Amazon Marketing Services for Self-Publishing: An effective selling tool or a conspiracy theory?

11 Apr

In order to keep this article short, I am assuming that the reader is familiar with the mechanics of AMS. Here are my results. During the six month period from June to December 2015 AMS generated 100,000 impressions (small Adverts) for my book. From these Ads my book page received 600 clicks from potential buyers. From the 600 clicks there were 16 sales of my book. This generated royalties of $33 (price $2.99 @ 70%).The total cost of the 600 clicks was $40 (Ave cost per click 6.67c). Although royalties fell $7 short of the cost of the clicks, AMS only counts a sale if the book is bought in the same visit as the initial click. Therefore, I think it is reasonable to assume that the remaining 584 clicks (600 less 16) would have generated a further 3-4 sales on subsequent visits to my book page. Hence, this investment in AMS achieved the breakeven point. As an unknown author with one book I am happy to achieve breakeven in that I managed to reach a wider audience at no cost.

So why do I think AMS might be a conspiracy? It’s the same old issue – lack of transparency. It’s like standing in the street outside of the casino. The croupier comes out and takes your bet and then comes back a few minutes later to tell you if you won or lost. How do I know if the sales I achieved during the six month period had any connection to AMS? The weekly total of impressions (Ads) peaked in mid-August 2015 at 18,000, which produced 135 clicks, resulting in 5 sales. Then it quickly fell back to a weekly average of about 3,000 with no further sales until November. Why? It must be something to do with the mysterious Amazon Algorithm. Did it decide to throw me a morsel of sales in order to keep me dreaming of impossible future greatness? Am I paranoid? If I am that doesn’t mean that the Algorithm isn’t having a bit of fun at my expense.

PS: I’m still hanging in with AMS but I had to endure an enforced break from it earlier this year. The mighty giant which is Amazon tripped on an acorn and knocked itself out for six weeks. The acorn came in the form of my credit card expiring in December 2015.  My AMS account had been set up wrongly so that I had no access to the Edit/Update function. I loaded my new credit card promptly but it took five weeks and many emails before I could explain the situation directly to a human being.

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