Previously here on BookWorks, I’ve talked with you about Amazon AMS ads, including what they are, how they work, and how you should manage them. And while most of the principles I’ve spoken on before still hold true, not everything remains the same.
You see, there have been some changes in 2019 about how AMS ads actually work—and even the types of ads available. I’ve done my research and would love to share what I’ve learned with you.
Some of these changes are quality of life adjustments which make things nicer and easier for you. Others are full advertisement type changes which you should definitely look into.
Amazon recently made changes to 3 major areas of their AMS ads:
—The Amazon Dashboard
So without wasting any more time, let’s jump right into these changes.
Amazon’s New Advertising Mode Changes
Prior to these changes, you had two mode choices to select from:
Sponsored Product Ads or Product Display Ads (which would appear on the right side of the page and below the buy button for competing products).
But as of January 2019, Amazon has completely done away with the ability for authors to use product display ads. Instead, Amazon has replaced this mode with a new one: Lock Screen ads.
Lock Screen ads are exactly what they sound like. They are ads that appear on the Lock Screen and homepage of your audience’s Kindle eReaders.
Now, this type of ad does have its own specific advantage. When your potential reader picks up their eReader, your ad is there. And in just a few quick button presses, your book can be queued in their library.
However, these ads are for eBooks only, which can prove problematic if you deal only in print. But if you are publishing in print only, I encourage you to add eBooks to your offerings.
Amazon Dashboard Changes
While the advertising modes may be a little controversial to some, I’m sure most will agree with me on the dashboard changes...
They are so awesome!
Previously, the Amazon AMS dashboard was just a few block tables that provided us with limited data. If you wanted more, you’d have to export the bulk data and perform some Excel hocus pocus just to try to figure out the key elements.
Not any more.
The new dashboard is not only much more user-friendly, but it provides a lot more data than before —including elements such as comparing the effectiveness of your lock screen ads to your sponsored product ads. And it can show you all this in a neat, easy to read bar graph.
They’ve also introduced a new selection of filters that allows you to hone in on your advertisements. One filter I personally love is the data range feature. Use it to zero in on data from a specific period of time for your advertising campaigns.
Amazon has also introduced the ability to customize your viewable columns—that way you see only what is relevant to you. And as far as exporting data goes, you can now export lifetime data. This can be another way for you to see market trends and advertisement efficiency.
Also, last but definitely not least… bulk edits. This is amazing for those of us who are running multiple campaigns. If you're trying to stop and start campaigns at the same time, just select which campaigns you want to edit and make the applicable changes. These will apply to those selected without you having to individually adjust everything.
As far as the dashboard elements are concerned, I believe Amazon knocked it out of the park with this update. It’s a real gift to writers like us who take book marketing seriously.
Amazon Product Targeting Changes
When it comes to Sponsored Product Ads, Amazon has really zeroed in on its options. You now have the ability to target specific books on which your advertisement will show up (or not show on!).
This is cool because it allows up-and-coming self-publishers to benefit from the natural traffic of higher profile books. For example, indie sci-fi authors could run sponsored products ads on classic titles like Ender’s Game or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In order to do this though, you need to make sure that you acquire the ASIN for the targeted book.
You can also directly target the categories you’ve chosen your book to be a part of— making your category selection that much more important. I’ve recommended adding your book to ten separate categories in the past, and it looks like that still holds true as a great practice. (If you’re unsure how to do this, check out my article on Kindlepreneur on how to add categories to your book.)
The Bottom Line on Amazon AMS Ads
When it comes to the new changes, I have one sentiment. They’re awesome.
If you’ve been away from the AMS game for a while or are looking to get started with them, now’s a great time to dive in. I’ve also updated my AMS video course to go into detail reviewing these new changes and how they can work for you.
If you aren’t already a member of BookWorks, please check us out for more great content from our Team of Industry Insiders and join our community of indie authors, editors, coaches, designers, marketers, bloggers, and other self-publishing pros.