How To Do Amazon Ads For Books?

Have you ever wondered how to do Amazon ads for books? It’s like having your very own advertisement in the world’s biggest bookstore. 

In this guide, we’ll break down the steps to help your book shine and connect with eager readers. From understanding the basics to crafting eye-catching ads, we’ve got you covered. Ready to give your book a boost on Amazon? 

Let’s dive into the world of book advertising!

How to set up your Amazon Ads

In this part, we’ll cover the top tips for handling your campaigns on the world’s biggest online store. 

Here’s a straightforward six-step guide on setting up an Amazon ads campaign for your book.

  1. Begin your ad campaign
  2. Set a budget
  3. Choose targets—titles, categories, or keywords
  4. Opt for higher bids
  5. Track ad costs per sale
  6. Test and optimize for better results

1. Begin your ad campaign

The first thing to do is create a campaign. You get to choose what type of ad you want (Sponsored Product, Sponsored Brand, or Lockscreen Ads) and give your campaign a name.

If you’re a new author, go for Sponsored Product ads – they make the most sense. Sponsored Brand ads need three books, and Lockscreen Ads are a bit out there. 

But most authors and book marketers find Sponsored Product ads super effective.

When naming your campaigns, keep it simple:

[Type of Ad] – [Advertised Book Title] – [Type of Targeting]

This helps you quickly see how your different strategies are doing on your dashboard. And as you get more campaigns with your growing author career, starting organized is a smart move.

2. Set a budget

Afterward, it’s time to establish a budget for your campaign. The method for doing this varies based on the type of ad you’re running.

Sponsored ads: daily budget

For Sponsored Products and Sponsored brand ads, you need to establish a daily budget. This can be as low as $2 or $5 per day, and the likelihood is that you’ll likely spend only a portion of this budget. 

how to do amazon ads for books

You have the option to set an end date, or you can run the campaign continuously, tweaking the daily budget as needed. We suggest the latter approach—it’s a good habit to regularly check, review, and adjust your campaigns.

Lockscreen Ads: fixed budget

how to do amazon ads for books

For Lockscreen Ads, you’ve got to set a total budget of at least $100, and you need to decide when your ads will start and end. 

Plus, you’ll have to choose how much you’re willing to pay for each click right from the start.

Even if you don’t use up the whole budget (because the bidding system we talked about earlier still applies here), it usually costs more than Sponsored ads. Generally, you might end up spending around $50 with a $100 budget.

That’s why it’s a good idea to kick off your Amazon ad journey with Sponsored Products ads – you can try things out without spending as much.

3. Choose targets—titles, categories, or keywords

After setting your budget, it’s time to tell Amazon where you want your ads to appear—specific search results or in the “Also Bought” sections of certain products.

You can control this using category, keyword, and product targeting, with slight variations depending on the ad type.

Product Targeting for Niche Focus

Utilize product targeting to pinpoint the exact book’s product page where you want your ad. Simply search for the book’s name or directly enter its ASIN.

This approach is highly specific; your ad will only show up in the “Also Bought” section of the selected book. 

For example, if you’re writing a modern Pride and Prejudice retelling, you might want your book on the classic’s product page, as seen in the screenshot.

how to do amazon ads for books

Keyword Targeting for Versatility

If you’re not ready to narrow down to specific books, consider keyword targeting. This option places your ads on search results and product pages, providing more flexibility.

You can also choose between exact match, phrase match, or broad match for your keywords. 

For instance, using the keyword “pride and prejudice variations” gives you various matches, providing control over ad placement. However, it requires understanding your subgenre and audience behavior on Amazon.

Exact match (exact words and order):
pride and prejudice variations, pride and prejudice variation

Phrase match (exact words and order, plus other words before or after):
pride and prejudice variations kindle, pride and prejudice variations modern 

Broad match (exact words in various orders, plus other words):
variations of pride and prejudice, pride and prejudice modern variation

Seek Guidance or Opt for Automation

If you’re unsure about running such a campaign, collaborate with a book marketer familiar with your genre. 

Alternatively, Amazon Advertising offers automatic targeting, selecting targets based on your book’s metadata, eliminating the need for research. You can start with this and refine your keywords later.

Reviewing your campaign comes later. For now, after choosing your targeting type, let’s delve into setting bids.

4. Opt for higher bids

In simple terms, your bid is the most you’re willing to pay for someone to click on your ad. Bidding higher means more people see your ad, like being at the top of a search page or in the “Also Bought” section. But keep in mind, that competitive words need higher bids.

Starting, it’s a bit tricky to know the perfect bid. Amazon suggests a range, but it’s better not to stick to it blindly because what worked for others might not work for you.

For a start, bidding between $0.50 and $1 for the US (a bit less for the UK) is a good idea. Remember:

    1. Your actual cost for each click is usually less than your bid.
    2. If your bid is too low, your ads might not show up.

You can always adjust your bid later, but it’s good to check and change things regularly. So, start with a higher bid, see how it goes, and then tweak your approach based on the results.

5. Track ad costs per sale

After your ad has been running for a while, racking up those impressions, it’s time to dig into the results. Luckily, Amazon makes this easy with the advertising cost of sale (ACoS) metric, right there on your dashboard.

how to do amazon ads for books

This metric compares the amount you spent on the campaign to the sales revenue directly tied to that campaign.

It’s a simple ratio: ACoS = Spend / Sales.

It quickly tells you whether your campaign is making or losing you money.

Now, the Sales number is based on your book’s retail price, not your royalty. Here’s the breakdown:

    1. If your book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99, where you get a 70% cut, your ad is profitable if ACoS < 70%.
    2. If your book is priced below $2.99 or above $9.99, earning you 35% royalties, your ad is making money only if ACoS < 35%.

Remember, ACoS doesn’t include royalties from Kindle Unlimited borrows. If your book is in KDP Select, factor those results in.

The ACoS metric makes Amazon stand out from other ad platforms for books. It helps you see if your campaigns are cost-effective. If a campaign isn’t breaking even and you’re losing money, consider lowering bids for some keywords to cut costs. 

But don’t go too low, or you might miss out on impressions. If that doesn’t balance things, you might have to pause the campaign. It’s a juggling act managing costs, leading us to the next step.

6. Test and optimize for better results

Testing is the key to effective advertising. Each book is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

The best way to discover what suits your book is to consistently test and adjust your targets and bids. Here are some actions you can take to optimize your campaign:

Analyze Your “Search Term” Reports

Amazon provides reports detailing the search terms that led to clicks on your ads. This information is particularly useful for automatic targeting campaigns or keyword campaigns with broad or phrase match targeting. 

The report includes data on impressions, clickthrough rate (CTR), and spending for each target. Reviewing this data helps uncover new keywords and comp titles that might fit your book.

Remove Low CTR Keywords

Clickthrough rate (CTR) measures how often shoppers click on your ad, with each keyword having its own CTR. This metric is crucial because Amazon favors ads that receive clicks. 

Monitor your campaign’s CTRs and filter for keywords below a 0.2% CTR. These may not be the best targets for your book and can be removed from the campaign.

Pause Low CTR Campaigns with High Costs

For campaigns with overall low CTRs but high costs, consider pausing them. Amazon aims to boost ads that result in clicks and sales, so if a campaign is not driving sufficient engagement, it might be more effective to temporarily halt it.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Selling Books With Amazon Ads



1. Target Readers Where They Shop

1. Hyper-Competitive Platform

  • Ads focus on where readers buy.
  • Seamless integration into search results.
  • Increased competition raises costs.
  • Some struggle to achieve positive ROI.

2. Pay-Per-Click Model

2. Time-Consuming Optimization

  • “Pay per click” allows experimentation.
  • Forgiving for testing broader targeting.
  • Continuous bid tweaking is required.
  • Ongoing optimization demands attention.

3. Quick Campaign Setup

3. Difficulty Scaling Campaigns

  • Uses cover and metadata, no extra creatives.
  • Auto-targeting campaigns are set up in minutes.
  • Scaling may not result in proportional exposure.
  • Budget increases may not significantly boost exposure.

4. Sales Data Insight

4. Incomplete Sales Data

  • Provides insights into ad performance.
  • Reports Kindle Unlimited pages read.
  • Reported “Sales” isn’t net royalties.
  • Sales data is incomplete, requiring supplemental data.

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And that concludes our guide on how to do Amazon ads for books. Even if Amazon Advertising makes changes down the road, knowing the basics we talked about here will help you promote your book for a long time. 

Just remember, running ads is all about trying things out and learning from them. 

So, don’t hesitate – set up that campaign and enjoy the process of figuring out what works best for you!



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