Keywords Matter

The more I get into publishing, the more I realize how much I have to still learn.

I’ve been looking into Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) a lot lately. I setup my first “wide” marketing campaign about a week ago, where I tried targeting a wide range of keywords that were tangentially related to my book while setting a very low bid price for them.

In case you don’t know, AMS only charges you if the customer clicks on your ad, so you really have nothing to lose by throwing things out there. You only get charged if the ad gets clicked on (which is what you want btw.)

Initially, I had what I thought was a flurry of activity. Tons of impressions, the numbers were flying by for a few days. I got a few clicks here and there, and charged a few pennies. But no sales.

Then, about five days after I launched the campaign, I got two sales!

I was hopping around, super happy about it, then I realized that after Amazon took their cut for my pre-order book (on sale for the pre-order for just $0.99 GO BUY IT IT’S SO CHEAP!) I was just barely breaking even on the cost per click and sale price on the book.
In fact now, a few days later, with no more pre-orders, I’ve lost money on the sale. (It’s like $0.40 so not a big deal or expensive lesson, but still.)

Hmm, so what to do, what to do?

I needed to figure out what was going on, so I sifted through the data and realized that the #1 keyword that got people to click on my book but not buy it were for an author that was too far removed from what I had to offer.

I was selling a midwestern US Urban Fantasy, but the keyword they used to find it was for a very heavily-Asian influenced epic fantasy novel.

Not exactly the same readers. Even though two of the characters in my book are Asian, I didn’t advertise that fact at all, and the book cover doesn’t bring that up, so it really wouldn’t be obvious.

So I needed to come up with better keywords.

I’m going to try a different campaign now, one where I target better keywords more in line with the specific niche genre that I am offering.

I’ll try that for a few days and report back once I see how things play out.

Till tomorrow,

Tom H.

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