Amazon Marketing Services
Selling more books is all about visibility.
There was a time when authors could run a price promotion to leap up the Amazon ranks, and stay there for months as a result of that sales volume spike. Now, authors are more likely to plummet after a promotion. This is because Amazon’s algorithms over the last few years have evolved to favor long-term consistent sales over short bursts of activity.
How can authors win these consistent sales when it’s impossible to continuously run price promotions, blog tours, or newsletter blasts?
Consistent sales are all about visibility. These aren’t the only tools available in the author arsenal. We offer several services to help increase your book’s visibility, with details and prices below.
Important note: Amazon Kindle Select requires that ebooks be listed exclusively with Amazon for 90 days before you can list them for sale elsewhere.
Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)
AMS campaigns operate similarly to keywords (next section), except there are far fewer rules and restrictions. You can rank first for any keyword, and you pay a small fee when people click on your book.
Have you ever wanted to rank among the celebrity authors and bestsellers in your genre?
You can with AMS. You can target the readers of any comparable title, author, or descriptive term, etc. While it is nearly impossible to rank first for the search term “Bible study” organically, you can easily rank first in that search with AMS. If someone clicks on your ad, you pay a small one-time fee, generally less than a quarter per click. You pay nothing if shoppers don’t click.
We will research your genre and competition, and develop several lists of personally-tailored, highly-effective keywords. We use A/B testing and ad-copy modification to analyze the effectiveness of campaigns.
We will then deliver five separate, unique, and effective keyword campaigns that will keep your book in front of hundreds of thousands of readers. Unlike a Bookbub ad, you don’t need to organize any special marketing pushes or run a price promotion. AMS works in the background, constantly creating visibility for your book, which ideally leads to the author’s holy grail—consistent sales.
The Other Side of the Coin
There is still a strong case for the need of price promotions and free giveaways to increase your sales momentum.
Again, using our results as an example, this is a screenshot of before and after a recent free-day promotion:
His sales had been trickling downward over several weeks, and he needed a spike to get some traction. Over the course of the week leading up to his campaign, he totaled only twenty sales. Over the seven subsequent days, he totaled 101 sales for just one title—a total of eighty-one more sales. You can also see that his Kindle Unlimited pages read soared after the campaign, earning roughly $25 more each day than before the book was set to free.
Anyone can experience similar results.
Campaign moderation is a weekly check-in (on Friday evenings) to analyze the results of the 5 custom campaigns, and make adjustments to your cost-per-click bid and daily budget, as well as altering or removing poor performing keywords, and adjusting as copy based on A/B testing.
Your Amazon book category is not the same as your genre. They can be one and the same, but categories can also be much more complex.
For instance, if you write in the genre of historical fiction. A category can look like this: kindle ebooks > literature and fiction > historical fiction > Italian. Or this: kindle ebooks > history > ancient civilization > Rome.
Here’s where categories are crucial. It’s highly improbable that the average author will rank well in the highly-competitive historical fiction category, but it is possible to rank within the top ten to twenty of individual categories.
Why is that important?
Because people looking through the bestsellers list will see these books at the top of those charts.
Again, more visibility.
If the authors stop with the most obvious categories, such as historical fiction or historical thriller, they likely won’t have that added visibility of being at the top of their category charts.
We research your genre to determine the optimal categories for listing your book. We do this by analyzing the competition and testing to find the most popular categories that we believe your book will rank highly in, based on our experience.
We will select two categories that you can most easily rank within the top 100 of, and can realistically compete for the top twenty spots (twenty books on the first page of the bestseller charts).
Your keywords are the seven particular words or phrases (on Amazon) that you’d like your book to display under if someone searches for them. Most authors make the mistake of picking a few descriptive terms like “Bible study” or “romantic comedy.” Unless you’re a New York Times bestselling author, it’s unlikely that you’ll rank first on this page of results for such competitive categories.
Alternatively, some people choose keywords that no one is interested in. If you are using ultra-competitive keywords, or if no one is searching for the keywords you’re using, it won’t be to your advantage.
The solution is to select keywords that are searched for frequently but don’t have much competition.
Choose keywords that are being searched for often, but don’t have much competition.
Studies have shown that if your book ranks first overall for a search term, there is a 27-percent chance a shopper will click on your book. If your book is the second result, that number drops to 12 percent. The odds of someone clicking on your book if it ranks on the second page are only 7 percent (for all ten to fifteen results on the page).
You will want to be on that first page, and have that first result, if possible. But you also want to make sure there are people interested in that keyword.
Our job is to research various terms related to your book and analyze the market for it. We will break down the monthly traffic volume for each possible term, and then look at what the competition is based on the highest-ranking titles’ sales rank. With these numbers in mind, we will choose the seven most effective keywords to keep your book visible to the right audience.
Trying to gain book sales and earning royalties by giving your book away for free sounds counterintuitive. It’s hard enough to make money on a book when you sell it for $10. How can you make money on a book that’s free?
The key to this is the popularity list. Most authors don’t know about the popularity list. They look at the bestsellers’ rank as the measurement standard, but the bestsellers’ rank may be as much for the author’s ego as it is for the readers’ benefit. The popularity list, however, is entirely about the reader. While the bestsellers’ rank updates hourly, treats Kindle Unlimited downloads the same as sales, and is very receptive to sales spikes, the popularity list updates every four days, does not include Kindle Unlimited downloads, and values consistent sales over sales spikes.
Why does this popularity list matter?
The popularity list influences how often Amazon recommends your book to its readers (in search results, on “books you might be interested in” tabs, etc.).
Free promotion can send an author’s name to the top.
Free downloads aren’t counted the same as sales. Some say they only count as much a 1/100th of a sale. Regardless, it is easier to get 5,000 free downloads in five days than it is to get fifty sales at full price. Besides, there are 4,950 new Kindles with your eBook on them, which leads to loads of reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, and subsequent sales after the free-day promo has ended.
Free days can revive a languishing book or kick-start a book launch.
We will organize your campaign and contact as many relevant newsletter services as possible to notify them of your free-book promotion. We’ll take care of the grunt work so you don’t have to, and you’ll still reap the benefits of exposing your book to thousands of potential new readers who can become raving fans.
This promotion uses the same principle as the free-day campaign. You are likely to get far fewer downloads (but still a lot more than sales at full price) than with a free campaign. This means fewer reviews and fewer word-of-mouth sales. But, if your book is already well established (a good rule of thumb is over 100 reviews and in the top 30,000 ABSR), then a deep-discount promotion might be more beneficial for your book, and can certainly earn you more royalties on the front end.
Although price promos are less influential on the popularity rank, they do greatly affect the bestseller rank, because they will still be in the paid rankings, and not temporarily moved to the free rankings. You’re likely to have more success with the bestseller rank with a price-point promotion than with a free-day campaign.
Our role is the same as with a free campaign: to organize and promote your book during the campaign, with the goal of earning as many sales as possible in those few days.