5 tips for launching your first book marketing campaign

August 5, 2022 | By Bryan Cohen

It may feel daunting when you're thinking about starting your first book ads campaign with Amazon Ads. But whether you have one published book or many, there are numerous benefits to marketing your labor of love with an ads campaign. Through my Author Ad Profit Challenge*, my team and I at Best Page Forward LLC have helped over 30,000 authors start new campaigns or optimize existing ones.

Here are five key things to keep in mind when you're deciding whether to create your own campaign.

1. Amazon Ads can help readers discover your books

When you're trying to reach readers who frequently purchase books in the Amazon store, it's very helpful to showcase your title where these customers are already spending their time. Using Sponsored Products on Amazon Ads enables you to highlight your book on other book product pages. You can also have your title show up when readers are looking for their next purchase in your particular genre.

By running ads where readers are making their book-buying decisions, you give them more of an opportunity to easily and quickly buy your title.

And as a bonus, if your book is in the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select program, then potential readers can either buy or borrow your book. This provides two different ways for readers to enjoy your work when they’ve decided to click on your ad.

2. There are multiple ways to limit your ad spend

One of the biggest fears of running paid marketing is that you'll spend too much money. Fortunately, there are three key ways that you can limit your ad spend to stay within your marketing budget.

The first way is to use a modest bid for your Sponsored Products campaign. Through my team’s extensive testing, we've found that 0.39USD is a good starting point for your bid that can get impressions and clicks while still keeping your books profitable. By choosing “Dynamic Bids - down only” or "Fixed bids" for your bidding strategy, you'll never spend more per click than the bid amount you’ve set. If you’re willing to spend more than that bid amount (up to double), you can choose a bidding strategy like “Dynamic bids – up and down.” With this strategy, Amazon Ads will raise your bids (by a maximum of 100%) in real time when it appears that your ad may be more likely to convert to a sale, and lower your bids when it appears less likely to convert to a sale. It's never a bad idea to double-check your bid when creating your campaign to ensure that your bid is reasonable and that your bidding strategy is set up as you intended.

Another way to limit your ad spend is by using a small budget for each individual campaign. Amazon Ads recommends authors start with a daily budget of $10 to help keep your ads running all day. In most cases, when authors use a lower bid combined with a lower daily budget, these campaigns may not spend in full anyway.

Here's one last convenient feature: You can also choose a budget for your ad portfolios. A portfolio is like a folder for your ad campaigns. You can create a portfolio for all the ad campaigns you have for a certain book, and then set a monthly budget cap for all of the ads in that portfolio. For example, if you set a monthly budget cap of $20 for one of your
portfolios, then those ads would pause and stop spending once they've collectively reached that dollar amount.

By using lower bids, lower budgets, and a portfolio budget, you can ensure that your campaigns won't spend more than you're comfortable with.

3. Amazon Ads plays well with other forms of traffic

There will always be other types of marketing that you’ll use to get the word out about your books. One of the best features of Amazon Ads campaigns is that they tend to result in more traffic in the form of clicks when you're already sending alternate forms of traffic to your book page.

Let's say you're running a Kindle Countdown Deal, which discounts your book as low as $0.99 for up to five days per quarter. During this sale, you may email your readers to let them know about the price promotion. Shortly after your email goes out, you may see additional impressions and clicks on your Amazon Ads.

This is why it's a great idea to have campaigns running through Amazon Ads whenever you do a discount or send additional traffic to your books.

4. Ads can give you more than book sales

Many authors use Amazon Ads campaigns to try to increase book sales in the short term, but there are many other long-term benefits. If you run ads to multiple titles, then you'll be able to see essential insights about which books or series tends to yield the most profit. This information can be vital, as it may tell you to create more campaigns and put more of your focus into your most profitable title or series.

As you continue to run more campaigns to your highest-earning title, your book may begin to get more traffic through shopping queries and organic traffic as well. But without the initial insights from your early campaigns, you may not have known which title deserved your promotional push in the first place. Gathering information from your ads could be just as valuable for the long-term health of your business as the initial boost in sales.

5. Advertising is an investment

Lastly, it's important to remember that advertising is not so much a cost as it is an investment. You're gaining important insights with each campaign, and they can point you in a more profitable direction. These campaign insights could even show you that your books require more work on the product detail page (like the cover, book description, or title), which will help ensure that your next project has a higher likelihood of success.

Investing in Amazon Ads now could help your future growth as an author. Learn more about sponsored ads for KDP authors and the Free 5-Day Author Ad Profit Challenge.

Bryan Cohen's headshot

Bryan Cohen is an author and a teacher whose books have sold over 150,000 copies. His classes on book marketing have helped thousands to learn about more profitable publishing. Follow him to learn more about his next Author Ad Profit Challenge*.

*The Author Ad Profit Challenge is not in any way sponsored or otherwise endorsed by Amazon.com, Inc., Amazon Advertising LLC or any of their, owners, officers, directors, shareholders, employees, affiliates or subsidiaries (direct or indirect) in any way. Best Page Forward LLC is a third-party entity that is not an affiliate or subsidy of Amazon.com or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.