is easily the most frustrating issue you can have with your Amazon ads. The high clicks will drain your marketing budget without the conversions to reimburse it. Many authors will actually give up at this stage. But before you give up, there’s two things you should revisit first. Reread your blurb (book description) through a buyer’s eyes. Does it sound appealing? Most writers see their own blurb through rose-colored glasses. Letting a group of your peers nitpick it apart may help you write a better description. Next, check your reviews. If you don’t have that many (or that many good ones), consider actively seeking quality book reviews. 

The Foundation to a Successful Amazon Ads Campaign is Research

If you’re serious about your marketing efforts, you must do your homework both before and after you’ve started your campaigns. 

Luckily, you have plenty of great resources available to tap into. Peer groups and social media can really help out with blurb and book cover design input. And if you need help with keyword selection, Publisher Rocket is a wonderful option. 

Regardless of your methods though, be sure to devote enough time and energy to your ads. That’s the best way to ensure your advertising success and to sell more books.


Image by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

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