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Amazon | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Image: dailyfinance.com

Well, the title says it all, doesn’t it? Following my small success with Amazon Marketing Services, I’m about to scale up my promotions. I have been reading up on AMS and to reach that goal I’m planning to increase everything, ie:

  • Number of keywords and products,
  • CPC* bid,
  • Budget, and
  • Number of ads.

* Glossary used in this post: 

  • CPC is the Cost Per Click; how much you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
  • KENP (Kindle Edition Normalized Pages) is the number of pages people have read on a book available on Kindle Unlimited.
  • ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale) is a metric used by Amazon to measure the performance of your Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns.

Keywords/products

Keywords are probably the most important thing to research. According to Michal Stawicki, a guest at Dave Chesson’s (aka Kindlepreneur’s) excellent blog:

  • Amazon’s suggestions aren’t worth much so don’t rely on them, and
  • It’s better to target your competitors directly instead of using descriptive words.

So, with that in mind, what is the right number for my keywords? Michal suggests we use at least 300 keywords. I plan to use even more. I’ll select them by going to a similar book to mine, check out the “also boughts” in the same genre and respective sub-genres, and add them to my keywords. I’ll also add their “also boughts,” then their “also boughts,” until I have enough keywords.

Once that happens, I’ll top them up by going through the best-seller list and adding keywords based on books found in my genre/sub-genres.

Bid

At Shana Gorian’s suggestion, I plan to start my bids at $0.35 and bid no higher than $0.70. I’ll spare you the math, but the idea here is that you need to at least cover your expenses, and that will be impossible if I bid higher than that. As for placement, I will stick to sponsored ads, not product display.

Budget/Number of Ads

I will start with a $200 budget. I usually budget for $100 but Amazon has never taken all of it; they usually take a few pennies each day, until the campaign ends a natural death. This time, the extra keywords will probably mean the budget will disappear. Still, I’ll keep that going for as long as I can. The reason is that Amazon stats are delayed, and, in my experience, sales can take up to five days to show up. Also, I’ve noticed that Amazon’s acos numbers and statistics are way off. I can’t imagine why that is, but my experience suggests I’m better off ignoring them. Instead, I’ll use Book Report to make sure that sales include KENP as well.

I will also scale up the number of ads by copying each campaign. I’ve read from people who are running dozens of copies of their campaign, so I’ll use ten of them, with a budget of $20 each and slight adjustments to the keywords/products. I’ll wait for a week and weed out the ones that are under-performing. I have to trust Amazon’s acos for this, so I’ll ditch any ads that aren’t giving me 100% acos. Hopefully, this will cover both KENP, Amazon’s own royalty, and the delivery costs.

I expect the ads to run their course in a matter of weeks. When that happens, I’ll copy the most successful ones and run them again (assuming I’m not broke by then).

Which Book?

Pearseus bundle slider image | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThis is another question I’ve been struggling with. I’ll promote Pearseus, as this is my best-seller at the moment. However, I have two options: one is to promote Rise of the Prince, the first book in the series, for $2.99. The other is to promote the Pearseus five-book bundle for $4.99. Obviously, the latter is better value-for-money for customers and will give me a higher profit.

However, there are two things to consider:

  1. The bundle is Kindle-only. This means I’ll lose anyone who doesn’t own a Kindle or prefers paper.
  2. If someone reads Rise and moves on the rest of the books in the series, I stand to make $12.95 instead of $4.99.

Of course, one idea is to run two separate campaigns, one for each book, and see which one performs better. Or even, if I do manage to make a profit, to keep them both running.

So, keep them crossed and I promise to let you know how it goes! If you’ve tried AMS in the past, do share your experience, and please let me know if you see any faults with my logic.

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