Amazon Book Marketing: How to Do Amazon Ads

POSTED ON Apr 9, 2024

Sarah Rexford

Written by Sarah Rexford

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How To Use Amazon Book Marketing Well

Amazon book marketing can be the secret sauce behind book sales. For authors who self-publish and have full control over their marketing, using Amazon book ads may seem like an obvious choice. But actually succeeding at Amazon book marketing can feel daunting at best. That's what we're here to help you with today.

Learning how to do Amazon ads for books will be a crucial selling point for you, and the opportunity to market your book on the same platform you're selling it on can work in your favor. 

Imagine browsing Amazon looking for books. You see Amazon ads for books that look like ones you’d love. You click. A few clicks later you have made the purchase, and as soon as tomorrow, you’ll be reading. This is the power of Amazon book marketing. 

But how do you harness that power? And how much do Amazon ads cost? Today we will explain some pitfalls to avoid with Amazon ads for authors, how to create your advertising budget, and tips for crafting the perfect paid ads for authors on Amazon.


Issues You May Encounter With Amazon Book Marketing

There are definitely pros and cons of Amazon book marketing, especially if you don't know how to use Amazon book ads properly. Here are some issues you might encounter when creating Amazon ads for authors:

Loose Targeting

One of the first aspects to consider when choosing to use Amazon advertising for books is who you want to target. If you wrote a book proposal for your manuscript, refer to your target audience section for guidance. 

When learning how to do Amazon ads for books, knowing who your target readers are is crucial, but so is knowing your secondary, and even tertiary, audiences. You don’t want to target your audience too tightly, but you want to know enough about your potential readers so that your Amazon book ads can actually reach them.

Keywords With Low Search Volume

Keywords are a vital factor in the success of pretty much any online copy – and this is also true for targeted Amazon ads for authors on KDP. If you choose keywords with too high of a search volume, you risk not standing out from the rest of the ads. 

However, if you choose to use keywords that are so unique their search volume is nearly nonexistent, you likely won’t bring in any readers.

Do your research before committing to your keywords. 

You can check out our guide for How to Choose Keywords for Amazon KDP if you need some extra help with this.

Too Few Reviews 

Amazon reviews are often a large contribution to successful Amazon book marketing, and the reviews don’t just impact your book, but also your ads. You may want to hold back on Amazon book ads until you have a good handful of reviews (consider trying for 10-20). 

If you worry about how to get Amazon book reviews, consider putting together a big launch team. A launch team is a great way to get reviews straight out of the gate so your Amazon advertising for books can convert more easily.

What To Ask Yourself Before Creating Your Amazon Book Ads

Ryan Cohen, who started Chewy and later sold it for $3.35 billion, says “When you search Amazon the default search used to be best-selling product. Now the default search is really sponsored ads.” 

The United States is projected to have 278.33 million online shoppers in 2024. While not every shopper is a reader, and not every reader is in your target audience, that is a LOT of potential customers. To say online ads are important is a massive understatement. 

Here is a three-point list of what you need to consider when learning how to do Amazon ads for books:

  • What is your purpose in running ads?
    • Do you want to build brand awareness?
    • Encourage purchases? 
    • Create buzz?
  • Who do you want to target?
    • Existing readers?
    • Potential readers?
  • What are you willing to invest? 

With financial investment in mind, let’s move on to the costs associated with Amazon advertising for books.

What Should You Invest In Amazon Book Marketing?

How much you choose to put into advertising is entirely up to you, your goals, and of course, your budget. There are, however, four aspects Amazon lists when deciding how much you want to put towards your Amazon ads cost. 

Amazon Book Marketing Budget 

What is your Amazon book marketing budget, and how much of this budget are you willing to spend on ads?

Remember, Amazon book marketing is not restricted to ads alone. There are countless other ways to market. Online ads have a far reach when done well, but they are not the only way to market.

Ask: What is the best area for me to invest my Amazon book marketing budget and how much is the correct investment for me to invest in Amazon book ads? 

Some other ways to market on Amazon are:

  • Optimizing your book description with relevant keywords
  • Choosing competitive book tags
  • Enrolling your book in Kindle Unlimited
  • Setting up pre-orders for your book
  • Encouraging readers to leave a review on Amazon
  • And collaborating with book bloggers and influencers

Your Bid

Your bid is simply the number you decided to pay for online users to click on your specific advertisement when you use ads through Amazon,

You can use automatic bidding which means that your bid will automatically be optimized to help you reach your objective.

Or you can choose to use manual bidding and set your own bid.

A bid is the average amount that you’re willing to pay for a click or view of your ad. When you're creating a campaign, select a bid type that helps you meet your goals.

When doing Amazon book marketing for the first time, you might want to use Amazon's suggested bid. This bid is calculated based on bids for ads similar to yours that have won impressions over the past 7 days. Your ad will continue to display until enough customers click on your ad to exhaust your budget for the day.

When you are new to Amazon book marketing, it can take some time to learn the best bid amount and adjust it to align with your goals over time. If your ad isn’t receiving enough impressions or clicks, you can try increasing the bid amount to display it to more customers.

If you set your keyword bid at $0.50, that is the most you will pay when a potential customer clicks on your ad. If your competitor has a higher bid for the same keyword, then they will have a better ad placement than you. If you see competitors with better ad placement, it's time to pay more or to consider bidding for a different keyword.

When using Amazon advertising for books, make sure that your ads are relevant to your title, because the more relevant your ad is the more likely it is to be seen.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

With CPC, every time an individual chooses to click on your ad, there is a cost attached. If you create a sponsored post, such as a product or brand, unless someone actually clicks on your ad, you do not pay for the click. 

You can expect to pay anywhere from $0.05 to $10 per click for PPC campaigns. The amount you pay depends on how competitive your niche is.

In terms of a budget, I recommend starting with $50 to $100 a day for your PPC campaigns. If your budget is lower, don't worry! You can start with just $5 to $10 a day and make adjustments to your PPC budget over time.

After your campaigns run for a few weeks, gather data so you can see which keywords are best to target, and which bids you want to make to improve your listings.

If your budget runs out early, your campaigns will be paused. So if you are still profitable, you should increase your daily Amazon book marketing budget. If you aren't profitable, remove or change costly keywords.

If your ad is failing to gain clicks, you may want to play with changing your ad copy, creating a more eye-catching book cover design, or adding your author page on Amazon.

Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions 

The technical term for this is the cost per mile, abbreviated as simply CPM. When your ad hits 1,000 impressions, you want to know the average it will cost you.

What is the financial investment behind paying Amazon to deliver this many impressions to your audience? 

Are the Amazon ads costs worth it?

Once you hit this benchmark, you will have a better understanding of how to adjust your Amazon book marketing strategy.

Tips for Acing Your Amazon Ads for Books

Today more than ever, self-published authors are not only creatives, but familiar with marketing, design, promotion, and of course, knowing their audiences. 

There is a type of psychology behind creating Amazon book ads targeted to your ideal audience. There is also guesswork involved.

While it can feel like nothing is a guarantee when you decide to use Amazon book ads, the more you learn and grow, the better you will understand the process. 

One of the most important aspects of successful marketing is knowing who you want to target. If you say, “My book is for everyone,” how are you going to know who to target your ads to?

Consider the following questions to help you gain a better understanding of your audience:

  • What most excites my reader?
  • What bores my reader or makes them sad?
  • What type of book did my reader read last weekend?
  • What is my reader's ideal vacation? 
  • If my reader had to be a character in my book, who would they be and why? 

These questions may feel random, but they will help you learn how to do Amazon ads for books well. Think about them in relation to your Amazon book marketing:

  • What type of ad will grab your audience’s attention? 
  • What design will evoke their emotion?
  • What type of copy will interest them? 
  • What’s a sweepstakes they would love to enter? 
  • What is their personality and how can you target to it?

Do you see how both lists align? When you know what excites your reader, you have a much better grasp of exactly how to design your ad, from color choices to copy. 

While you may want to play it safe and run a trial ad or two, once you feel confident and start seeing results, consider taking the plunge. 

You should also keep your copy and visuals in mind during the Amazon book marketing process. Amazon ads can be a maximum of 150 characters in length, and you want to make every character count! Brush up on some copywriting techniques to make sure your sentences are crafted to SELL.

Just be careful. Amazon does have guidelines on ad copy, and you don't want to get yourself in any trouble by making claims you can't back up!

Amazon book marketing can broaden your reach, grow your audience, and increase your fan base. Just like everything, it takes time to learn, but the benefits can be so rewarding!

If you need more help with your Amazon book marketing, our team at selfpublishing.com would be happy to help you through every step of your book launch. You can reach out for a free strategy call today!


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