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July 20, 2022

            As many of you know, marketing sucks. Of all the things about writing that I love, marketing is the one that gets my stomach grinding. Having to go out and “beg” people to buy my book rubs me wrong, yet without marketing, nobody will know I even exist.

            Due to the pandemic, it’s been especially hard to find ways to market a book electronically. Since the pandemic started, I’ve only done two…mark that two…live appearances. While I consider one of them a victory because I sold a book, it was still a lot of exposure to risk for such paltry results (in one way of looking at it).

            I’ve tried various social media things, including Facebook and book advertising web sites. The results were far less than spectacular.

            Not too long ago, I got an e-mail from Amazon touting their Amazon Ads campaign method.

            While I was, and still am a bit skeptical, I decided to give it a try.


            Amazon Ads is a place to market your book worldwide using key words and bids. The better the keyword, and the higher the bid, the more likely someone is going to click on your book and maybe purchase it.

            That’s it in a nutshell.

            However, getting results is a lot more complicated!


            I’m not all that hot on the web site, which is the “Books And Marketing” tab on your Amazon Author Page, which you have to create first, by the way.

            The author page is not all that hard to set up. The key is having professional looking content. Not that hard.

            Now, as for the Books And Marketing tab, this is where things get confusing. The site isn’t in the least bit intuitive. You really have to know what you’re doing, or you can end up doing an expensive “hunt and peck” approach. That, to me, isn’t a great way to get things done.

            The biggest beef is the navigation, which is pretty difficult when you have to once again, hunt and peck to figure out what to do, and then remember those sometimes complicated moves to get there.


            After polling several authors to see if it was worth it, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try.

            Setting up a campaign was a matter of choosing which book to sell, making sure BOTH paper and e-book were represented, and then choosing how to go about the ads.

            You can use the automatic setting, which for some, is the simplest, but also the least effective way to go. Amazon decides what’s what and if you’re going to depend on them to do it the best for your book, you might as well just dump the money down the toilet and flush.

            By doing it manually, you have a better chance of avoiding that.

            First thing is a budget cap.


            If you don’t want to go broke, and end up with a huge bill, you need to set a daily budget cap. Some go real cheap and others go for broke. I chose a moderate $5 a day.


            Now, this is also a key ingredient. By setting dynamic bidding, Amazon only charges under certain circumstances. Someone (of thousands clicking on a keyword) has to click on your ad. Amazon will charge so much for this. Then if someone actually buys your book, they charge a bit more to get their cut of the sale (which they already do even if you don’t use the Ads campaign).

            In the next phase I’ll go over keywords. This is enough to wrap your head around for the moment!

            In the meantime, happy writing!

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