Amazon Launches PPC Ads for Authors: First Look

amazon ppc ads for authors

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Amazon is offering a new PPC (price per click) program for authors whose books are in the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program. KDP Select is a program offering perks to authors in exchange for them publishing their digital books exclusively through Kindle. It seems this new advertising program is currently being split tested and the reception has been split as well.

Many authors are finding this new advertising program confusing. Questions have been raised as to how pricing works and just where the ads will appear. There has also been speculation into just how effective these new ads will be.

According to Amazon, ad pricing will be based off a bidding system. Authors will choose their maximum CPC (cost-per-click), but the actual amount will be determined in an auction with other eligible bids. Authors will then be charged $0.01 above the second-highest bid for a click. This amount will not exceed the maximum CPC stipulated.

Ads appear on the right side of the product page, below the ‘Send Sample Now’ box. This placement is being called ineffective by some authors. They feel the placement isn’t visible enough and will just go unnoticed. On the plus side Amazon only charges if the ad is clicked, not on how many times it is viewed.

A minimum campaign budget of $100.00 is required to be a part of this ad program. This could be a steep cost for authors with less cash to play with. Some authors are wondering why they would pay more money to Amazon when the company is already taking a large percentage from their sales.

Commenting on KBoards, one of the Web’s largest Kindle user forums, author Elizaberth Ann West complained:

“My issue is why am I going to pay a company that already takes a 30% cut of my product’s sale additional monies to advertise my book on their site? Something is fundamentally wrong with that system. I think I will stick with my plans of building my own following.”

In the same thread, author Mary McDonald worried:

“A hundred bucks??? As the minimum? Uh, no thanks. Let’s see, I get a dollar and some change for a book borrowed in Select. I’d have to have at least 80 borrows before I even get in the black.”

It’s possible Amazon will lower this minimum in the future after they are finished split testing, but it’s uncertain.

Jim Kukral, from the Author Marketing Institute, had this to say about the new ad program:

“Time is going to tell whether or not this is going to work for authors moving forward. You’re paying to advertise your book on Amazon, so whether or not it works is going to be up to you. But I would highly suggest taking probably your best selling book and creating a campaign, spending the $100, and just finding out what happens. If it actually did increase the sales of your book moving forward, because you never know.”

Check out the rest of Kukral’s analysis in the video below:

The jury is still out on whether Amazon PPC Ads for authors is worth it. Some authors are interested in the possibilities, others are disappointed. It seems that there are still some kinks in the system. Ultimately you might have to try it for yourself and see.

Amazon Photo via Shutterstock

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Tabby McFarland Tabby McFarland is a staff writer and web researcher for Small Business Trends. As a staff writer she specializes in social media, technology, special interest features, and e-commerce. A geek at heart, Tabby loves to be online interacting with the blogging community. Tabby is a WAHM (work at home mom) and is also an avid Pinterest enthusiast with a strong sense of style and creativity.

2 Reactions
  1. Well, they have the traffic. Might as well add an advertising platform so that they can make more money out of it. After all, I know that there are a lot of people who want to advertise on their website.

  2. If you can’t afford to spend $100 to test it, then don’t. The fewer authors using the system will keep the costs down for the ones that do. It’s a nice ploy to get some additional bucks by Amazon but with that placement it isn’t going to grow much.