Posts Tagged With: book marketing

My Experience with Amazon Marketing Services

In my continued desperate attempts to get people to read my books, I decided to try out Amazon Marketing Services. For anyone who doesn’t know what that means, it’s basically a marketing service run by Amazon where you create an ad that will show up when people browse related products. You set a CPC bid (i.e. how much you pay when someone clicks the ad), along with a max budget. Then you sit back and hope the people who click your ad are willing to take the next step and purchase your book!


My marketing adventure …

I set up the ad for my first book, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It, back in January of 2017. The CPC bid I chose was $0.35 — as in, every time someone clicks the ad, I pay Amazon 35 cents. I tried a cheaper CPC bid (25 cents) but it wasn’t getting any views, so I had to up it a bit to make it worth Amazon’s time to actually show my ad.

My max budget was $200 although, SPOILER ALERT, I totally did not run through all that money. Hahaha, can you imagine? That would mean people would actually have to click the ad.

Sarcasm aside, I did see a tiny bit of return for my investment, although definitely not nearly as much as I put in. Here’s the stats on my campaign, which I ran for about 4 months starting in January of 2017:

amazon marketing services results may 2017


Let’s break those numbers down …

17,990 impressions: # of people who saw the ad (or the ad showed up while they were browsing Amazon and they ignored it)

199 clicks: # of people who clicked the ad (costing me 35 cents per click)

1.106% CTR: the ratio of clicks to impressions

199 DPV: same concept as “clicks” (not sure why this is a different stat)

$69.65 Spend: amount of money I spent to get people to click the ad

$0.35 ACPC: average cost per click (because I could raise or lower the click price if I found it wasn’t getting enough views)

6 estimated orders: # of sales they’re pretty sure happened because the customer clicked the ad

$15.94 Estimated Total Sales: the amount of royalties I made off selling those 6 ebooks (which doesn’t make sense because I know for a fact I make less than $2.66 per ebook sold …)


So what does this mean?

I spent approximately $70 to sell $16 worth of books. It’s possible some people clicked the ad, saw the book, decided to buy it later, and therefore their sales didn’t register with the “estimated total sales” measurement — but my sales have been fairly pitiful, so I doubt that. All in all, an interesting experiment, but a failed one in my opinion. I wish it had turned out better, but ultimately the point was to see if the system worked — and for me, it definitely didn’t.

I think this sort of “cost per click” system would work a lot better if the product being sold had a higher sell price — as in, you’re paying Amazon, say, $1 per click, but you make $20 if the product sells. That would make the initial payout worth it. For a $2.99 book, however, I just can’t see how this kind of marketing makes financial sense unless the purchase rate is much, much higher.


Anyone else have experience with Amazon Marketing Services, or something similar? I’d love to hear about it!

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Free Marketing Tips eBook link

Greetings, blogosphere. Today’s post will be a short one, as I’m off to my cousin’s graduation this afternoon and then home for Father’s Day weekend.

As usual, I was wandering around the internet looking for interesting things when I came upon this free eBook on It’s called Smashwords Book Marketing Guide, by Mark Coker, and it’s very informative. Basically, he goes over 33 tips on how to market your eBook. I was hesitant about downloading it, because I figured it would just be promotion for Smashwords, and it was, but it also had some pretty great ideas for marketing. I’ll share two or three of the tips below, and then I encourage you to go download the eBook. It is, after all, free!

Tip #1: Update your email signature. Your email signature is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal, yet few authors take advantage of it. Most of us send emails to dozens if not hundreds of people each week, and each of these people (often friends, family, business associates, fans) represent potential customers for our book. By updating (or creating) an email signature, you’re providing email recipients a low-key, unobtrusive path to discover and purchase your book. Nearly every email program and service allows you to create a single email signature file, usually a simple text file, that then automatically appends to every email you write.

Tip #18: Invite other Authors to Post to your Blog. If you operate your own blog, invite your favorite authors to write guest posts for your blog. This is a great way to offer your fans interesting new content that increases the value of your blog. It also helps fans of the other author learn more about you.

Tip #26: Create a reader’s guide at the end of your book. You’ve probably seen these in print books: Publishers append short discussion guides for reading clubs and book groups at the ends of their books. Make it fun and easy for a book group to discuss you book. While most of us like to read books in private, we enjoy talking about books with our social circles, both online and offline. If you create a reading guide, be sure to advertise it in your book description with a simple statement such as, “Contains a helpful discussion guide for reading groups.”

Tip #27: Insert sample chapters from your other books. The last page of your book is valuable real estate. Your reader just loved your book, and they want to read more from you, so give them more book samples to read at the end of your book.

He also lists a variety of top eBook listing sites that you can put your book on for maximum exposure at the end of the document. A lot of them deal with free eBooks, but some of them list normal eBooks as well.

So check out the eBook — again, here’s the link to the site where you can download it for free.

And now for something completely different:

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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