By Vincent B. Davis II @vbdavisii
The week following a book launch can be turbulent. That being said, I was relieved to find that my emotions were not as effected by the ups-and-downs of book sales as it was over the first few days.
One thing that helped to ease my mind was that the majority of the marketing wasn’t in my hands. My job, or at least the majority of it, was over for the time being.
All of my friends and family had been notified over the first few days, I had already tapped out my Facebook and Twitter markets. The only thing left to do was let the professionals take the reins and do what they do best. This week I’m going to talk about AMS, and how it has helped me expand my market greatly over the past week.
Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)
All writers need to be familiar with this service. It is essentially Google Adwords for the platform that sells the majority of books. If you have the ability to take advantage of it, you should. It cannot be ignored as a tool to get your book in front of readers who may not be able to find it otherwise.
There are two options for pushing your books with this service. Sponsored products, which appear in searches of your choosing, and beneath books of your choosing, and Product Displays, which are featured beside books of your choosing with their own unique display.
Sponsored Products look like this:
Product Displays look like this:
I have had no impressions with Product Displays thus far, but I will update you when I do. I have heard from others that Product Displays are generally less effective than Sponsored Products. Here are my results:
Historical Figures is a campaign I am running to target Ancient Roman and Greek individuals that people might be interested in, and I have had decent success. The first “Man with Two Names” category uses Amazon’s automatic targeting, and the second is with a list of keywords I thought would connect my book with terms related to it. As you can see, Amazon has thus far been more effective than I. The final category is Ancient Greek and Roman novels that I felt are similar to my own, and thus readers that enjoy them might enjoy mine. It has resulted in decent numbers.
How to analyze results
A few things are worth noting when analyzing your AMS results.
- The lower the ACoS percentage, the better your return on investment, the more effective the campaign.
- The number reflected in the “est. total sales” category is NOT how much money you are walking away with. That is the total amount of money your book or eBook has earned Amazon. Your share will be the royalties earned, and thus the figure can be a little skewed. You’ll have to tally up your own income by looking at what was earned, if it was likely from a paperback or eBook, and then add up the royalties you earn for them. Your best bet is a rough estimate.
- AMS does not calculate Kindle Unlimited Borrows. If you are enrolled in Kindle Select, a significant amount of proceeds over time may come from KENP, or the pages read from those who borrow your book with the Kindle Unlimited program. Amazon pays you roughly half a cent per page read. Sounds like a bad deal right? There are more thorough studies out there on the merits and shortcomings of the Kindle Unlimited program from the author’s prospective, but I will say that if your book is engaging enough to entertain readers from cover to cover, and a large number of individuals receive your book through this program, it can be a huge benefit to you. Since AMS does not include revenue from KENP read, there is likely more value for you than the numbers can show.
- You cannot put a price on impressions. In less than 2 weeks, my book has been in front of readers a total of 103,902 times, along side successful books and authors that I hope to emulate. The best part is, you are not charged from impressions, but only when a reader clicks on your title. The click is going to be your real bread and butter, but impressions are establishing you as an author and your book as a title that people have to be aware of. The more times readers are exposed to you, the more likely they are to consider you. Don’t underestimate that!
Next week I will dig in to the exact promotional tools that I used to get my book into the top 100 books in the Kindle store, the 1# in historical thrillers, and #2 in historical fiction!
Vincent B. Davis II is an entrepreneur, soldier, and freelance writer. In December 2016, he founded Thirteenth Press, LLC. His first novel, “The Man with Two Names” is available on Amazon now. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or on his website at vincentbdavisii.com. He loves hearing from other authors! If you would like to be featured on Blueridgeconference.com, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Blog Query”.