Amazon Ads Authors Guide

Amazon ads are a key part of the most successful indie authors on Amazon. Most self-published indie authors will be publishing their books to Amazon and its kindle platform (KDP). Amazon is arguably the most competitive book marketplace on earth. In your category, there are hundreds of thousands of competing titles. Before even considering amazon ads, authors should optimise their amazon book listings to the max. This should be the first step of Amazon ads. Fantastic title, blurb, cover art, category selection and keyword selection. Once these are optimised, then you should look at ads. After all, you are driving people to your listing. It has to be worthy of you running adverts.

This Amazon Ads Authors Guide will look at each of theses points individually, then at the two main thoughts of how to run amazon ads. I will give examples and resources, so let’s get into it.

Two things before we start.

1: I am going to cover the underlying strategies, not the ins and outs. If you’re looking for details about per click rate, cost per, automatic targeting, how to create an ad campaign, how to set up sponsored ads etc then this is not the article for you. However, this article will cover the two main high-level ideas of how to run a successful advertising campaign. So if you are stepping into amazon advertising, if you are self publishing and looking for more book sales and ideas of how to get more sales, then read on. Book marketing starts with a powerful listing on Amazon.

2: I use Publisher Rocket to find categories, keywords, authors, etc. If you are running amazon adverts as an author (or publishing on Amazon full stop) you really should consider buying a copy of Publisher Rocket. You can find hundreds of keywords, segmented by region and then download them in handy Exel file.


You can read my review of Publisher Rocket here. Or Click here to go directly to Publisher Rockets homepage.

Amazon Ads Authors Guide – Method 1

“Throw shit at the wall and see what sticks.” Yes, that is crude, but it sums up this strategy perfectly.

In other words, find lots and lots of relevant keywords and terms targeting similar authors, book titles, themes etc and then run minimal spend ads. Run for a few weeks, then see what, “shit stuck to the wall”. Then target these terms with a larger budget.

I found this method a bit hit and miss. For sure, I found a few new terms and for some of my books; I discovered new groups of individuals who were interested in my book and were actually buying it. But to get there I spent a lot of money and a lot of time. However, I still run a few ad campaigns based on the results gained from this method.

Amazon Ads Authors Guide – Method 2

The opposite method, a low number of targeted keywords with enough ad spend to capture the bid. This is how the big boys do advertising. Nike researches the key terms and then spends the cash to get its product in front of the buyers interested in that term. This, however, is extremely competitive. And if you’re trying to compete against authors who are making six figures per month, then they will easily outspend you, so be careful.

I tried this in a very competitive category and I sold a shed load of books, but the price I paid to move those books was absolutely ridiculous. However, in the long run, because of the volume of sales, those books have some nice ratings and reviews.

That is it in a nutshell. Go wide and low or narrow and high. A great book on amazon ads is “Amazon Ads unleashed by Robert J Ryan” it is highly recommended and very detailed. And the author goes into the math of everything, so real nuts and bolts kind of stuff.

Let’s secure the foundations before you advertise.

Book Titles

A good title that is perfect for your book and the genre or for the major category you’re selling in.

Book Cover

Make sure it is as good as the best in the genre. Look at the top twenty titles, note the colours, font styles, themes etc and do your best to be similar. Association is a powerful marketing concept.

Book Blurb

Writing a good book blurb is a skill in its own right. Writing a blurb is not a simple description of your story, but a product sales pitch. You are trying to bag a new customer, so entice them and keep it simple and relatable. Read your competitors, read the top twenty, and make notes and replicate.

Once you have your blurb sorted, use this book description generator to add formatting like bold, italics, symbols etc. i.e Help it stand out.


Amazon Keywords

Amazon allows each book uploaded to its platform to select seven keywords that best describe the book. These can also be long tail keywords. This allows amazon to identify the themes etc of your book. Read more about amazon keywords in this free Amazon Adverts Course.


Amazon Categories

Amazon lists your book in two categories automatically, but you can list your book in many more, upwards of ten. This allows you more reach. Publisher Rocket is a fantastic tool for searching competing books and seeing what categories they have been listed in. 

Conclusion Amazon Ads Authors Guide

Write a good book, cover all the basics when listing your title, and then run ads. Do you research and if you want to be competitive on Amazon I highly recommend a tool like Publisher Rocket.


Best of luck and keep on trucking.