for the Writers

Intro to Amazon Ads for authors

This post isn’t about Amazon. I mean, it _is_ about Amazon, but it isn’t. It’s bigger than that, about having more ways to get your work out there in front of your people.

Since Covid, I paused my in-person activities and pivoted to learning online marketing better. I knew how to post online, but I sure hadn’t learned to sell online.

I love supporting local businesses and small businesses (I am one!). Amazon doesn’t need me to post about them to drive traffic their way. This is just a useful post for those curious what it’s like as they consider the myriad of options out there.

A few months ago, I tried Bryan Cohen’s Amazon Ad challenge, where he step by step walks through setting up multiple Amazon Ads and what the next steps are to keep growing it. Here are a few of the things I loved about it as I dug in:

  • They don’t charge for views – they charge for clicks. I got to put my book out there _for free_ and only pay if someone was interested enough to click through and read more.
  • It happens more slowly. It didn’t feel like a whirlwind of throwing my money out there and losing it all in a rush like social media ads that eat it up in no time with no fruit from it.
  • It grew over time, spending like a dollar the first month. I got to pick a cap of $5 a day, but Amazon didn’t ever hit that cap. I got to pick a cap for the month as well, and with my low budget right now setting the cap of $30, it did hit that eventually.
  • It gets better over time. I now can see which books people clicked to my book from, which gives me a better idea of my audience and books that interest them. I get to turn that around and target my ads better (and my overall marketing) from that.

I’ll be honest. I haven’t made a profit on Amazon Ads yet. (Next week I’ll share all the numbers for paying patrons in an exclusive post, so sign up now!) I’m still learning, and I might not even fully “get there” until the next book that has a broader market. But, I made sales to strangers online more than I have through any other avenue so far. Progress.

Bryan Cohen has another free Amazon Ad challenge beginning July 13 at If you’re an author with just $5 & a few hours to put toward advertising on Amazon, I encourage you to sign up and try it, learn how it works for when you have more money to grow it down the road. (If you have more money and time, even better!)

2 thoughts on “Intro to Amazon Ads for authors”

  1. I’m glad you tried Bryan’s ad course. I found it really helpful when I took it in January 2000. It led to sales in 2000 during the COVID year. But like you, I’ve always spent more than I sold.

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