Amazon Ads for Books: How To Ace Your Amazon KDP Advertising

Anna Steeves
May 31, 2023

Amazon ads for books allow you to target potential readers precisely by genre, audience, and even budget. With the right targeting, you can reach a much larger audience with your ads, leading to increased book sales and more recognition for your work.

Discover actionable tactics on how to harness the power of Amazon book ads in this Merch Jar guide.

What Is Amazon KDP Advertising?

Kindle Direct Publishing(KDP) is Amazon’s great platform that lets you self-publish, paperbacks, eBooks, and hardcover books for free.

Amazon KDP advertising is a marketing campaign that lets publishers and authors promote their books or ebooks through paid ads on Amazon. The advertised book appears on the following platforms:

  • Kindle Store
  • ebook detail pages
  • search results
  • Kindle devices and tablets, specifically on the lock screen
  • Other marketing channels which are part of the Amazon network

Amazon ads for books can cover KDP-published books, books published outside of KDP, and co-authored books. Note that ads for KDP titles are available in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, Spain, Italy, and France.

Also, KDP advertising is based on cost-per-click (CPC), meaning you only pay when buyers click on your ads. And the book you have advertised has the tag “Sponsored” on Amazon's search results.



What Are the Types of Amazon KDP Ads?

KDP advertising offers you three options to promote your books before you create a campaign. Let’s dive into each one in detail.


1. Sponsored Product Ads

With Sponsored Products, you can promote your book on Amazon so it appears in the search results and on the product detail pages. When a potential customer clicks on the ad, it takes them to the book’s detail pages.

Example: "Economic Books" search shows the top titles plus a row of sponsored ads.


You can take advantage of Sponsored Product Ads to enhance your book’s visibility and drive sales. Also, they can enable you to use product target ads where you select a particular category, book series, or book to target. Such Amazon ads for books will appear as shown below:


To ace your Sponsored Product ads, you must bid on the right keywords. It ensures your book ad appears in search results.

2. Sponsored Brand ads

Want to create a robust brand around your personality or books? Harness the power of Sponsored Brand ads. They show up as a banner on the top, left, and underside of the search results page.

You can use these ads to drive traffic to your book’s landing page or Amazon store. Have a look at the example below that shows Jenna Hendricks’s store.


Also, Sponsored Brand ads can leverage product targeting. These ads appear as a tiny box near the carousel on the listing page.


3. Custom Advertising

Custom ads allow authors or publishers to have more control over their ad placements and target specific audiences. This lets you create more targeted campaigns tailored to your audience’s needs.

Also, custom advertising helps you gain insights into your customers' habits and tastes. This feedback can help you optimize your book ad campaigns for maximum efficiency.

4. Lock Screen Ads

With Lock Screen Ads, you can advertise your books with targeted ads on Kindle devices, including Fire tablets. They can show up on the Fire tablets and E-reader’s home page or the wake screen.

These ads can grab customers’ attention and take them to the eBook detail page when they click them.



How to Implement Amazon Ads for Books

Amazon Ads uses algorithms to target potential readers for your book based on the book's genre and keywords you have chosen. This means you’re targeting readers already interested in books like yours, increasing your sales opportunities.

Follow the steps below to kickstart your KDP advertising campaign.

Step 1: Access KDP Ads Campaigns

To promote a book, log into your Amazon KDP account. Choose Promote and Advertise from the relevant section on your bookshelf.


Pay attention to the section titled “Run an Ad Campaign.”

  • From the dropdown menu, select the Amazon marketplace where you want to run the ads.
  • Click "Create an Ad Campaign" to begin.

Step 2: Select a Campaign Type and Ad Format

As previously stated, Amazon ads for books give you three campaign options: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Lockscreen Ads. It’s advisable to start with Sponsored Products since you can easily create them, and they can instantly appear in related shopping results and product pages.


Also, don’t forget to select your ad format. We prefer the custom ad format, as you can describe your book in the exact way you want, providing extra detail that can convince users to give your book a try.

Step 3: Select a Book to Promote

Decide which book you want to promote with Sponsored Products.


While you choose the book you want to advertise to your potential readers, it’s vital to have the correct targeting strategy. This can make or break your audience's reach.

You have the following two choices:

  • Automatic Target: Amazon determines when and how to display your advertisement
  • Manual Targeting: (Advanced) It lets you show your book ads to people who enter particular keywords into Amazon’s search bar. Or readers who browse a specific book title or category

Automatic targeting is a better option if you’re a newbie to Amazon ads for books. It allows you to learn the ins and outs of KDP advertising and manage manual targeting at a later stage. That being said, once you’re used to advertising on Amazon, give manual targeting a try! You’ll be able to get your book in front of users who are most likely to be interested in what you’re offering.


Step 4: Set a Default Bid and a Campaign Bidding Strategy

Next, determine your campaign bidding strategy. How much do you want to pay Amazon per click (CPC)? Again, Amazon offers you three ways to decide how you want to bid: Dynamic bids-down only, Dynamic bids-up and down, and Fixed bids.

Dynamic bidding enables Amazon to automatically change your bids in real-time when there's a chance that a click can convert into a sale. It lets you improve your conversion rate and stay within your budget.

However, Dynamic bids - up and down can increase your campaign expenses. And if you want to have total control of your advertising costs, select Fixed Bids.


Need a winning Amazon bidding strategy to get a good ROI on your ads? Let Merch Jar handle your Amazon ads for books. Set your bid and forget it!

MerchJar’s Smart Bids algorithm automates finding the perfect bid to reach your ACoS goals, so you can sit back and relax. Have a quick look at how it works.


Step 5: Set Up Campaign Duration, Budget, and Billing Info

For the last step, select your overall campaign’s name and the start and stop dates from the drop-down calendar. Set your budget, but remember to consider your average cost of sales (ACoS). Learn more about how to determine ACoS with an online calculator.


Enter your valid credit card information with Amazon by clicking the blue link “Billing and Payments” at the top of the screen.


That’s it. You have created your first Amazon book ad campaign. Congrats!



Best Practices to Get Started with Amazon Book Ads

1. Use Amazon seller tools

Leverage Amazon advertising tools and PPC software to enable you to manage your KDP advertising effortlessly.

Managing advertising campaigns on the platform can be time-consuming and overwhelming. With Merch Jar software, you can manage and automate your ad campaigns easily, so you can focus on what you do best - growing your publishing business.


2. Use keyword targeting

A keyword is any search term a potential buyer enters in Amazon’s search bar. For instance, someone might search for “thriller” books. Use as many keywords as possible—even 1,000 search terms or keyword phrases. However, we suggest using a minimum of 35 keywords to be more effective.

Keyword targeting helps you improve your click-through rate (CTR) and return on ad spend (ROAS).


There’s a better method of performing keyword targeting. Merch Jar’s Promotions feature lets you set up keyword graduation. It allows you to identify which keywords are high-performing and which are not, allowing you to adjust bids and ad copy accordingly to maximize your ad campaign’s effectiveness


3. Understand ACoS

ACoS (advertising cost of sales) is how much you spend for every dollar of revenue you make. You get it by calculating the total ad spend divided by your total sales. The lower your ACOS, the better. And Merch Jar makes it a breeze to manage ACoS.

You can automatically:

  • increase keyword bids when ACoS is low
  • lower target bids when ACoS is high
  • increase keyword bids when impressions are low
  • pause ads when unprofitable

It’s Time to Level Up Your Amazon Ads for Books with Merch Jar!

KDP advertising is a great way to promote your books across Amazon’s multiple channels. You must have a winning ad campaign strategy to reap profits and a high ROAS.


Merch Jar helps you optimize your KDP advertising on Amazon. Generate more book sales and reviews, reclaim wasted ad spend, and spend less time optimizing your ads. Make smarter optimizations and reduce your ACoS with Merch Jar today. Sign up for free to get started!