If you’re like most authors, you want a return on investment from both your time in writing your books, as well as the money you’ve spent on marketing them. In this article I will show you how to advertise your books to gain a return on your investment.
How to Set a Budget:
Most businesses employ a budget of 10% of revenues. If your writing business is new, you would measure your weekly or monthly revenues. For example, if you’ve earned $650 selling books last week, your advertising budget would be $65. If you earned less during a given period, your advertising budget would again be 10% of those earnings.
How to Advertise with Amazon:
In this article I will focus on Amazon’s Marketing Services found in the Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard under the heading “Ad Campaigns”. Under this umbrella you will have two options to advertise your books: “Sponsored product ads” and “Product display ads”.
“Product display ads” require a minimum budget of $100 whereas the “Sponsored product ads” can be budgeted for as little a $1 per day.
Now whether your budget is $1 per day or $50 per day, you have to keep in mind that Amazon only charges you when someone clicks your ad. For example: if your ad is displayed 100 times but is only clicked twice by potential customers, and you’ve set your cost per click to $0.25, you would only be charged $0.50 ($0.25/click x 2 clicks = $0.50). Therefore if your ad is displayed 100 times, but no potential customers click on your ad you are charged $0.00.
Amazon may prompt you to set your cost per click higher than $0.25, but I find that a CPC of $0.25 or even slightly less provides healthy click-through rates (the amount of times potential customers click on your ad) with a reasonable advertising cost of sales (the amount you’ve spent on ads divided by total sales).
Now as moderate as this advertising option can be, you will still want to keep your return on investment in mind when carrying out any adverting campaign. For example, if you’re advertising a $0.99 book (with a royalty of 35% or $0.35 per sale) at a cost per click of $0.25 and your ad was clicked 3 times resulting in 1 sale your advertising cost of sales would be $0.75 or 214% which means you paid more to sell your book than you earned from the sale. This makes no sense.
On the other hand, if you’re advertising a $2.99 book (with a royalty of 70% or roughly $2.00 per sale) at a cost per click of $0.25 and your ad was clicked 3 times resulting in 1 sale your advertising cost of sales would be $0.75 or 38% which is much better because you’ve earned $1.25 on the sale.
Don’t advertise $0.99 ebooks at a cost per click of $0.25. Instead start at $0.02 or $0.03 and gauge your results as the most you can earn is a $0.35 royalty on your sale before any advertising costs.
Focus on advertising books wherein you can earn a reasonable return on cost of sales i.e. books priced at $2.99 or higher.
Also keep in mind that other authors can outbid your cost-per-click (CPC). For example if you’ve bid $0.25 for certain keywords and your competitor has bid $0.30 or higher for the same keywords, their ads will be seen before yours. But remember, competitors also have daily budgets. This means when their budgets run out for the day, Amazon will then display your ads.
Amazon’s “Sponsored product ads” are a reasonable and reputable place to start advertising your books!
Until next time I wish you all the best in your creative endeavours!