Blog to Book Project — Amazon Sponsored Brands

In 2020, Amazon opened up the world of sponsored brands to authors. Using this feature, authors can feature up to five similar books in a cost-per-click (CPC) ad. If a viewer clicks on the ad, they will be taken to a custom landing page. Currently, this is only open to U.S. authors, but eventually, I’m sure it will be available to authors in other countries that Amazon services.

From your KDP bookshelf, choose Promote and Advertise. Then choose the Amazon.com marketplace under Run an Ad Campaign. To begin, choose Sponsored Brands from the campaign types.

You’ll need to add a credit card to launch the campaign, otherwise you can save it as a draft. Create a campaign name, something memorable such as Survival Guide Ad or Writers Books Ad. Next choose a start and end date. Set your budget. A lifetime budget is only available for ads with an end date. If you have used more than one pen name, you’ll be able to choose here which one you would like to highlight in the ad as well. 

Next you’ll choose the books you’d like to highlight with this ad campaign. You can choose books in the same series or books that are written in the same genre.

You’ll have a chance to review how the custom landing page will look. Your books will be listed across the top, and one listing will be expanded below them. 

If you aren’t happy with the book order, you can change that in the next section Creative. Add an author photo or your brand logo if you have one. The image should be at least 300 x 300 pixels and smaller than 1 MB. Use PNG, JPEG or GIF. The toggle Product Optimization lets Amazon automatically replace the books you’ve selected with different ones if they are more relevant to a user’s search. Create a headline that summarizes what you are presenting like Guides to make your move to Mexico easier or Aids designed to help you format your book today. Amazon suggests using sentence case rather than all capital letters and avoiding extra punctuation like !!!!.

You can choose from Keyword or Product targeting, whichever you believe will best get your books in front of your target audience. You can also add negative keywords or products to exclude irrelevant terms. 

Finally, if you’ve already entered the billing information, then you can submit everything for review. 

Assignment: Create a Sponsored Brand ad campaign. 

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Blog to Book Project –Amazon Ad Campaigns

Amazon offers a way to reach more potential readers through Amazon Advertising. These ads are run on a cost-per-click auction based model. That means Amazon holds a real-time auction every time someone does a search to determine which ads will appear based on relevancy. The cost-per-click, your “bid” is the amount you choose to pay if someone actually clicks on your ad.

Amazon will always choose the highest bid within the category to display since it will make them the most money. So suppose you have a book about canaries that you want more people to be aware of. Amazon suggests that you bid $0.70 but the bid range for that category is ($0.40 – $1.40). You decide to go with the custom bid of $0.70. However, someone else has a book about canaries and their bid is $1.40. Amazon will choose to show that bid more often than yours when the criteria is met in a search. 

Your book cover and book content have to meet certain requirements to even be considered. To see the complete list of prohibitive cover images and book themes, you’ll need to read through Amazon’s book ad policies.  

Currently, you can run Sponsored ads on Amazon in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Lockscreen ads are only available for the US. 

You can advertise books written in languages other than English, but all language in the ad must match the language of the Amazon site where the ad is running. For example, if you want to advertise a book written in Japanese on Amazon.com, the ad must be in English. Also, book titles must clearly state if the book isn’t in the language of the Amazon site where the ad is running.

If potential readers click on your ad, they’ll be taken to the detail page of your book on Amazon. Therefore, before you set up an ad campaign, you should make sure that the layout is eye catching and the book blurb is interesting. Check the visual appeal of your book cover, too.

Creating an Ad Account

To begin, go to your KDP bookshelf and select a book you want to run a campaign for. Choose Promote and Advertise under the ellipses.

Then you’ll want to look at the Run an Ad Campaign section. Choose a marketplace from the available options. 

You’ll be taken to a screen that forces you to accept Amazon’s policies before continuing.

Once you do so, you’ll see that there are two options to choose from: Sponsored products and Lockscreen Ads. 

Sponsored products are those that you see across the top after you search for a particular book topic. Lockscreen ads appear on Kindle and Kindle Fire devices of people that have read a book related to one of your target words in the past. Lockscreen ads are only available for eBook promotions, not paperback.  We will discuss these individually in future posts.

Assignment: Set up an Amazon Ad Account

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