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

April 18, 2024

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

Helpful Summary

Overview: In this guide, we help authors excel in Amazon KDP advertising by targeting potential readers effectively, ensuring increased visibility and sales of their books.

Why You Can Trust Us:  Our clients at Merch Jar, including high-profile authors, have seen substantial returns and efficiency in managing their book ads, highlighting our capability to boost visibility and sales on Amazon.

Why This Is Important: Amazon KDP advertising leverages precise targeting to connect your books with the right audience, directly influencing sales and market reach.

Action Points: Start using Amazon KDP ads to target specific reader demographics, utilizing strategies like keyword and category targeting to maximize your book's exposure.

Further Research: Continue exploring advanced targeting options and optimizing your ad strategies to sustain and increase your book's success on Amazon.

Need Help With Your Amazon KDP Advertising? 

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.

Why Listen To Us?

At Merch Jar, we recognize the unique challenges faced by authors and publishers when promoting books on Amazon. We equip our users with sophisticated tools designed to optimize their Amazon advertising campaigns effectively. 

Our platform utilizes a Smart Bids algorithm that automates bidding processes, ensuring that your ads achieve the best possible returns while adhering to your specified advertising cost of sales (ACoS) goals. 

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 that 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.


Let’s see how Merch Jar can help:

MerchJar is a powerful tool designed to optimize and automate Amazon Advertising campaigns. It’s an excellent solution for authors and publishers aiming to promote their books on Amazon, including through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

Our tool simplifies the advertising process on Amazon by offering features like automated bid management, hands-free keyword management, and simplified Amazon bulk operations. Our goal is to save users time and enhance the profitability of your ad campaigns by automating routine tasks and optimizing ad performance in real-time.

Here are some of MerchJar’s features:

  • Effortless Bid Management: Automatically adjust bids in real-time to ensure your ad spend is efficient and effective.
  • Hands-Free Keyword Management: Automatically creates keywords from high-performing search terms and negates poor performers, focusing your ad spend on what works.
  • Bulk Operations, Simplified: Offers a consolidated view of advertising data, allowing for bulk actions and adjustments across all campaigns with just a few clicks.

MerchJar Customer Review:

In his review, Mark praises MerchJar as the ultimate solution for handling a large volume of listings effortlessly. He emphasizes our tool's unique ability to automate and optimize tasks, thereby drastically reducing the time required for managing listings. 

Remarkably, Mark reveals that he can achieve comprehensive listing management with just three tasks per month, a testament to MerchJar's effectiveness.

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.

Different Types of Targeting Strategies for Amazon Book Ads

When setting up your Amazon book ads, you can target specific audiences using strategies like:

  • Demographic Targeting
  • Interest Targeting
  • Keyword Targeting
  • Category Targeting
  • Product Targeting

1. Demographic Targeting

To effectively target your audience on Amazon for book ads, consider using various demographic targeting strategies. 

Start by focusing on age groups that are most likely to be interested in your book. Tailor your ad campaigns to target specific age ranges, such as young adults or middle-aged readers, to maximize engagement.

Additionally, consider targeting based on gender if your book appeals more to a specific gender. For instance, if you've written a romance novel, targeting women might yield better results.

Moreover, take into account the location of your audience. If your book has cultural or geographical relevance, targeting specific regions can enhance the effectiveness of your ads. 

By utilizing these demographic targeting strategies, you can reach the right readers and improve the performance of your Amazon book ads.

2. Interest Targeting

Consider utilizing interest-targeting strategies to enhance the effectiveness of your Amazon book ads. By targeting specific interests related to your book's genre or themes, you can reach potential readers who are more likely to engage with your content.

Amazon offers a variety of interest categories such as literature, fiction genres, or non-fiction topics. This strategy helps your ads to be shown to users who've shown an interest in similar books or subjects, increasing the chances of conversion.

Tailoring your ad content to appeal to these specific interests can lead to higher click-through rates and ultimately more book sales. Keep your target audience in mind and choose interests that align with the preferences of potential readers to maximize the impact of your Amazon book ads.

3. Keyword Targeting

By incorporating relevant keywords into your ad campaigns, you can increase visibility and attract potential readers interested in your genre or topic.

There are two primary types of keyword targeting strategies to consider: broad match and exact match. With a broad match, your ad may appear for variations of your chosen keywords, casting a wider net. 

On the other hand, exact match allows for targeting specific keywords precisely, ensuring your ad shows up for exact search terms.

Experimenting with both approaches can help you refine your keyword strategy and improve the performance of your Amazon book ads.

4. Category Targeting

Incorporate category targeting into your Amazon book ad strategy to effectively reach specific audiences based on their interests and preferences. Selecting relevant categories that align with your book's genre and themes lets you increase the visibility of your ad to potential readers who are actively browsing in those specific areas.

Choose categories that closely match the content and tone of your book to attract a more engaged audience likely to convert into readers. Utilizing category targeting allows you to hone in on niche markets and tailor your ad to appeal directly to those most interested in your book's subject matter.

5. Product Targeting

When crafting Amazon book ads, target specific products that align with your book's genre and themes to effectively reach interested readers. 

Choose books similar to yours in genre or subject matter. This strategy can help you connect with an audience already interested in the type of content you offer, increasing the chances of converting them into readers.

Look for successful books in your niche and use them as targets for your ads. By associating your book with well-received titles, you can attract readers who are more likely to enjoy your work. 

Product targeting allows you to focus your advertising efforts on a relevant audience, improving the impact of your Amazon KDP ads.

6. Behavior Targeting

To effectively target specific audiences with your Amazon book ads, consider utilizing behavior-targeting strategies that cater to the preferences and habits of potential readers. Behavior targeting allows you to reach readers based on their past purchase behavior, interests, and browsing history.

By focusing on behavior targeting, you can tailor your ads to attract those who are more likely to be interested in your book, increasing the chances of conversion. 

Utilize Amazon's data on customer behavior to create ads that resonate with your target audience, leading to higher engagement and sales.

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 Amazon 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. Here’s how to optimize your Amazon PPC strategy for increased sales.

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

4. Understand Your Goals

Understanding your goals is crucial when starting with Amazon Book Ads to ensure effective and targeted advertising strategies. Before diving into creating your ad campaigns, take the time to clearly define what you aim to achieve.

Are you looking to increase book sales, boost visibility, or grow your author brand? Knowing your objectives will help you tailor your ad campaigns to reach the right audience and maximize results.

5. Research Your Audience

When starting with Amazon Book Ads, one essential step is researching your audience to optimize your Amazon ads strategies effectively. Understanding your readership can significantly enhance the success of your ad campaigns.

Here are three key practices to get started:

1. Demographics Analysis: Dive into the demographics of your target audience such as age, gender, location, and interests to tailor your ads accordingly.

2. Behavioral Insights: Analyze the behavior patterns of your audience to determine when they're most active online and likely to engage with your ads.

3. Competitor Research: Study the advertising strategies of authors in your genre to identify successful tactics and differentiate your approach.

6. Optimize Your Book Listing

Begin by optimizing your book listing with compelling keywords and engaging descriptions to attract potential readers on Amazon.

Start by conducting keyword research to identify relevant terms that your target audience is likely to search for. Incorporate these keywords strategically into your book title, subtitle, and book description to improve visibility.

Craft a captivating book description that highlights the unique selling points of your book and entices readers to learn more. Focus on showcasing the value and benefits that readers will gain from your book.

Make sure your cover image is eye-catching and professional to grab attention.

7. Start with Automatic Targeting

To enhance your Amazon book ads strategy, consider initiating automatic targeting to reach a broader audience and gauge initial performance effectively. Automatic targeting allows Amazon to show your ads to users based on their browsing history and buying behavior.

Here are three essential tips to make the most of automatic targeting:

  • Monitor Your Ad Performance: Keep a close eye on your Amazon advertising metrics to understand which keywords and audience segments are driving the most engagement.
  • Adjust Your Bids: Regularly review your bids to ensure you're competitive enough to win ad placements while maintaining a profitable cost per click.
  • Refine Your Targeting: Use the data from automatic targeting to inform your manual targeting efforts, allowing you to optimize your ad campaigns further.

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!