Amazon Marketing Services Experiment: Part 1

via Unsplash

Recently I decided to experiment with the fairly new Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), which is their pay-per-click advertising program. The first ad I ran for less than a day. I got a little nervous and thought my impressions were low (205 with 0 clicks), so I suspended it—probably way too soon. The second ad I scheduled to run for two days (Monday, December 26th through Tuesday, December 27th).

After listening to an episode of the now defunct Self-Publishing Roundtable where Zoe York recommended that authors go with Amazon’s suggested cost per click (CPC), I scheduled an ad for the first book in the South of Forever series, Diving Into Him ($2.99). At first I chose from Amazon suggested keywords. Eventually I added some additional keywords of my own. I scheduled the ad to run for two days, with a $5 daily budget. Amazon suggested a $0.25 CPC.

According to Kboards, you want one click for every thousand impressions. My two-day campaign resulted in a little over 40,000 impressions and 41 total clicks. My ROI was one sale—about $2.02 in royalties (though AMS doesn’t record KU borrows/reads). I’m not sure if this is good or bad; I spent $5.58—more than double the ROI—in order to get that one sale. I need to run another experiment.

My best-performing keyword was “rockstar romance.” It was the only keyword to result in a sale. The keyword with the most impressions and clicks was “interracial romance.” I’m not sure that Multicultural & Interracial romance is the best category for the series; even though Jett is Portuguese and Koty is white, I feel like readers expect black and white characters in interracial romance.

I also may need to adjust my covers for the series again; I’m wondering if my covers, which currently feature the heroines, should in fact feature the heroes. Most rockstar romances, after all, have either the couple or just the hero on the cover. I went with the heroines since each book is told in a different heroine’s point of view. Like everything else, this is an experiment and I’m still learning.

In the future, I think I will run a longer ad, maybe with a slightly bigger daily budget. Though I think $5 is a good experimental daily budget, I need more impressions so that I can have more data to see exactly what a decent ROI would be.

I don’t really know this was a waste of time or if I just didn’t run the ad long enough (or with the right keywords). Advertising is an experiment in and of itself, so it’ll take some tweaking to get it right. I also think it’ll help me with my cover design, categories, keywords, and blurbs; advertising gets me the eyeballs I need, so if I’m not converting, I know one of those things needs to be tweaked. I think it’s especially beneficial to be doing this while I’m enrolled in KU.

I will report back after I’ve run my next ad!

Have you used AMS? Let me know what your experience was in the comments below!