#MKTG – Part 10 – More on Amazon Ads

Hello, SE’ers! It’s Jan again. In my last book marketing post, I promised to delve a little deeper into keywords and targeting in Amazon ads. After doing some extensive study and practicing, I feel like I understand a little more about how they work.

In my previous post, I talked about how Dave Chesson recommends using at least 300 or more keywords when setting up an Amazon ad. That seems a little daunting, but using KDP’s Publisher Rocket is much easier than searching Amazon and copying and pasting.

For example, I set up a new ad for my first book, Flowers and Stone. Then using some keywords from the book, such as true love story, Publisher Rocket brought up a list of 55 books and authors. I saved that list, then did a keyword search for bank robbery and got a list of 58. So you can see that they do add up quite fast. Not every book on the list applies, but if it uses even one of the keywords, it adds it to the list. I found over 600 keywords I could use in setting my ad.

The theory is if a customer searches using even one of your keywords, your book is going to show up.

So, the bottom line is the keywords not only consist of words relating to your search but authors and books as well.

The first ad I created for Flowers and Stone got lots of clicks but zero purchases. Back to the drawing board.

I paused that ad and created a second one, changing the ad copy and tweaking the book’s blurb.

Now I am seeing some sales. Nothing astronomical, but at least I’m finally seeing some ROI. I have spent $2.58 and gotten $4.95 in sales. Certainly, nothing to get excited about, but at least it’s something!

The next thing I needed to look at was my targeting. Which keywords are working and which aren’t. That took some time, but I found it interesting. I don’t know if you can actually read this, but these are some of the keywords that are delivering.

Texas is getting more hits than any other keyword. I was surprised to see my name getting some hits in the searches.

I know this is all confusing. I won’t lie. It’s hard. Even once you get a campaign set up, you continue to monitor and tweak it. So, I know Amazon ads aren’t for everyone. I almost feel like this is a platform you need some professional help with.

But as I promised, I enjoyed experimenting with it and will continue to set up ads now and then. Maybe I’ll eventually learn what I’m doing. If you’ve ever run a successful Amazon ad, please share with us. What was your investment and your ROI?

And if you missed any of the other Book Marketing posts and want to catch up, here you go.










91 thoughts on “#MKTG – Part 10 – More on Amazon Ads

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  10. Very informative and interesting post, Jan. I absolutely STINK at marketing, except in face to face situations. This is something I’ve sworn to improve on in 2022, and your series is definitely going to be a help. I will be referring to this and earlier posts a LOT over the next few months, I’m sure, as ALL of my books need some updating in several areas, especially keywords and categories, etc. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and advice! Now if I can just get my brain in gear and FOLLOW it! 😊❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m so glad you have enjoyed the book marketing series, Marcia. I absolutely hate marketing. So why am I working so hard to find ways that work? Because I want everyone to win!! 🙂 I do hope you explore some of the marketing avenues I have outlined and if I can be of any help whatsoever, let me know. Thank you for leaving a comment! Here’s to moving forward!

      Liked by 2 people

    • If only I considered myself a great book marketer. What I am is an experimenter, trying to find out what works and what doesn’t. So far, Amazon ads have been the most complex and difficult to get a handle on. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing! Much appreciated!


  11. I can see that the keyword “Texas” got way more impressions than the others. (You folks in Texas always go big or go home.😊) That seems like a huge benefit. People that study this stuff closely are probably rewarded much more than the average person who doesn’t.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly, Pete. I think the professionals who actually understand the workings of Amazon Algorithms would be great at this stuff. And you are right. Us Texans usually go big or go home and most of the time I go home broke. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I don’t know how you do everything you do, Jan, but thanks for putting in the work! My brain freezes at the word ‘marketing,’ but your article and examples made it seem doable as far as Amazon ads go. I look forward to your recap. Meanwhile, I have some of your other marketing articles to read. I just purchased Jagged Feathers and eagerly await its release. Blessings!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I played with Amazon ads for a while, Jan, and had meh results. They were okay, but not worth it for me to continue – because you’re right – it’s a lot of work. (I didn’t use KDP Publisher Rocket, which would have saved me some effort). Perhaps I’ll try it again someday. Are you going to keep going with it?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. That is impressive. I work from home and still can’t imagine having time to do this, especially with multiple books (like you have). I did this in the past on Amazon and did see a slight uptick, probably would have been a lot better if I did the pre-work that you did. Kudos to your focus!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am right there with you, Brett. I am no fan of marketing, but it is apparent to me if I want my books to be seen I have to try different avenues until I find something that works. I’ve enjoyed all of the experimentings, but it’s been a huge amount of work. Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I know ads are necessary, and I know experimentation is key (until you figure it out… and even after). I’ve attempted ads on FB and BB and haven’t figured out the magic formula yet. I loved this look at your process. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I swear, marketing could be a full-time job, Staci. To try and figure it all out takes time and money. I’m glad you found the post interesting. At the end of the series, when I do a recap, it will be enlightening to see what rises to the top. Thank you for leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Jan, you must be on the right track given you saw some ROI. Probably the more time you invest tinkering with your ads, the easier it becomes, the better the results. A few years ago I spoke with another author at a local book festival and all he used for promotion was Amazon ads. I’ve just never found the time or energy to devote to exploring it, but your posts have provided excellent insight. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh wow! I’d love to pick that author’s brain who only uses Amazon ads. He must have found the right formula. It is definitely time-consuming to try and learn the ins and outs of Amazon ads. I’m glad I could give it a go and share my findings. Thank you for leaving a comment, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Craig. I am trying my best to experiment with each of our marketing avenues without spending a ton of money I don’t have. And you are right. Making adjustments, tweaking and monitoring seem to be the norm with an Amazon ad. I appreciate your comment!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you, Dan, that it is much more complicated than it should be. I suppose for someone who deals in algorithms and understands the workings, it wouldn’t be so hard, but I’m just a writer trying to sell a few books. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think the problem is that they have expanded the algorithm as they’ve grown to a point where they aren’t really a bookseller anymore. I mean, they sell books, but they literally sell everything else. It doesn’t seem to me that the algorithm is set up to ‘think’ “oh, this person is looking for a book. I say that because I have often searched for a book title and have been given 10 or more search results that aren’t books. I’ve had the same, albeit not as bad experience when searching for authors by name. I often get other authors mentioned first in the results.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I completely agree. It is frustrating when I put in a book title and author’s name and get all kinds of products not relating to books. It’s definitely the crazy algorithm. Thanks for pointing that out!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Very enlightening series, Jan. Thank you for explaining each approach thoroughly by using your books as an example. One of these days, I hope to follow your lead.😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad you are enjoying the book marketing series, Gwen. Should you ever decide to try Amazon ads, I would be happy to help with my limited knowledge. Thank you for leaving a comment today!


  18. Great explainer, Jan. With my first run of ads, I had some success, but then Amazon changed all its algorithms. Since then, I haven’t had the energy or brain power to go back to the drawing board. One day …

    I did get professional help a long time ago, and they charged a set fee for a month. Unfortunately, the second time I used them, I’d heard nothing by a week and a half into that month. After sending a polite email expressing my concern, they came back so rudely and cancelled on me. I did get my money back eventually, but lesson learned. Take a recommendation where you can. I imagine this company had taken on too many clients to cope with in a timely manner.

    Why Amazon ads have to be so complicated, I’ll never know. So glad you’re now seeing some return 💕🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • What a horrible experience with a “professional,” Harmony. I am glad you eventually got your money back. I have had the same thought, wondering why Amazon ads have to be so darned complicated. I suppose it’s to keep people who are not dead serious from using them. I don’t know, but I agree also with what you said about the way Amazon is constantly changing its algorithms. It’s hard to maneuver. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Great post, Jan 🙂 I can see the point of having so many key words, but that is a lot to come up with. Although you do suggest how to do it. I figure any profit is good even a little bit. This is an area I really need to explore. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’m happy to share, Denise. I wish I could have shown a more smashing success, but at least I finally got a few sales. I stand by my statement that Amazon Ads may be for the experts. 🙂 Thanks for leaving a comment.


  20. I’ve yet to get to the point where I’m tinkering with Amazon ads, but it’s something I want to look into sometime this year, so I’m already filing this (and part 1) for reference. Thank you, Jan! Appreciate your sharing of your knowledge and experience on this topic 😄

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for your comment, Marie. I am glad you found the posts helpful. I do recommend that you take the free course Dave Chesson offers before you attempt an Amazon Ad. It takes a little time, but the course is divided into segments and you can stop and pick back up at any time. I wish you tons of success!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh, I’ll definitely take that recommendation to heart! And good things take time, so it’s part of this whole author business. (Pun intended, I guess haha.) Thanks again, Jan! 😊


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