[Podcast] Bryan Cohen on How to Sell Your Self-Published Book with Amazon Ads

5 promoting your writing podcast post Feb 27, 2023
how to sell your self-published book with amazon ads

Just publishing a book isn’t enough to get people to see it. You have to promote it, tooOne of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to get people to notice your book is through Amazon Ads.

You’ve probably seen Amazon promote certain products when you’re searching or checking out. Those are Amazon Ads. You pay a certain amount of money to promote your book on the search page, book sales page, or sponsored postings. These placements allow potential readers to discover your books. 

But how do you sell your self-published book with Amazon Ads? 

We spoke with Bryan Cohen founder of “Author Ad School” and a USA Today bestselling author. He gave us the rundown on how to effectively use Amazon Ads to sell your self-published book. 

The Benefits of Amazon Ads

One of the benefits of Amazon Ads: you have control over your ad placement.

With Amazon Ads, you target specific books and authors in your genre through keywords. Control over ad placement gives you the power to attract potential readers.

Here’s an example: 

Author A wrote and published a mystery novel. With keyword targeting, their ad appears when Reader B checks out a different mystery novel. Reader B sees Author A’s ad. Because Reader B is interested in mystery novels, they click on Author A’s ad. This takes Reader B to Author A’s page. Now Author A has a reader who’s interested in purchasing their book (and possibly other books or courses Author A might be selling).

The freedom to control ad placement on Amazon will help you target audiences interested in your book.

Another attractive feature to Amazon Ads is its budgeting tool. Like Google and Facebook, you have to set a bid on Amazon. (A “bid” is what you get charged when someone clicks on your book ad.) Unlike Google and Facebook, Amazon won’t spend all of your budget. Usually, they’ll spend less.

For new writers, Amazon’s budgeting tool is more forgiving and mistake-proof than ads through Google and Facebook. If you’re wary to spend money on ads, try out Amazon. You can bid low enough so as not to spend all your marketing money.

Target Your Audience through Keywords

In order to sell your self-published book with Amazon, you need to understand keyword targeting.

If you’re unfamiliar with SEO lingo, a keyword is a topic that defines your content and optimizes search results so your content is found. In layman’s terms: a keyword is a phrase your average reader will type into Amazon to search for a book. 

In order to properly target your ads, you need to have a firm understanding of your book’s genre and its thesis (if you’re writing nonfiction and memoir) or its tropes (if you’re writing fiction). You need to know what your book is about. You also need to do some research on other books similar to yours.

If you’re writing a family business book geared towards the upcoming generation, a general target will be other family business books. And your specific target will be family business books that concern, more specifically, the next gen.

The same strategy applies to fiction. If you’re writing a mystery novel set in a historical time period, your general target will be mystery books. And your specific target will be historical-based mysteries. An even more specific example would be Civil War Era mysteries.

Successful ad targeting boils down to whether you know your book and its genre. To help you better understand your book’s keywords, Bryan encourages you to read books in your genre. You’ll get a better feel for which authors and book titles to target.

A final reminder: Amazon runs on relevancy and similarity. You’ll get more traction (and make Amazon’s algorithm happy) if you target books that are similar to yours. When you target random and unrelated books, you’re noise. Ads that don’t end in a purchase are considered irrelevant. And once your ad is deemed irrelevant, Amazon will make sure your ads don’t run as much.

Proper keyword targeting can be the difference between impressive book sales and a waste of money. Know your genre. And target the correct keywords, authors, and book titles.

To help you navigate Amazon Ads, Bryan offers free challenges every quarter. Be sure to check them out. You’ll learn tips and tricks on how to use Amazon Ads to your advantage!



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