Guest Post from SDWEG Member Rick Lakin

How I Became a Best-selling Author using Amazon Marketing Services

As author-publishers, our biggest challenge is getting our product in front of people we do not have a connection with. Amazon Marketing Services is a simple and cost-effective solution to that problem.

On Friday, May 4, I published my first novel called Brilliant about a girl with an IQ of 206 who was searching for her father. She got an internship at the Hollywood studio that makes the StarCruiser Brilliant movies. She finds out the Brilliant flies into space.

On March 25, I put the book on pre-sale and due to the support of friends and family sold seventeen copies by April 21. On that day, I created a campaign on Amazon Marketing Services at
ams.amazon.com (AMS).

Go to the AMS website under your Amazon login for identification as well as billing. If you are signed out, you will find helpful information and videos.

After signing in, you are offered the opportunity to start a New Campaign. You then receive two options. I have not had any luck with Product Display Ads so select Sponsored Products.

Select the book that you would like to market.

For the budget, I enter $5 per day. I have seen successful campaigns that are $30 per day. Run the campaign continuously. You can always set an end date or terminate it.

Select Manual Targeting. You are going to enter the keywords.

Select the words on this list that are appropriate. Some are redundant and useless. Next, enter a short blurb to finish your ad.

Finally, submit your campaign for review. That will take anywhere from 3 minutes to 6 days. Amazon is not consistent on this. But, you aren’t done.

Here is my display after twenty days. An impression is when the ad appears on the point-of-sale for a book. You only pay for the actual Clicks. The Actual Cost Per Click is always lower than your bid. The Total Sales indicated does not reflect foreign sales or Kindle Unlimited Page Reads. My actual sales are about fifteen times the number shown. Your results may vary.

Add Keywords. I hate to bury the lead, but this is the most important part. You may select up to 1000 keywords. 400 is recommended. The most lucrative are title names, series names and author names from the most recent best sellers in your genre. Go to the best seller lists, new releases and author lists to gather keywords. AMS doesn’t like certain characters

best!@# – your keyword contains some illegal characters,
such as <>()#@^!*

and it doesn’t like duplicates. I recommend that you bounce between a Word document and the entry window to edit your list.

The result is that my book spent the first five days after release in the top 100 in Children’s Science Fiction. Amazon calls it a Bestseller List so who am I to argue.

Rick plans additional posts about entering keywords and how to use KDP Rocket. We’ll share those when he shares them with us.

Rick LakinRick Lakin is the Best-Selling Children’s Science Fiction Author of Brilliant, and the publisher at iCrewDigitalPublishing.com, Bringing New Authors to a Digital World. iCrew has published 35 books by 11 authors.

Rick has been an Optimist for almost two years and is the district webmaster at calso41.us and was a Toastmaster.

He is the founder of iCrew Digital Productions, A Community of Young Media Professionals and a member of the 1000 Club of the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers. Rick is an Advanced Communicator Silver in Toastmasters International and is a member of American Mensa.   Rick works as a Sports Statistician for broadcast television and is a retired math teacher.

He lives in Southern California, but his roots are in Columbus, Ohio, home of The Ohio State University Buckeyes.

Thanks, Rick, for sharing your experience at a Marketing Support Group as well as for documenting it for our entire membership.

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