I've been using KDP advertising for a little less than a year now.
If I search for my book, or any book for that matter, listed beneath the book in the sponsored products section - is that book. Always.
Now if I take one of the first other sponsored books that pops up, type that book into a search (I won't waste their clicks) and look at their page - THEIR BOOK will be in their sponsored products, but mine is nowhere to be found.
Our ads are products we're buying from Amazon, based on customer clicks.
They're selling our ads the best possible place they can - on our pages! That seems a bit grimy to me. This is where I'm hoping someone can shed some different light.
If people want our book but want to check what else is available, they'll scroll, then come back and chances are pretty good they'll click our book again if it's what they really wanted in the first place. So Amazon gets an additonal click that we have to pay for. I know, it seems like just 10 or 15 cents, but this is going on with everyone who advertises on Amazon. What a brilliant way to make those pennies add up.
Maybe there's something I'm missing here and this is a good thing that I don't understand yet? Maybe I'm right and I have to start rethinking strategies here? I've been doing well up until this last month, and now I'm starting to get a little upset and mistrustful. I'm selling a fair amount of books, but I'm losing money now. I'm paying Amazon to make money for them. That was never the case before December. I'm really hoping a lot of this has to do with expanded distribution and their inability to post accurate sales numbers because of the holidays...
Results are influenced by your searches. Your searches for your book and occasionally clicking it make it seem you are vitally interested in it. Going to another book from your book makes it seem you're not interested after all. It may seem a discerning intelligence is at work, but they're only bots applying a number of sales algorithms.
What you see in the ad carousel isn't necessarily what someone else sees, so it's almost impossible to get a good feel for what a "real" customer sees. You can minimize bias to some extent by logging out, deleting cookies, using a proxy server, etc., but the Zon is pretty clever in knowing who you are.
December is one of the worst months for AMS, at least in my experience, because the system is even more swamped than normal with newbies and sky-high bids. I paused all my ads in September, because the system was flaky, and I'm going to wait a few more weeks before I return to AMS.
About this time last year I had a successful run on a couple of horror books. my bids were low and I got a good ratio. Then the impressions came to a shuddering halt. No matter what I tried I couldn't get another promotion started. I guess actually making a profit isn't part of the plan so I got pushed to the side to make room for some other shmuck who was less successful.