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James Duggan

Posts: 242
Registered: 02/08/14
AMS query.
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 3:40 AM
 
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Having recently stated that I do no marketing I wondered if perhaps I should. So I gave it a try.
My problem is this.
It's been ten days now and there have been no impressions, let alone clicks.
Have I missed the press of a button somewhere along the process? It does confirm the ad is running.
Of course it might explain why I've not wanted to try marketing!!!
Any advice would be helpful. The answer is usually simple in cases like this, but I can't spot my glaring mistake.

Jim.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,897
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 3:47 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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Could be a couple of things:

1) If you're bidding 5 cents in a market where you need 25-cent bid, you're not going to get any impressions.

2) Rarely a "running" campaign doesn't filter through to all servers (this is what is suspected--there's been no confirmation of this). In that case the only thing to do is to Copy the campaign, get the copied campaign started, and then suspend or terminate the "hung" campaign.

All that said, my campaigns are running a bit lean in the impression counts, too. It could be that the heavy hitters are outbidding everyone and hogging most of the ad bandwidth.
James Duggan

Posts: 242
Registered: 02/08/14
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 4:15 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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Joseph M Erhardt wrote:
Could be a couple of things:

1) If you're bidding 5 cents in a market where you need 25-cent bid, you're not going to get any impressions.

2) Rarely a "running" campaign doesn't filter through to all servers (this is what is suspected--there's been no confirmation of this). In that case the only thing to do is to Copy the campaign, get the copied campaign started, and then suspend or terminate the "hung" campaign.

All that said, my campaigns are running a bit lean in the impression counts, too. It could be that the heavy hitters are outbidding everyone and hogging most of the ad bandwidth.


Joseph, thanks for such a swift reply. I thought it might be something to do with that so I have been increasing my bid rate from the initial 5c every 3 or 4 days and have just set it at 20c.
Let's see if that makes a difference.

Jim.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,897
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 4:49 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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You're welcome. Of course, with every change, it will take 3 or 4 days for any effect to show up in the AMS dashboard. :)

Edit: Looked at some of the billing details reports that AMS provides. As recently as a year ago bids of 7 to 12 cents got good impressions. Now, in some genres, 20-25 cents is minimum to get any kind of exposure. I hope this trend is due for a correction. :(

Edited by: Joseph M Erhardt on Feb 9, 2018 4:55 AM
writerbn

Posts: 5,815
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 5:00 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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Joseph M Erhardt wrote:
I hope this trend is due for a correction. :(

I'm not optimistic. AMS is a cash cow for the Zon, maybe even more so than KDP.
Diana Persaud

Posts: 2,783
Registered: 10/07/13
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 5:40 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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Joseph M Erhardt wrote:
You're welcome. Of course, with every change, it will take 3 or 4 days for any effect to show up in the AMS dashboard. :)

Edit: Looked at some of the billing details reports that AMS provides. As recently as a year ago bids of 7 to 12 cents got good impressions. Now, in some genres, 20-25 cents is minimum to get any kind of exposure. I hope this trend is due for a correction. :(

Edited by: Joseph M Erhardt on Feb 9, 2018 4:55 AM


Nope. Because Indies are driving up the cost (and maybe some scammers too).

This is the Zon's version of Pay to Play and it will only get worse. Those who can afford to pay can play and others, well they'll have to wait until people price themselves out of the market. Or write a really good book that takes off via word of mouth. Nothing beats good old fashioned word of mouth advertising.
C. Gold

Posts: 1,312
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 6:48 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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With everyone and their brother and sister publishing and using AMS, the default is most commonly used for bid amounts. So if you do Sponsored Ads and use the default or lower, expect fewer impressions. The book I read advised going one cent higher than the default. If you are doing PDAs, the bid price is much higher, like in the .80 to dollar-ish range.

What I do is go slightly above the default and watch the campaign like a hawk and then adjust downward if it's spending the budget too quickly. I do this for Sponsored Ads where you can limit the daily spend to a buck or two. PDAs are evil with their 100 buck min budget and their desire to blow it all for you in a short amount of time. I recommend Sponsored for beginners trying to get a feel for AMS.

Also, your ads might slack off if the algorithms determine they aren't relevant. Which means you need to constantly monitor keywords and pause any that have bad impression to click ratios. If your ad is calculated to be less relevant than an ad with a lower bid, your ad won't run even if your bid is higher because the other ad has higher relevancy.

As long as your book is $2.99 or higher, you have a good shot at earning more than you spend with AMS once you tweak your ads to spend appropriately. Anyone using AMS with a 99c book won't make money on that book, but you can make overall profit as long as you have other books people would want to buy after reading your 99c one.

Also know that KU borrows don't show up in AMS which makes it rather a pain to figure out if the ads are working well. In that case, you'll have to track your spend vs earnings over time to make sure you are earning more than spending.

Good luck!
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,897
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 1:48 PM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
 
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C. Gold wrote:
With everyone and their brother and sister publishing and using AMS, the default is most commonly used for bid amounts. So if you do Sponsored Ads and use the default or lower, expect fewer impressions. The book I read advised going one cent higher than the default. If you are doing PDAs, the bid price is much higher, like in the .80 to dollar-ish range.

PDA's? Are you talking about Display Ads? Display ads (at MUCH LESS than .80) are the only things that work for me. I run sponsored ads (because they're not really costing me), but sponsored ads never seem to get more than a 1 in 750 click-to-impression ration, and most run 1 in 1000.

What I do is go slightly above the default and watch the campaign like a hawk and then adjust downward if it's spending the budget too quickly. I do this for Sponsored Ads where you can limit the daily spend to a buck or two.

PDAs are evil with their 100 buck min budget and their desire to blow it all for you in a short amount of time.

This is a bit misleading. First, I've tried both the "spread out evenly" and the rush versions of these ads, and the "spread out evenly" actually seems to get me more impressions. Second, when you budget $100 for a Display ad, you DO NOT commit to spending $100. It's not really a "budget" and this is a misleading word. It's more like an "emergency stop point" in case you get a click storm. If, after a month, your ad has run up $15.73 in click charges and you decide to terminate the ad, you're only out $15.73, not $100.

Just clarifying for the newbies.

And to the newbies: To work AMS ads well, you need to monitor your ads and tweak them periodically and try different wordings, e.g. It takes months to put together a good collection of ads. Also, you can have multiple ads running for the same title, no problem.
C. Gold

Posts: 1,312
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 11:39 PM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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Yes, they are called Product Display Ads. I definitely don't recommend the spend quickly option. It loves to obey that command. Slow and steady is good for learning how to tweak these. You are lucky they work for you at much less than .80. That was about the bare minimum to get mine going. :( I figure I'll try again when I have another book to help with the earnings. I called them evil because they have no daily cap. So if you turn your back on them and they take off, they can blow through quite a bit of your cap.

Sponsored, for me, gets lower clicks to impressions but also has a much lower click cost so it balances out in favor of the Sponsored ad.
Duane Dingle

Posts: 174
Registered: 06/04/14
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 10, 2018 10:46 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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Joseph M Erhardt wrote:
Also, you can have multiple ads running for the same title, no problem.

This is not true now for Product Display ads by Interest and hasn't been for years, if it ever was. If a person creates multiple product display campaigns of the same book using the same interests, the latest approved ads will slow down the previous ones to an almost full stop. When I run a set of ads with new copy every six weeks, I don't bother terminating or pausing the old ads until I create another set six weeks after that since they pretty much run down to a full stop on their own because of the new ads. This is something that might not be notice if the ads are running slow as it is, but it's certainly noticeable if one is bidding $0.35 an impression, though the average bid price over six weeks does not come near that. AMS is smart enough to know now that if they did not slow down the previous identical ads (ignoring the difference in copy) they would have writers with thousands of ads that are getting the same impression rate. If they didn't address the issue, a fella with a thousand ads at a bid of $0.05 would have the same or more impressions as a fella with ten at a bid $0.25, and eventually all would be creating thousands at bids of $0.05.

But, away from AMS, what you said is true for Goodreads ads.

Duane Dingle

Posts: 174
Registered: 06/04/14
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 10, 2018 10:52 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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James Duggan wrote:
Having recently stated that I do no marketing I wondered if perhaps I should. So I gave it a try.
My problem is this.
It's been ten days now and there have been no impressions, let alone clicks.
Have I missed the press of a button somewhere along the process? It does confirm the ad is running.
Of course it might explain why I've not wanted to try marketing!!!
Any advice would be helpful. The answer is usually simple in cases like this, but I can't spot my glaring mistake.

Jim.

My latest set of ads took over a week to have impressions begin to show, but I know the ads were running based on my sales. I think it may be a serious delay in the reporting of AMS. I don't rely on the revenue being posted on AMS, but I did also noticed that my revenue posted to my set of ads before these ones was far from the actual revenue with maybe quarter of the units reported, and that's based on my KDP invoiced sales, which I follow instead of AMs reported revenue.
Notjohn

Posts: 24,174
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 10, 2018 1:28 PM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
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I'm not optimistic. AMS is a cash cow for the Zon, maybe even more so than KDP.

Indeed. Perhaps Amazon should put an asterisk at the end of Publish your ebook for free! The footnote would read: *And then start paying, tee hee.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting (2018 edition)

The blog: https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Mary Peebels

Posts: 592
Registered: 01/07/16
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 10, 2018 2:20 PM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
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writerbn wrote:
Joseph M Erhardt wrote:
I hope this trend is due for a correction. :(

I'm not optimistic. AMS is a cash cow for the Zon, maybe even more so than KDP.


This past week, I feel like I've been putting money in a slot machine. I'm playing the AMS Sponsored Ads keywords machine.

But I'm psyching myself out by believing it's fun experimenting with keywords. Well, it is sorta fun. See? It's working... (I do the same thing with making myself do exercises... it's fun, it's fun!)
writerbn

Posts: 5,815
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 11, 2018 6:17 AM   in response to: Mary Peebels in response to: Mary Peebels
 
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Mary Peebels wrote:
But I'm psyching myself out by believing it's fun experimenting with keywords. Well, it is sorta fun. See? It's working... (I do the same thing with making myself do exercises... it's fun, it's fun!)

It is, kind of. Some keywords that I thought for sure would do well turned out to be "meh", and others that I didn't have much hope for took off. It's interesting to try and speculate why. However, it would be more fun if the reports ran in something close to real time. As it is now, it's like pulling the lever on the slot machine, going back to your hotel room, and returning a week later to see if you've won anything.
Dave Casey

Posts: 424
Registered: 03/03/16
Re: AMS query.
Posted: Feb 11, 2018 11:54 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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I started three AMS ads back in November for my three full length titles and started them all at $0.05 per click. I let them run for about a month and saw some impressions, maybe a couple hundred a day, between the three ads. Then I bumped the PPC up to $0.06 and over the next week saw an increase of about double the impressions, but still less than a thousand a day.

Then, around the first part of January this year, Machete added an option to do an automatic optimization on all of your keywords, so I started with one of the ads to see what would happen. The ads got reset to various bids that went anywhere from $0.02 to $0.45 per click. That ad went from a couple hundred impressions per day to over a thousand. A few days later, I optimized another ad and saw the same result and about a week later, did the third ad.

Now, since the 26th of January, I'm averaging 3843 impressions a day (and climbing) across the three ads and averaging 6.53 clicks per day. My average CPC has jumped from $0.03 to $0.12 in that time frame. Sales have been somewhat steady AND page reads have been steady. Even though page reads don't show in the AMS results, I have to believe the ads are contributing to their rise.
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