Promoting Your New Book Title with Amazon Marketing Services (Update)

The Amazon Marketing Services available for KDP authors might be just the boost you need to help gain more book exposure. You get to create an enticing book ad and have it displayed in a couple of ways.

amz-skipping-ad-screenshot

As any author with a newly published title knows; gaining exposure for your book can be difficult, especially in the very beginning.  The Amazon Marketing Services offer a couple of different ways for you to try and increase your odds for exposure.  Those two ways are by means of creating promotional ad campaigns for your book title; either a Sponsored Products ad campaign or a Product Display ad campaign.

Tweaking the Ads is Important

So far, what I’ve discovered about both types of ads is that you have to keep tweaking them in order to come up with the right dynamics.  I’ve purchased both types, and so far, I’ve started and stopped a few different campaigns.  I’ve also allow a couple to run to completion (just two days each).  I won’t try and explain the difference in the two ads, and how the campaigns need to be set up, because honestly, I’ve yet to get the hang of things.  The basic difference in the two are:

  • Sponsored Products Ads allow you to select targeted keywords
  • Product Display Ads allow your ad to be displayed with similar or related products

I’m currently running two different Ad campaigns.  In the screenshot below, it shows all the campaigns I’ve run, even those that have ended, been terminated or paused.  There are only two active ones right now.  One is the Sponsored Products ad (Yellow), the other is the Product Display ad, (Red).  As you can see, the more than 17,000 impressions where my ad was visible has gained me 31 actual clicks.  I’ve paid a total of $13.64 for those clicks, but none of the clicks have led to actual sales.

amz-ad-screenshot1

As for the other ad, it did even worse.  There were only 1593 impressions of my ad, and they only gained me 3 clicks, and once again, I can only assume that no sales were gained because my total number of sales on the other Report page did not increase.

Possible Benefits of Amazon Marketing Services

I could very easily assume that neither ad is doing me any good, if it weren’t for one more important stat that I’ve noticed.  On my page where the book sales are reported, I’ve been noticing something I never noticed before.  The KENP pages.  This refers to pages of your book that have been read and you somehow gain a portion of the “global fund”.  In order to be eligible, your book must be enrolled in the KDP Select program at the time, as well as having received allowable page reads.

I’ve always gotten notices about this fund, but don’t recall ever having any qualifying book reads, until now.  Since the number has been gradually rising, I decided to document the number so I can try and determine just how much this number is increasing.  I also suspect that maybe the ad campaign is affecting this number.  I guess I’ll need to keep a tight eye on this development, and let you readers know more in the future.

amz-kenp-screenshot

While I usually ignore the email from Amazon about the “global fund”, the next time I receive a notice, I’ll pay more attention to what it says.  I’m pretty sure I’ve read that eligible authors earn a portion of this fund, in addition to our regular royalties.  If your reports don’t show any number in this area, it means that none of your titles have qualified “normalized page reads” to earn you any cash from this fund.  Apparently, I never noticed this area before, because I never had any qualified page reads.

As best as I can understand (according to details I’ve read), the fact that Skipping Childhood now has 679 qualified page reads is not that big a deal to get excited about.  It is simply equivalent to a little more than two people reading the entire book when you consider that there are about 253 pages (according to Amazon, so I’m guessing that’s digital pages).  Of course I could be understanding this whole thing wrong.  But as far as I’m concerned, I’m glad that at least people somewhere are reading the book, even if the sales and reviews don’t seem to reflect it.  I look forward to providing more details in the future on what the KENP global fund is all about.

skippingchildhoodnovel-med

Advertisements

Amazon Book Review Policy: Blessing or a Malediction

Amazon’s new book review policy makes it really difficult for some new authors and titles to get highly coveted reviews.

amazon-reviews-eligibility

I say “new” policy, because quite frankly, it’s new to me, although it must have been implemented within the past two years.  The main issue is the fact that people who purchase a product (particularly a book for purposes of this conversation) need to have spent at least $50 in purchases on Amazon.  Not $50 in one purchase, but no less than that amount prior to leaving a review.  Personally, I think that sucks.

Quality Assurance

I’m sure that Amazon feels their policy is about quality assurance, and I can respect that.  When it comes to acquiring honest and legitimate reviews, I’m all for it – 100% and any author who really cares about their work and reputation probably feel the same way.  But I fail to see why a person who chooses to support an author by purchasing a book and following up with a review has to be a regular Amazon customer.

Any individuals who choose to try and defraud the system with bogus reviews aren’t hindered by this issue; not when they already have a budget in place for this type of deception.  It seems to me that the people who are most adversely affected by this are the authors who lose out on much needed reviews because some of their readers have no particular loyalty to Amazon.

I mention this point because my sister is an AVID reader, only she has a Nook (Amazon/Kindle competitor).  The more than two thousand dollars she’s spent over the years on books go to Barnes & Noble, or Audiobooks, not Amazon.  In the past, I’ve been hesitant about asking family and friends to support my writing.  Now that I’ve published: Skipping Childhood:  A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer), I’ve been busy rallying the troops to buy and review the book.  A dark urban drama about a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship. From child abuse to murder, the suspense mounts after each killing.

VIEW BOOK TRAILER

I had my sister set up an Amazon account and make her purchase there, but three days later after finishing the book, she wasn’t allowed to leave a review, due to the aforementioned policy.  I’m concerned now, because she won’t be the only one from my support system that has this problem.  So I guess I’m screwed on getting reviews from those I knew I could count on.  BUMMER!

Hands are Tied

With so many strict rules and regulations regarding acquiring reviews, the average new author and his/her titles have little to no chance of being discovered.  Most of those really creative ways that you come up with to obtain a review are now a “no no” with Amazon.  No review swapping and certainly no purchased reviews are tolerated.  This has really got some of our hands tied.  If any authors out there have found any ALLOWABLE solutions, feel free to comment below.

freebookpromo