If you wish to get more sales, then you might consider running ads. Now, you might be wondering how much will it cost you, is it cheap or is it expensive to run ads? Let's find out now.
Today's question has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. It is the secret as to what it is that will make sure your Amazon ads are winning?
Our topic for today is on, is it expensive to run ads? Now, as an author, when you're first getting started or even if you have some experience, you start to realize that running ads are key to winning and getting your books to sell.
There are several reasons for this. One of the big ones is that it's getting in front of the eyes of your possible readers. Sometimes it takes about eight exposures to the cover of your book or the title of your book for them to start to think, "maybe I'd like to buy it".
By paying for ads, Pay Per Click (PPC) on your ads, we're able to get in front of those users and so enough views of that particular ad. They click, you pay a fee, and they buy your book resulting in a profit.
But the problem is when we're getting started with ads, it's not clear if this is going to be profitable and if it's worth your time to run the ads. Because maybe it's too expensive for you when you're getting started. This is what we're going to explore in today's article.
Before we head on the answers, you can grab a copy of my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist. To make sure that you are not skipping any of the steps necessary to make a killing at self-publishing.
Let's move right into our main thing, when I first got started self-publishing, I thought ads were for big businesses. Maybe local businesses would run ads but in terms of like ads on the internet, people would either buy it or not.
Why would I pay for ads? I would clearly be losing money since they're so expensive, well not exactly. So what happened was I took a cheap course and broke down that "how to run ads?". I realized I should definitely be running ads.
I started seeing my earnings going up as the ads began to run on Amazon. Because there was a whole series of tips and tricks. One of the key things was the power of keywords.
I was using a tool that is still a very powerful tool for this very purpose called Publisher Rocket. Where you would be able to type in your keyword for your book. Let's say it was "puppy training", then it would come up with a whole list of related keywords that you may not even realize are related.
Check out this related article: How Many Books Should I Self-Publish?
Then we can start an Amazon ad with these keywords and see what was happening. I would then run it about 15 cents per keyword. Originally, it was 10 cents but competition has gone up 15 cents per keyword.
Every time they click on it, then I would get a sale. I could see how exactly that was impacting my overall sales. The interesting thing is by targeting these rare keywords that seem unrelated.
I was still making sales because certain users would type in a keyword that I don't even know what it was connected to. It could be connected with another author or a particular type of puppy training. And the result would be that the user or the reader would see my book cover.
Eventually, they would click, and then after a while, they would buy. I think for my books, I would sometimes do 10 cents apiece. If you do 10 cents or whatever to break even, you would just need to do it to make a sale.
I think I was needing to make a sale every 10 clicks or something like that. It would be sufficient to go ahead and make a profit. Because if you think about if you're making $2 per book like if you're selling a Kindle book for let's say $3, you're making $2 for that book.
You're doing 10 cents per click. That means every 20 clicks you need to make a sale. That just sort of gives you a little bit of the math regarding how exactly it goes.
The Top Secret
But we're not interested in what the total sale price is. We're interested in what profit we're making. Because obviously, with Kindle books, it's 70% and so that's what we're interested in and not so much on what the total sale price of the book was.
For the paperbacks, it would be 50%-60% on the profit which is way higher than traditional publishing. That is a different topic for today and the thing is I also realized another trick. Even though I'm giving away a lot of secrets here that many people have to pay a lot of money to get, I'm just giving it away.
It's that you don't even have to make a profit on your ads. We want to break even because a lot of people will end up buying at a later point. Where we will not get recognized as having that being connected to the ad.
They will rather see your ad enough times. Then they will go in there and make that purchase of your book. Also, sometimes they'll click and they'll buy from a different thing.
They could buy the hardback version or Lulu or an Ingramspark version, or they might buy my audiobook of which I have no tracking, so the ad is seeing it. Also, it's making them become familiar touchpoints, how many times they need to see it?
About eight times before they're going to be ready to go about clicking and buying this book. They may write it down or they may come back to it at a later point. So the goal of the ads is not to make a profit.
Check out this related article: Don't Overthink Self-Publishing!
This is another one of those secrets, it is to break even on the ads. Though, I've seen many ads were making a profit so there are several ways of looking at this. Let's get into the final answers for today, is it expensive to run ads?
The answer is it depends on what exactly do we mean by expensive? Expensive is relative. If I charge you $10 and you get back $15, was it expensive? And the answer is "No", it was not expensive.
It was very cheap because if that's the case, I'll give you a million dollars to get back 1.5 million or something right? On the other hand, if I give you $1 and you give me back 50 cents, was that expensive? Yes. So your ROI or Return On Investment tells us whether something is expensive or not when it comes to Amazon ads.
If you're breaking even, it is very cheap because you've got a new reader. And that reader, hopefully, you're getting them on your email list.
Then you're able to market your future books to them. They're going to know, like, and trust you. The quality of your books will sell your future books. Just getting them in the loop will be very powerful to your sales.
I'm telling you this is the top secret even though I haven't told you number three. It is that you need to make sure that you're breaking even on your ads. If you're losing money, then I tell you to shut it down or adjust the ads.
But we'll get into that under number two here, we run the ads at 15 cents per ad or 4.15 pounds per ad in the British market. We raise and lower the bid based upon the profitability a cost. Now, they have a new way of doing that.
It would just be looking at how much money did I earn on this ad? If I lose $2 on any given ad, I shut the ad down. I'm willing to run an ad up to $2. So if it were 10 cents an ad and I was willing to run $2, that means I'm willing to get 20 clicks with no sales.
But if I can get a single sale off those 20 clicks, well then it changes the math and it starts to go up. I'm willing to give the ads a chance. There are delays in the reporting.
A lot of the reporting is not visible to you and there are incorrect problems with the reporting. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't continue running on Amazon ads.
Publisher Rocket Is A Must-Try
I've also tested Facebook ads and other places. It wasn't at all nearly as effective as running Amazon ads. Because on Amazon, we have readers who are there with their credit cards out.
They are looking and searching for exactly your book. They want to read so you need to look and see what is key here when it comes to running ads. That would be on our third point of the day, it is that if you're in the right niche, it is crazy lucrative running ads because there's not that much competition.
One of my viewers today even asked the question which was "I'm running in a competitive niche, I'm not able to find a way to run ads profitably". The answer is the way that you would do it is by using Publisher Rocket. To find those profitable keywords that you can run against your ad, against your book.
Besides, if you happen to have chosen the correct niche which would not be competitive but is profitable, then it's much easier to find these profitable keywords to run against your ad for your book. The final thing I would just say here is that you can also just allow Amazon to do the automatic searching and sending keywords.
Where they will optimize themselves. I've had a great deal of success with that. As business is picking up with more students, all sorts of stuff going on, life is busy. You can also just set it on automatic and allow Amazon itself to just make the suggestions.
You can bid down, so don't allow them to bid up. I set a budget of $15 as my maximum bid, they can bid down. Let them automatically run it and monitor the ads closely.
Losing $2, I shut the ad down, it's just that simple. Now, there are some complexities and a lot of tricks. I will hit it in my later articles. But I just wanted to make it clear that this has been crazy profitable for me.
I think I've run $30,000-$40,000 in ads through Amazon and making profits, like crazy profits. Now the profits have decreased over the years but that doesn't change anything. It's just more competition and Amazon changed a year ago.
The ability for people selling physical products to compete against my books. Since I make less profit, whoever can spend the most on ads and marketing win the game. That's the reason why it becomes a lot more difficult.
Check out this related article: How Hard Is Self-Publishing?
But the more money I'm making from my ads, the more I can invest. Which if I'm competing for my books against your books, you're going to lose against me because I can spend more money to get those readers. I'm earning money on the back end and I'm selling more books.
In other books, I don't care if I break even or lose a little bit of money. Even though I don't lose money, I break even on ads but I'm okay with that. Because I'm seeing my audiobook sales going up.
Where are those sales coming from? They're coming from the ads, there's no attribution. This is a key concept here which is that those ads, who the sale is attributed to. Those audiobook sales are attributed to nobody because it was the ad that showed them the book.
Then when they got in there, they bought, they click and it counts as no sales. But then they buy the audiobook and that's a key secret that a lot of people just simply aren't familiar with. Now, how do you find it?
Is it expensive to run ads? Have you started running ads? I need to know where you're coming from because it is so important to make sure my articles and videos are useful to you.
Go ahead and write the word "Yes" if you've started running ads below in the comments. And if you've never run an ad, not in your entire life, write "No" below in the comments.
That will greatly help me out to make sure I'm making the articles that will help you as an author best, to make as many sales as possible. Check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.