OUTSOURCE YOUR ADVERTISING

Amazon Advertising – Done For You.

Is my business ready to outsource my advertising? In this interview with AMS Adwerks Founder, Michael Beverly, we’ll talk about how to position yourself to make the strongest ROI possible on your ad-spend – and whether it makes sense for you to outsource your ads to someone else (plus, a DIY option if it’s not the right time for you just yet).

READY TO TAKE YOUR ADS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?

With Amazon Ads, you can tap right into the largest book retailer in the world – and drive targeted traffic to your books 24/7. Depending on your circumstances, it might make sense to outsource your ads to someone else – or, if you’re not ready for that quite yet, learn a DIY approach to boost your sales and exposure as your catalogue grows.

If you write in a commercially proven genre, have at least 5-6 books (preferably in the same series) and aim to spend at least $3k – $4k per month on Amazon Ads, then the experts at AMS Adwerks might be a good fit for you. To get in touch and discuss your requirements, just fill in the contact form below and Michael’s team will be back in touch ASAP*.


*We may earn commission if you decide to use Adwerks’ paid services via our contact form.

THE DIY ROUTE

If you’re not at that stage yet, you might prefer a DIY option – so you can learn how to create and manage profitable Amazon Ad campaigns on your own. In which case, we recommend taking a look at Mark Dawsons Ads for Authors training course – which thousands of authors have used to get a handle on running successful ad campaigns. The course closes at midnight on the 26th June:

Check our Mark Dawsons Ads for Authors Course Here (Closes June 26th)

Or, if you’d like to join Mark and his team for a live workshop on Wednesday June 26th, there are limited spots available for a detailed free walkthrough of everything you’ll need to do to start running Amazon Ads campaigns to grow your sales. The workshop goes live at 3pm Eastern / 8pm UK time.

Register for the Free Amazon Ads Workshop Right Here (closing June 26th) 

 

TRANSCRIPT

Nick:
Hello, hello, and in today’s session, we are talking to the esteemed Michael Beverley of AmsAdWerks, which is an Amazon advertising agency, aimed specifically at authors, and this is perfect timing, really, because with Amazon ads, they are changing all the time. It’s a very fluid process, and a lot of people are very interested on how to make Amazon ads work for them, and I think one of the biggest questions I get from people is, is there anybody who can just do the ads for me so that I don’t have to spend months and months and months of my own time trying to figure out how to do it, and thousands of dollars making mistakes? Which is a very reasonable question. So whenever anyone used to ask me this question, I would always reply, “Sorry, no. You’ll have to do them yourself,” until I heard about Michael and his company through Russell Blake, who had been using them for quite awhile, and been seeing I think 90 to 100 percent ROI on his ad spend, which is just, especially for Amazon ads, is particularly impressive.

Nick:
This is why I wanted to get Michael on to talk a little bit about what is it that makes Amazon ads work for people, and how can you put yourself in the best place to succeed? And for all those people who are looking for someone to just take over the ads for them, just so they can focus on doing the writing, let someone else do the ads, then Michael is going to talk a little bit about what AdWerks can do for you as well, so with that in mind, we’ll just straight in, I’ll say. Hello, Michael. How are you?

Michael:
Hello. Hello, Nick. It’s great talking to you today. I really appreciate this chat with you, and you bring up a lot of questions that over the last few years have just become more and more critical, and that’s how Russell, who started off as sort of a cynic on ads, changed into a believer, and it’s, like you said, it’s constantly changing, and the dynamic just takes a tremendous amount of work to figure out what’s going on, and then as soon as you think you have the secret sauce, there is no secret sauce. It changes, the algos change, the markets change, new people come in and out. It’s a very fluid and dynamic market, and that’s where it’s allowed our company to be able to help people because this is what we do every day.

Nick:
Perfect. Just to provide a little bit of context for people then, can you talk a little bit about how you got into the Amazon ads game? Because it’s a very niche kind of career path for someone [crosstalk 00:02:33].

Michael:
Yes. Yeah. Well, to be honest, I started as a failed novelist. I started into the indie game kind of like everybody, most of the people that work in this business, started off writing books and wanting to take advantage of the new environment that Amazon created, especially when the Kindle came out and you could self-publish, so in the context of that, I was trying to do my own ads, I was taking courses, reading books, trying to learn, and made a lot of mistakes and wasted a lot of my own money. The thing that really was the straw that broke the camel’s back was when Russell and I argued about ads. We literally had this argument and he said, “No, I just don’t think they can work. I’ve tried them myself. They don’t … ” I said, “Well, maybe things have changed or maybe you weren’t doing it right.” So he reluctantly, with a little bit of skepticism, allowed me to start testing and working on his books, and it was a huge success, and that’s how we got here today.

Michael:
I did a lot of the early mistakes on my own failed library, which is actually the best way to learn. It’s sometimes costly and it sometimes also makes you feel bad because you think, I thought I was going to be a world famous author, but it did lead to falling into this niche, and it is a very, very … It’s very complex, and one of the reasons we decided early on when I was working with different people, and people would ask me, “Could you do Facebook ads for me? Could you do Instagram ads for me?” There’s a lot of platforms out there, and original of course, I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and said, “Yes, I’ll do everything,” but I realized very quickly that Amazon … Every market is very specific, and to be sort of good at a lot of things isn’t nearly as helpful as to be very good at one thing, so I decided that the company direction was just to stick on the AMS platform. That’s all we do, and it takes a lot of maintenance to stay up on the latest changes and as the market moves every day.

Nick:
Yeah. It’s literally hours of work per book, really, isn’t it? Every week, if you’re, say, pushing the first book in a series, to try and keep on top of changes and which keywords are working and which targeting is working and which placement is working. It’s not like a check-in five minutes a week kind of situation, is it?

Michael:
No. Not really. I’ve read, there are a lot of indies who have written books on how to work on your ads, and there is a school of thought that if you set it up correctly, you can do some maintenance for five to ten minutes a day. This is true on a very small scale. If you’re running ads for five and ten dollar budget, and you’re not trying to hit the top of the carousel, and your books, you’re not trying to get your rankings consistently to stay inside 10,000 or 5,000, and your budgets aren’t huge, then yes, you can do this, but to get to the next level, you really need to spend hours a day going through the keywords, going through the market, constantly checking the best seller list because a lot of the ads are served through what’s hot today, and so those things change constantly, so if you’re not on there all the time …

Michael:
So one of the benefits we provide is if you’re a working author who is making money with your books, does it really make sense for you to spend hours a day on Amazon’s ad program trying to stay current, or does it make sense to write the next book, because one of the biggest things here is the more books, and this is no secret, the more books you have, the more money you make because your funnel becomes more efficient. When you’re advertising for book one and you have three or four books, it’s very, very difficult to recoup your costs. When you have a series like many of the big indies have that’s 10, 20 books deep, those will continue to rise up because it’s just a long-tail program.

Michael:
So you really have to ask yourself, “Should I be spending hours a day on Amazon platforms,” and God knows what other platforms you might be doing, or is it better just to write the next book? Money-wise, it’s almost always smarter to write the next book and let somebody else, especially the way we’re positioned, our cost for the hours that we work, it’s literally as if you were going to go out and mow your own law or wash your own dishes. In the states, you can’t hire housekeeping for the actual rates that we charge simple because of where we’re located and the way we’re able to work our business, and save you that time. That’s really our value proposition.

Nick:
Absolutely. I think we kind of touched on what it is that makes an author be in a good position for ads. I think you mentioned having those series and those deep series especially is particularly useful, and I think as you kind of touched on, the way you’re positioned and the way you can help people the most is you can look at an author’s catalog and you can go, “Yes. This definitely is worth us jumping on board,” or maybe sometimes you can look at someone and go, “The time isn’t quite right yet.” What would you say, how would you decide on that, do you think? What kind of things are you looking for if someone was to say to you, “Should I hire someone to do my ads?” What [crosstalk 00:08:04].

Michael:
Okay. That’s a very good question, and I get this quite a bit in emails when newer authors who, they’re trying to build their career and they’re beginning and they only have a very small library, and generally my email exchanges with them would be, “Look, you’re just not ready, not because I don’t want you as a client,” but when you compete for ad space that is going to get you enough impressions to be able to scale, you have to pay enough money to compete in an environment where you’re fighting against people that have big series, so they can bid more, and the reason is obvious. If your funnel funnels into 20 books, your costs, in terms of percentage of ads to revenue, is a lot smaller than if you have three or four books.

Michael:
So the ideal client for us, the people that we can really help, have deep series. Now, the question is, how deep? Three or four books is usually not enough. Five to seven can work if the demand in that genre is not outrageous. If you’re competing with five or six books against some of the really big names in the really hot genres where there’s a lot of authors, then it’s usually not viable. The smaller niche genres can work in that range. I really like to see seven to ten books for a series. That seems to be the sweet spot where we can get good traction, and of course if you have a series like Russell Blake’s Jet, for instance, 15, 16, 17 books deep with a good rating, the stars are good, the number of reviews are good, and your covers are great, your reviews are good, your blurb is good, those things will really take off, and that’s how he got such high returns.

Michael:
Obviously, not everybody can get that, but it’s still a good value proposition as long as you’re making some money and you’re building up the number of readers that you’ve put into your program, and we don’t do everything. We’re not like a full service marketing company, but of course I can tell you as you’ve told people many times, get emails. Follow up. You have to do these other programs for the ads to work the most efficiently, everything. We don’t design covers, but I can tell you if your cover is not good, and I can see it in the data, the CTR, the number of people that will click, will be far, far less. So one of the other great values that we provide that literally nobody else can do this unless they’re also in the same boat, is they can’t see across genres and across various platforms what the appropriate ratios are.

Michael:
For instance, if you start off doing your ads yourself and your CTR is .007, is that good? Do you know? How would you know if that’s good? If you’re getting one click in a thousand or one click in eight-hundred, where do you land in relation to that genre and other similar authors? There’s literally no way to know unless you can go and ask a lot of people and get an honest response. One of the values that we have is I can tell my clients of similar authors that I’m working with and in my dataset, your CTR or your conversion rate or your CPC, where do they fall? I don’t give out names. I keep everybody’s name private, but I can certainly tell you if you’re writing a zombie apocalypse dystopian YA romance, I can say, “Hey, look. This book, your CTR, your conversion is really good,” or, “It’s average,” or, “It’s poor.” If it’s poor, I can tell you why, what things need to be fixed.

Michael:
If you’re doing this on your own, one of the problems you have is you don’t know what a good CTR is, and also, this changes. Three or four months ago, a certain genre might be hot, and those things, they fluctuate, and so we can see in real time how your ads are doing in relation to others, and also how much we need to big. This is another problem that people have. They think it’s just about-

Michael:
We need to bid. Like, this is another problem people have. They think it’s just about putting a lot of money out there, but that’s not the only thing Amazon looks at. You can bid a lot of money, but if your book’s not relevant, or your ads or your target’s off, it just doesn’t work, and that requires constant maintenance and a constant eyeball on what’s happening in the market.

Nick:
Yeah, it’s fascinating for me because I’m a bit of a data nerd when it comes to trying to make a decision. Like with one of my series in the thriller genre, we were looking at changing the covers, and we went through three different covers for this first book in the series, and we were looking at the main things that makes an ad good. So the click-through rate. Because on Amazon especially, you’re paying for clicks which means that if you’re not getting the clicks, Amazon’s just not going to even show the ad.

Michael:
Yes. Yeah, they’ll shut it right down. Amazon’s very good about wanting good customer satisfaction.

Nick:
Yeah.

Michael:
Now of course they’re a for-profit company so everything driving what they do is to make Amazon money. However, how that’s good for the author is they tend to be on the same team as you in that if your ads are doing well, they will push them more. If yours ads are not doing well, they will choke them back. Your impressions will drop drastically. So I think a lot of people get confused because they think, “Oh, Amazon’s not showing a lot of ads. I better bid higher,” but that may not be the problem. It might be your cover is not right for the genre. It might be outdated. It might lack elements that other covers in the current market trend have that you don’t have.

Michael:
These are things that we can see, and when you’re just running your own ads, you can take some guesses, but you can’t see all the data across the board that we can.

Nick:
Exactly. I mean you’ve got, I’m guessing, hundreds of millions of impressions.

Michael:
Yes, yes.

Nick:
Across different genres that you can look at.

Michael:
Yeah, so our entire database is … Yes, we’re pushing the billion plus in terms of [inaudible 00:13:57]. So the sheer amount of data that we have I think gives us such a huge advantage for helping people see.

Michael:
Now sometimes this is bad news because if the quality of your product is not the best it can be, and it fails in some aspect, then the ads will end up actually costing you a lot of money, and using somebody like our service that’s very good at getting customers to the product page because that is our job. Our job is never to sell your book. That’s your job as a publish. Amazon ads don’t sell the book. This is a misconception a lot of people have. The product page and your cover, your blurb, your ratings, your reviews, your price: that sells the book. Not the ad itself. The ad is to drive traffic.

Nick:
I think that’s so important to just emphasize as well is that a lot of people try Amazon Ads or Facebook Ads or BookBub Ads or some Google Ads or whatever it might be, and they put $500 into it, and they don’t get the sales.

Michael:
Yes.

Nick:
And they just say, “Well ads don’t work.”

Michael:
Correct, yes.

Nick:
And this is what I was looking at when I was trying to build up Amazon Ads was I was looking at what’s the click-through rate, and then I found out what the average click-through rate should have been, and I think it was half. My click-through rate was half, and the only thing that could have possibly have been was price or cover. [crosstalk 00:15:23].

Michael:
To some degree, the ad copy.

Nick:
And the copy.

Michael:
Depending on the type of ad. The cover is the biggest thing because that’s what people emotionally click on, they see that. If you look at the carousel, if you look at a product page or the page that shows up when you do a search, there’s just so many ads. So what’s the first thing? People are visual. So the first thing they see …

Michael:
So I remember I had seen I think your cover. I think I sent an email to you. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I sent you an email and said, “Hey, Nick. Why does your cover have like three different color fonts? Like I just [crosstalk 00:15:54].”

Nick:
This was a good story. This is a good story.

Michael:
I wasn’t saying that it was wrong because I like to always defer to the data, but I would say, “What are you doing? What was your thought process?” You remember when I sent you that email, I was curious.

Nick:
I do. I do remember. This was exactly it, and I’ve mentioned this previously, was my cover was artistically good.

Michael:
Yes.

Nick:
It looked good, and it conveyed the emotion I was going for, but the data said the click-through rate’s half of what it should be.

Michael:
Correct.

Nick:
And we played with the price, and we played with the ad copy. Nothing changed. Had to be the cover. Changed the cover, and the new one did a lot better but still wasn’t hitting the right marks. Third time around it was a tiny little tweak to the, I think it was the geometry of the image was a bit wrong, and-

Michael:
This is surprising to people too.

Nick:
It’s no better an artistic image, but it’s a better cover for the genre, and the click-through rate was then now at average or slightly above.

Michael:
Correct.

Nick:
And it’s made a massive difference, and the conversation rate improved, and [crosstalk 00:16:57].

Michael:
Right, you really can’t compete with other people if your click-through rate is half of the average. This is not a recipe for success, and when you’re trying to push in scale, you need to be above average.

Nick:
Exactly.

Michael:
Why? Because who wants to be average? But it was surprising to me. When you and I talked about that, we were making educated guesses. Now one of the things that I can do is I can look at my data, and I can say for instance, “If you have a dolphin on your cover, that helps in certain genres.” And you don’t [crosstalk 00:17:30]-

Nick:
Are you saying that’s the case because you’re just going to have like a hundred dolphin covers now.

Michael:
Yes of course, I don’t really mean [crosstalk 00:17:35], but certain genres require a cat. Now this is actually true, it’s not a joke. Certain genres require a cat on the cover, and the authors know this, but what sometimes they don’t know is how cutesy it should be or how photorealistic or what other elements will get people’s eyeball to that, and of course it depends on the genre, the subgenre, and even in some genres there will be certain niches that are different, and quite often people are blind to this because you just don’t know. You’re just seeing your own data so you don’t have anything to compare it to, and that makes it very difficult to make rational choices, and people also get very attached emotionally to their covers.

Michael:
Like you said, the covers are quite often artistically fantastic, but your job as a publisher isn’t to impress people with the art of the cover. Your job as a publisher is to get people to click. Sometimes you have to be willing to put aside your emotion about it and just say, “Okay, let the data speak for itself, and if A beats B in an A/B test, you go with A everything else aside.”

Nick:
And that’s a good point as well is with testing and measuring. Let’s say someone’s watching this and going, “Right, I’m not getting the results I want. Maybe it’s my cover. Maybe it’s my ad copy price. Maybe it’s the number of reviews. Maybe it’s my product description,” which is another big one as well. And you want to be testing each one of these things separately and going, “Well I’m going to run some ads with a different cover. I’m going to run some ads with a different product description, see what happens.” If someone wants to do that, how long would you give it, or how many impressions would you want [crosstalk 00:19:13]?

Michael:
Well you need a decent amount of impressions, and of course this varies from genre to genre, and by season to season. So what we do is we compare it to how that genre is performing at any given time on Amazon. So we know how many … One of the things people need to remember about Amazon is even as big as it is, there’s only x amount of searches on any given day for, say, zombie apocalypse, or certain types of cozy mysteries which are very niche will be a lot smaller. Bigger things like science fiction, of course, get a lot of searches, but almost nobody just reads science fiction. They read a certain type of science fiction.

Michael:
So what we do is we look at how many impressions we know is sort of the maximum limit for that particular subgenre, and it could be … If you get 10,000 or 20,000 impressions in a day, that might be good for that genre. The bigger ones, of course, are going to have hundreds of thousands, and it also depends on how wide you can go. Some thrillers for instance will appeal to most thriller readers. You know, you think of the biggest ones in history like Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code was read by millions and millions of people, but not every thriller falls into that category that everyone’s going to like it.

Michael:
So what we do is look at each subgenre, and we have an idea of, “Okay, how many impressions should we be expecting?” And if we’re not getting those, we know there’s a problem because Amazon algos are working in the background. Now keep in mind Amazon wants to make money, but they look at the revenue proposition, not just the clicks. So generally speaking if you don’t have at least a few hundred thousand impressions, you’re guessing. There’s too much variance in the market to … You can’t get 50,000 impressions and say, “Okay, I know this cover’s better than this.” No, it could just be variance. So you do need quite a few.

Michael:
Then once you … Anyone that’s studied A/B testing understands you can’t A/B test 10 things at once. You don’t know what did what. You need to isolate test, isolate test. So sometimes it can take a few weeks or even a couple of months sometimes for some tests to really give you the strong data. Now that being said, the nice thing about the ad game is it’s very binary. If you know cover A beats cover B, you’re going to run cover A. Like, it doesn’t matter how much it beats it by. It just matters it’s better.

Michael:
Now once you have the better cover, if your averages are still subpar in relation to other authors … Like in my database I can say to you, “Hey, your book’s average or better or not.” Then you know, “Hey, maybe I should test a new cover. Like A beat B, but now we need to bring in cover C and test that.”

Nick:
And this is exactly kind of what an agency can get you. So for the guys watching this, I think that there’s definitely kind of a split. There’s going to be a lot of people watching this who want to start using Amazon Ads, or any ad platform really, to start growing that readership.

Michael:
Correct.

Nick:
And I think that this is kind of where your company comes in is very specifically if it makes more sense to pay you …

Michael:
Correct.

Nick:
… for the time, and get on with the next book. Because I know the next book is going to make a solid return, and I’m making profit by paying you to do the ads for more. That’s kind of what we’re going for. Because obviously you’ve got, you know you said, like a billion impressions to work with. So you know if Mr. Thriller Writer comes to you and says, “Here’s my ad results.”

Nick:
You can go, “Right, your click-through rate needs improving. Conversion rates are a little bit low so we need to test out cover and product description. Let’s do it right now. Let’s test it,” and you can maybe boost someone’s results over time, and then that long-term investment is like over the next 20 or 30 years, that book is then converting 20% or 30% better than it was.

Michael:
Yes, this is another thing to [crosstalk 00:23:07]. Exactly. Another thing that people often forget is the longtail nature of the market and what you’re actually trying to accomplish. If you just look at what happened today, you’re losing sight of the publishing business, and so you do have to extrapolate a little bit and think to yourself, “What’s a reader that I gained today worth to me in the life?” And this is a hard thing for some people to put confidence in because it really means you have to commit to yourself to continue to pump books out. You don’t have to do one every two weeks or every months, but you do have to produce. If you’re not producing into these series, then you’re squandering these investments you’ve made because there’s nowhere to send these readers you’ve gained into your base into the future. A good series, if we look at [inaudible 00:23:56] publish series, there’s some people probably you and I both read that started in the 80s that we still read their books.

Michael:
And I both read that started in the 80s, so we still read their books. The indie author has to have that in mind and that’s where ads can help build up this. But it does take time and it’s scary sometimes, because you’re investing money now into yourself that you’re not necessarily seeing back on day one. You’re seeing as time goes by.

Michael:
And so you don’t want to come into ads whether you’re doing them yourself or hiring a service thinking that you’re down to your last dollar and you’re going to invest it and get it back. No, this isn’t the stock market and it’s not magic. It’s a business and then these are business decisions. You really have to think it through.

Nick:
So we’re going to have a lot of people watching this and there’s going to be a split. And I think most people are going to be… there are going to be very valuable information for them because they’re going to be watching this video and then they’re going to go and experiment with ads on their own. And I think it’s really important to bear in mind everything we’ve talked about in this session about looking at the longterm value, the readthrough, the total profit you’re going to make from read through. How much you’re willing to spend to acquire a new reader, and how to best position yourself in an advertising kind of arena. And that’s everything we talked about so far was around that really.

Nick:
So if you are going to go do your ads yourself, please bear all this in mind that it’s not an overnight success kind of thing. Although that does happen, it’s not the normal kind of situation. And if you are watching this and thinking, “All of this sounds like a lot of work and it would make more sense for me to hire someone,” this is where Adwerks comes in. So Michael’s company. And I think it’s worth having a little pitch from Michael about that for you guys to want to kind of see if it’s something that would fit with your business.

Nick:
If you could kind of nail down, Michael, what’s the kind of person who you think would benefit the most from Adwerks, just taking over all the advertising?

Michael:
Okay, that’s a great question. The first thing is that they have a catalog that is able to sustain a pretty good span. If you’re not prepared to invest in the fees and the ads, probably a minimum of about 3000 a month to start. If you’re not comfortable with that, then it’s not going to work, because the worst thing you could do is start and get scared and stop because now you’ve just thrown all that money away.

Michael:
Most catalogs are going to produce something in two to three months where you know for sure either A, this is working, keep going scale up, or B, I have work to do on my catalog. Like I need that longer series, I need my covers and my blurbs all need to be revamped. So the ideal client for us already has established a series and generally speaking, I like to see at least seven or eight books in their main line.

Michael:
Now if they have a big catalog, say for trilogies that can work if there’s crossover. Like it’s the same genre and that person knows if they get someone in their flagship, those readers will cross over. But it’s a lot harder. Advertising for standalones or unless you have like a movie deal you can put out there and say, “I’m in film development for film. People love this,” but if you don’t have a movie deal or you don’t have some big outside promotion and you try to advertise a standalone, it won’t work unless it’s a miracle.

Michael:
Trilogies are difficult. Five, six, seven series is hard but doable once you get over seven, eight, nine, 10. That would be the ideal client. I hate to say this because a lot of people, this brings up a lot of ill feeling sometimes about Kindle Unlimited, but the reality is Kindle Unlimited, we’ve seen this even since Amazon did their last changeover in January. In the last six months we’ve seen a lot more shift. It’s subtle, but it’s there in terms of the percentages of KU. In other words, it seems to us that Amazon algos are favoring KU and readers are starting to get onboard and more and more good quality work is going to Kindle Unlimited.

Michael:
So if you’re not in Kindle Unlimited and you have a deep series, it can work with Amazon ads, but you’re fighting upstream because you’re fighting for ad space against that. So our most ideal client will have a deep series in Kindle Unlimited and a commercial genre.

Michael:
Now nonfiction can work, the oddball things can work, especially if the market’s small and you’re a big fish in that pond. Then those ads can actually be pretty cheap sometimes because there’s just nobody competing for it. But ideally, if the commercial genre, a long series in Kindle Unlimited, high quality writing, high quality covers, high quality blurbs, and that client is on the path to success. And if you don’t have these things in place, one of the things…

Michael:
I’ve actually told a few people that emailed me and they were chomping at the bit to get started and I said, “Look, I’d love to have you as a client. Call me or write me in three or four months when you get the series a little deeper.” And generally those people are pretty professional and they already have everything in line. They say, “Okay, I’ll call you in this month and three or four months down the road when I have seven or eight books out, and book nine is on pre-order.” But those situations are fine.

Michael:
But sometimes I get emails from people that have only their first one or two books out and it’s probably a great book and it has great potential, but if you advertise that now you just can’t recoup your costs.

Nick:
Perfect. And I think it’s worth reiterating as well that if you’re not all of those things, that doesn’t mean that ads can’t work for you at a certain level.

Michael:
Oh yes. Absolutely. So one of the things that we’re in a position to do is help people scale, which is difficult to do on Amazon opposed to some of the other platforms where you can throw money out there like crazy and they’ll take it all. Amazon won’t do this because Amazon’s unique in that they also make money on what people buy as opposed to other advertising platforms. They make money on the click only, it doesn’t matter to them if somebody’s buying books in five years from now. But Amazon knows this. They know that a reader into your library is likely to follow through. So, that part changes the dynamic a little bit.

Michael:
The mindset to go from other platforms, like for instance on Facebook where you’re just paying for a click to Amazon, where you’re paying for a click on a platform, which also takes into account your lists, your book [inaudible 00:30:38] series, your overall catalog, that sometimes can be a difficult mindset for people. And the algorithms, we make some assumptions. Obviously they’re secret, but we’ve made some assumptions that Amazon tracks the productivity of your ads in terms of revenue across your catalog.

Michael:
So somebody new coming, and let’s say somebody writes a thriller that’s very similar to your Wanted and they want to advertise against you, they’re going to fight against Nick for space. Well, what happens is Amazon looks at them and they look at you and they go, “Okay, how much revenue is Nick going to make us compared to this guy?” If Amazon knows that can’t generate as much revenue, that person can’t outbid you. It doesn’t matter what they bid. Amazon’s still going to favor you and they’ll just choke the ads down if that happens that way.

Nick:
Yeah.

Michael:
So anyways, that’s one of the many reasons why, if you’re in the position where you have a lot of product, that off shoring that to somebody that could do it much cheaper than you, much more efficient and with far more data than you would ever have. So this is my final pitch here. We can do that for you if you have that catalog. There’s no way that your time is worth so little that it’s not better to hire us and write the next book ,because if you write the next book, you know the numbers, you know what a new release brings you in terms of revenue and longterm. So the math is there. That is a black and white question.

Michael:
There are some people that are very much into doing their own ads for the pure joy of it. If that’s you, then you probably don’t want to hire me because you love doing it. But most people look at it like going to the dentist rather than not deal with the platform.

Nick:
I can understand that.

Michael:
That’s why 99% of the people listen and say, “Yes, okay.” Like going to the dentist. But there’s a few people that really love the numbers and they really like to do it themselves and that’s a small segment of the authors out there. Most people in terms of revenue generation are far better off writing more books. We all know this. This has been the model for even before Amazon came along.

Nick:
Okay, perfect. And thank you for going through all of this with us. And I think, as a final note, is what I’m going to do is if you are in a position watching this where you know your ad spend, you’re looking to scale it up to sort of $3k – $4k a month and beyond, you’ve got that catalog that can sustain the higher bids that you’re going to have to have to compete, then definitely have a chat with Michael about whether or not he can help you.

Nick:
I’ll put a little contact form underneath the video. For you guys watching, just put your name and email address in there, a little message and it will go straight through to Michael and he can get back to you on some of the specifics.

Nick:
If that doesn’t sound like you, do not fret because Amazon ads, other ads, they still do work at lower budgets and there are ways to make this work for you in a way that’s profitable. And we’re not saying give up and we have plenty of resources that will help you if you’re trying to get to that point where something like Michael’s company is a sensible option for you.

Nick:
So I’ll put resources underneath the video. So whichever stage you’re at, we’ve got something for you. But either way, do pay attention to what Michael said in this video because everything is very logical and it’s very aimed at helping you make the most out of your catalog longterm. So it’s words of wisdom that I would definitely recommend you take onboard whatever stage you’re at.

Nick:
So with that being said, a huge thank you to Michael and we will be back in touch with him again very soon, I’m sure. And if you’d like to get in touch with Adwerks to see if it’s worth doing for your company, your publishing company, then check out the link underneath the video. And I will see you all again very, very soon.

Michael:
Thank you, Nick. It was great talking to you today.

 

 

NEXT STEPS

If you write in a commercially proven genre, have at least 5-6 books (preferably in the same series) and aim to spend at least $3k – $4k per month on Amazon Ads, then the experts at AMS Adwerks might be a good fit for you. To get in touch and discuss your requirements, just fill in the contact form below and Michael’s team will be back in touch ASAP.


*We may earn commission if you decide to use Adwerks’ paid services via our contact form.

THE DIY ROUTE

If you’re not at that stage yet, you might prefer a DIY option – so you can learn how to create and manage profitable Amazon Ad campaigns on your own. In which case, we recommend taking a look at Mark Dawsons Ads for Authors training course – which thousands of authors have used to get a handle on running successful ad campaigns. The course closes at midnight on the 26th June:

Check our Mark Dawsons Ads for Authors Course Here (Closes June 26th)

Or, if you’d like to join Mark and his team for a live workshop on Wednesday June 26th, there are limited spots available for a detailed free walkthrough of everything you’ll need to do to start running Amazon Ads campaigns to grow your sales. The workshop goes live at 3pm Eastern / 8pm UK time, June 26th.

Register for the Free Amazon Ads Workshop Right Here (closing June 26th) 

ENJOY!