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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Blog to Book Project — Gifting eBook on Amazon

One way to promote your book is to set up a giveaway, give your book to readers at events, or send it to subscribers of your newsletter. You can purchase several copies or just a single copy to gift someone. 

You can purchase prepaid ebooks that can be redeemed by clicking a link or with a redemption code. To do this, go to the detail page for your title on Amazon.com. On the right, you’ll see the option to “Give as a Gift.” When you select that button, a new page will open for you to complete the order. 

This gifting service is also available on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es but only as a multi-copy transaction. The gift book must be purchased on the same site that the receiver will access it. So if you are sending a book to someone in Italy, make sure to purchase the gift copy through Amazon.it rather than the U.S. site. 

If the person does not click the link to download the book within 60 days, you can request a refund or send the link to another recipient. Since this is a purchased book, you receive royalties on the title even though you bought it yourself. However, the royalties are only applied when the book is redeemed.

Gifting a great way to encourage Beta readers to leave a review for your book. Be aware though that if you are purchasing multiple copies at the same time, the recipients will only be able to leave non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews. Therefore, purchase each Beta review copy individually. 

Single copies gifting is only available on the Amazon.com U.S. site. The recipient of a single copy can return the gift within seven days of downloading as long as it hasn’t been opened on any device. He or she can also exchange the ebook for a gift card. 

Assignment: Send your book to someone as a gift.

Blog to Book Project — Kindle eBook Pre-Order

In order to start some hype about your ebook, you can set it up as a pre-order book after you have published your print version. Pre-orders count towards sales ranking even before your book is released.

Pre-orders are not available at Amazon.in yet, but you can set your book up for pre-order at any other Amazon Kindle Store. Customers can order it anytime up to the release day. Once it’s released, they will receive their copy.  

To create a pre-order, set it up as you would any other KDP ebook. When you get to the pre-order section, choose “Make my Kindle eBook available for Pre-order.” and choose a release date. You’ll get a message telling you that you need to upload the final draft a few days before that release date. Save and continue.

Under the Manuscript heading, you are given the option to upload your manuscript now or wait until a few days before the release date to upload it.

Continue through the setup process. On the final page, you’ll see the yellow button “Submit for Pre-Order” instead of the normal publish option.

Once you submit your manuscript, the detail on your bookshelf for that book will say “Pre-Order in Review.”  While Amazon is setting up the detail page for your pre-order book, the notification will say “Pre-Order Publishing.”

Once it is live, you’ll receive an email where you can check out the detail page on Amazon for this title. 

If you haven’t submitted a manuscript, there will be a timer on the setup page that lets you know how long you have to submit your file so that it will be delivered to customers on time. If you don’t upload a manuscript before that date, the pre-order will be canceled and you can’t set up any other pre-orders for the period of one year. You won’t be able to make any changes to the manuscript after the submission deadline until after the release date. 

You can keep track of pre-orders on your reports page. The report will include pre-ordered ebooks, cancellations and net pre-order units. The sales information will not appear in the royalty reports until after the book is delivered to customers. 

You can change the release date if you need to. If you move it up, you must submit the republish your manuscript. Customers who have already pre-ordered your book will get the book earlier.

You can delay the book’s release once up to 30 days before the submission deadline. If you delay the book a second time, you won’t be able to create another pre-order for a year. If your book is delayed, customers who have already ordered your book will receive an email to that effect. 

You can also cancel a pre-order by unpublishing it from the bookshelf on KDP. If you cancel though, you won’t be able to set up another pre-order for one year. 

Assignment: Get your ebook ready for pre-order.

Blog to Book Project — Kindle Countdown Deals

The Kindle Countdown Deal is available to books enrolled in KDP Select. It is a sale on your book that you can run on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.  When your book is part of a countdown deal, potential buyers can see the regular price and the promotional price on the detail page along with a countdown clock.

You’ll receive your regular royalty rate for each sale during the promotion. Furthermore, your book will be listed on the Kindle Countdown Deal page.

To set up a Kindle Countdown Deal, select the Promote and Advertise button by your book in your KDP Bookshelf. 

That will take you to a page entitled “Promote your book on Amazon.” On this page, make sure the Kindle Countdown Deal option is selected and click on the yellow Create a new Kindle Countdown Deal button. 

On the following page called “Create a new Kindle Countdown Deal” first choose whether you wish to run your sale on Amazon or Amazon UK. Then choose what 7-day period you want to run the sale. You can choose to run the deal for fewer days, but you only get one countdown deal per each 90-day enrollment period, so you might as well use the maximum number of days. 

Decide how many increments you want the sale price to have, from one to five. Then decide on the starting price of your book from .99 to $1 less than the full price. 

When you continue, you will see the proposed promotional schedule including date, duration of that price point, price and the discount percentage. You can edit as you wish before confirming by selecting the yellow Add Promotion button at the bottom of the page. 

In order to qualify for this sale, the digital price of your book can not have changed 30 days prior to the sale or 14 days after. The book must have been enrolled in KDP select for at least 30 days.

The book can’t have had a free promotion during the same KDP Select term. You can choose either one type of promotion or the other, not both. If your book is not exclusive to KDP Select and Amazon finds out about it, you lose your KDP privileges and any promotions are cancelled. You also can’t cancel the promotion once it has begun. 

Make sure to advertise your Kindle Countdown Deal on all your social media accounts!

Assignment: Set up a Kindle Countdown Deal.

Blog to Book Project — Amazon Affiliates Program

I’ve been an Amazon Affiliate since I started blogging. I don’t make oodles of money, but I do make a little bit. If you haven’t already signed up, then you should do so. You have set up your blog and started creating a social media presence right?

Basically, you can get a tracking code for any product page on Amazon. If someone clicks on your link, Amazon knows about it. You may be eligible for a commission on anything they purchase after they click that link, even if it wasn’t the product that originally led them to Amazon. 

There are all sorts of tools designed to drive traffic from your link to Amazon that the company provides. You’ll need to decide which will work best for you. 

However, as an author, being an Amazon Affiliate means that you get a small commission on your own book in addition to royalties if someone buys your book using your affiliate link. A bit of double-dipping, shall we say! 

Being an Amazon Affiliate also provides you access to the Kindle Instant Preview links which we will talk about in a bit. Plus, when you offer your Free Book Promotion, if readers downloading your book stay on Amazon and purchase something else, you’ll get a commission there too. 

The important thing is not to abuse your affiliate status. Amazon does not allow affiliate links in ebooks sold on Amazon, so make sure your book doesn’t have any. You also must not click on your own links to generate commissions. Amazon will boot you out of their program if they catch you. 

And you’ll need to disclose your affiliate relationship with Amazon in posts, newsletters and other places you may insert a link. I use an image on my blog’s sidebar that is visible on whatever page is being viewed. 

The easiest way to get affiliate links for your book is to go to the book’s detail page on Amazon. You’ll have three options, text, image and text plus image. Feel free to try them all and see what gives you the best results. 

You can keep track of clicks and commissions earned from the Earnings section on your Amazon Associates SiteStrip that will now appear at the top of any page you visit on Amazon. 

You can also see how many ebooks your links have sold, whether yours or another author you are promoting. There’s no need to be stingy with Amazon Affiliate links. The more the merrier. 

Amazon pays out commissions earned every two months. You need to meet a minimum amount, otherwise, the amount just rolls over until you meet the minimum. If you choose to get paid by direct deposit or Amazon gift card, you’ll get paid after your commissions earned a total of $10. If you want to receive a check, then you’ll need to wait until you rack up $100.

So that’s a brief overview of the benefits of becoming an Amazon Affiliate as an author.

Assignment: Sign up to be an Amazon Affiliate

Blog to Book Project — Sample Chapters

The first 10% of your ebook can be downloaded by readers through the Send a free sample option available on your book’s detail page on Amazon. 

This option means you should think about what content you should include in your front matter to capitalize on this preview opportunity. 

Do you want to waste all the valuable space on acknowledgments or can you move the acknowledgements to the back matter?

Will the list of tables and graphs really grab the reader’s attention? 

Would including testimonials bolster your book and/or qualifications for writing it? 

Does your introduction do a bang-up job of convincing the reader to buy the book?

Have you checked and double-checked for errors?

Assignment: Decide how to format the front matter to capitalize on the Send a free sample option.