More product searches start on Amazon than anywhere else, even Google. It’s the world’s biggest bookstore and by far the largest ebook retailer.
But Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) is still very much a work-in-progress, particularly the slightly pared-back version authors get to advertise books.
Self-publishers tend to focus on making books visible on Amazon. Aside from being a market leader, and having famed frictionless purchasing, there is another key reason why such a focus often gets the best return. Unlike other popular sites, anyone visiting Amazon is generally there for one reason: to buy stuff. You aren’t interrupting them while they share dank memes with friends, or search how fast a raven can fly during winter.
AMS is often referred to as “new” but it has been around for more than two years now. While AMS offers a variety of ads to third-party sellers which can increase app downloads, drive traffic to websites, or boost sales, we’ll specifically focus on the bits open to self-publishers: the Sponsored Product ads and Product Display ads for selling books.
AMS has seen an explosion in popularity this year, with a range of courses and webinars and books and workshops all promising to teach you how to be an AMS whiz. They are probably all over-egging it at least a little bit, because the platform is fundamentally under-developed, and hasn’t changed much from what was first launched in beta a couple of years ago (and I’m told it has implemented little of the feedback provided by beta testers).
Success on AMS is tricky to attain, frustratingly fleeting, and difficult to scale. There are some pretty basic flaws with the system that are holding us back from becoming better advertisers. Continue reading