How to Use Amazon Ads to Boost Your Book’s Visibility and Drive More Sales

I made my first content about Amazon Ads almost 6 years ago. Since then, it’s been through a few changes including in name. If you remember when Amazon Ads were referred to as AMS or Amazon Marketing Services, then you’re truly an OG in these parts.

Paid ads are intimidating. You’re granting a platform to spend your money on your behalf to advertise for you. It feels like you’re abandoning all control, but I assure you that’s not the case.

Still, I issue everyone thinking about trying Amazon Ads the same warning:

Don’t budget for more than you can afford to lose.

If you can’t afford to lose anything, go with alternative strategies. There are tons in my book, Promotional Strategies for Books.

How Much Do Amazon Ads Cost

Back when I made that first content, you could spend less than $1 per day and turn a profit with Amazon Ads.

These days, you can get enough data to know which ads to scale and which ones not to on that amount.

The point is, you don’t need hundreds of dollars to get started. You’ll be surprised how cheap Amazon Ads are and how easy it is to turn a profit using them.

If an ad gets out of hand, you can kill it with one click.

Why Amazon Advertising?

Amazon is huge and there are hundreds of millions of products on their platform. Every day, millions more are added. Among them, are authors just like you hoping to see success by self-publishing their book using that same platform.

Thousands of books a day are hitting the Amazon marketplace and many of them will end up lost to obscurity.

Amazon Ads is one way to ensure that doesn’t happen. It’s one of the best ways to stand out among all the noise.

The Best Way to Get Into Amazon Ads

Get in there and experiment with it!

Start off with an initial ad. I like to call this the Research Ad. You set the daily budget to $1 per day so you can get the data you need to run more serious ads.

You can see this in action in Episode 5 of Season 2 of Book Rescue. Sarah ran her first Amazon Ads.

Getting Started with Amazon Ads

You can access the Amazon Ads Console directly from you KDP Bookshelf. Just click the Promote and Advertise button next to the book you want to create ads for.

Choose the region you want to advertise in from the drop-down and click the Create an ad campaign button.

getting started

From there, you’ll be presented with 3 types of Amazon Ads to choose from:

amazon ads

  • Sponsored Products
  • Sponsored Brands
  • Lockscreen Ads

Focus on Sponsored Products. The other two aren’t for just starting out and may not be for you at all. You can find out more details in this post on the Book Rescue site.

For the most part, you’ll want to stick to Sponsored Products.

What You Need

At this point, you need a few things to proceed:

  • A budget
  • Some keywords
  • A little knowledge

I can’t help you with the first one, I can tell you where to get the second one, and I’ll fill you in on the third.


The best place to get a bunch of keywords you can use for ads is Publisher Rocket.

I’ve been promoting this tool almost since it came out and it is as solid as they come. If you plan on publishing more than one book, you need to invest in Publisher Rocket. It will pay for itself.

Otherwise, you can hire someone to do it for you. Either way, get a bunch of keywords relevant to your book.

Here’s What You Need to Know

Amazon Ads comes with some terms you might not be familiar with. These might sound familiar but they work different with ads:

  • Impressions – This is how many people are served your adamazon ads
  • Clicks – This is how many people clicked on your ad
  • Sales – This is how many sales your ad generated

Easy enough, right?

  • CPC or Cost-per-click – This is how much each click costs you

That’s a bit more complicated.

You set a daily budget for your ad. If it’s the first one you’re running for a book, you’re looking for data. So your daily budget should be $1. Of course, you can have it at more if you want. With Sarah, we did $10 per day

Either way, set your CPC super low so you don’t burn through your daily budget too fast.

Set up an Automated Targeting campaign and let it run for about a week.

Reviewing the Data

Monitor your ads daily just to keep a handle on what’s happening with them.

At the 1-week mark. Analyze the data.

Check your Search Terms report. Anything coming back that’s irrelevant to your book or genre, drop it in the Negative Targeting.

This is how you save money when you start running your big ads. You’ll no longer be paying for irrelevant terms.

Ads also allow you to analyze your book sales more deeply.

If you’re getting impressions, but no clicks, revisit your book cover. A redesign might be necessary.

If you’re getting clicks, but no sales, your cover is on point, but your description needs work.

Start Slow, Scale Slow

The best way to learn how everything works is to use it. I go into a little more detail in my book which I linked above.

There are also other free resources available to you. Pay attention to all of the free content you’ll encounter inside the console itself.

Amazon has a free course on Amazon Ads and so does the Kindlepreneur:

Utilize those free resources! You really have no excuse to fail.

Although Amazon suggests that you start with a $10 a day budget, they will let you start as low as $1.

Start slow and scale slowly as you learn the ropes. There’s no shame in that game. Let us know in the comments if you decided to give it a go.

2 thoughts on “How to Use Amazon Ads to Boost Your Book’s Visibility and Drive More Sales”

  1. I’ve tried everything you’ve suggested other than a mailing list and still can’t get sales. I had the covers redesigned. I reworked the descriptions into solid copy. I’ve tried running ads and that is a waste of time and money because I simply don’t get clicks. I even took the time to craft a very solid book trailer video but still I get nothing. It’s easy to understand why so many just give up on this dream. Maybe once I’m dead they’ll catch some sales.

    1. Hey, Nick, sorry to hear about your frustration, but you aren’t alone in that regard. I’d recommend you have a few peers in the business look over your book covers, book descriptions, and marketing plan. Get them to be brutally honest and nitpicky.

      If you aren’t getting sales, then you’re clearly missing the mark with your ideal reader. Most times, it’s the cover. Other times, it’s the ad copy. And in some instances, the marketing strategies used aren’t very strong or yield minimal results.

      I can comfortably say that unless you put out a book trailer that is truly remarkable and worth someone sharing, it’s not gonna move the needle. Book trailers are great for only one person – the author. It’s a warm, fuzzy feeling it gives us, but when a random stranger watches it, it does absolutely nothing for them. And that’s the question you have to answer – what’s in it for me, the reader?

      If you want an example of a GREAT book trailer that disrupts the normal promotional clip, look up Mat Best’s video for You’re Welcome for My Service. It is hilarious! And, anyone can see why it performed well. Instead of making it all about “buy my book” it was more focused on entertaining the viewer so they couldn’t resist picking up his book.

      Also, you have to consider that not ALL advice is universally applicable. You have to discover what works for you. That’s going to take a lot of trial and error. If you truly believe in your work, you won’t give up and will push through all this adversity and figure out how to find and connect with your ideal reader. Good luck!


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