Amazon Adds Advertising for KDP Select Authors

KDP Select AdvertisingAmazon has sweetened the KDP Select pot by allowing for pay-per-click advertising on titles. From KDP:

Advertising for KDP Select

With advertising for KDP Select, you can use Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to purchase advertising to promote your KDP-Select-enrolled books on Amazon.com. To get started, you can create an Amazon Marketing Services account directly on the KDP website. You set the budget you want to spend and the maximum amount you are willing to pay when a customer clicks your ad. Customers who click your ad will go to your book’s product detail page. You’ll only be charged when your ad is clicked if your ad is displayed, but if it is not clicked, you are not charged.

How It Works
First, choose the book you want to promote, and specify how you want your ad to be targeted. Then decide how much you’re willing to spend promoting it. You’ll also need to set a start and end date for when you want the ad to be delivered.

You can choose to have your ad delivered to customers who previously browsed the Kindle Store for a particular genre, or to customers interested in specific products on Amazon.

Bidding and Budget
Your book’s ads automatically compete in an online auction. You’ll choose your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid when you schedule your ad. Your CPC bid is the maximum amount you will be charged when a customer clicks your ad. To advertise, you must place a minimum CPC bid of $0.02 and set a minimum campaign budget of $100.00.

Your actual cost-per-click is determined in an auction that takes place with other eligible ads. You will be charged $0.01 more than the second-highest bid in the auction for a click, up to your maximum CPC bid.

Paying for Ads
You pay only when customers click your ad. If they see it but don’t click, you are not charged. You’ll enter or select a major debit or credit card in your Amazon.com or Amazon Marketing Services account (not your KDP account), and you’ll be charged periodically in small increments as your campaign goes on.

This is a new program, so no news yet on its feasibility, but this will potentially make KDP Select exclusivity more attractive to more authors.

  • InklingBooks

    Pay-for-promotion schemes like this one are shaping up to be one of the most significant differences between the Kindle store and the iBookstore.

    For Apple, as the head of the iBooks team noted recently at Digital Book World, promotion is an editorial decision. They promote ebooks they believe deserve promoting. You can’t pay them to get more promotion. Every author has a level playing field. Create quality you get sales. That is as it should be.

    It seems clear that Amazon intends to sell visibility. To gain more visibility, you’ll have to meet conditions (here KDP Select exclusivity) and pay them money.

    I can’t stress enough that this is a bad idea for self-publishing authors. Greater visibility in email, search results, or “also read” lists is a zero-sum game. When some pay or limit their distribution to get greater visibility, those who don’t get less visibility. Writers and publishers, particularly small publishers with no muscle and little money, end up losing out.

    To avoid that trap, a savvy author with a listening fan base or a website should work to shift as many of their purchases to retailers who don’t demand pay for promotion as possible. I’m not sure how B&N stands on this, but that means shifting sales to Smashwords and the iBookstore. In most situations, you’ll also get better per-sale royalties.

    • Tom

      How is this bad for self-published authors? Competition is always a good thing. The $100 per campaign isn’t that bad. Could have been $1,000. Then I would agree you have a point.