What is Amazon Marketing Service/Amazon Advertising (AMS) ?

Here are the questions we'll answer in this article:

  • What is an Amazon Ad

  • Why would you use Amazon Advertising

  • Who can use Amazon Advertising

  • Where can you access Amazon Advertising

What is an Amazon Ad?

What is amazon advertising

Did you see the ads? Lets try again, look a little closer....

what is an amazon ad

That sponsored tag that you see under the book cover - that's an Amazon Ad that someone's placed there by telling Amazon that if they show their product, they'll pay Amazon every time someone clicks on it.

When you rent a billboard, you figure out some stats at the beginning: how many people pass by, is it in an area consisting of your customer profile, and then you pay X amount of money week over week to display it there.

Amazon Advertising is a different model of advertising. Now, instead of paying anything up front, you're telling Amazon that you're willing to pay them for any potential customer that clicks on your ad. It would be equivalent to paying for the billboard based on how many people stop to actually read it.

There are a few places your ad might show up. 2 of the main ones, are on search results, and product pages. The screenshot above is an example of a product list where authors have bid on the word business book and based on what Amazon thinks is most relevant to the readers and therefore has the highest potential for converting to a sale, has chosen what books to display.

The second main place to display your ad are on product pages, like this one below. You can tell Amazon that you're willing to pay to have your book show up on the page of another book that might have a readership similar to the one you're looking for.

amazon product pages

Why would you use Amazon Advertising?

Amazon Advertising is a tool for getting your book in front of potential readers. Word of caution: It's not for the faint of heart. Amazon advertising can be quite the rollercoaster of emotions, making lots of money one day, to losing a lot the next. AMS also makes it very difficult to figure out if you're actually making any money from your book, although it has gotten better and more accurate over the years. If you're looking for a safe bet, without needing to learn much, AMS is probably not going to the be right option for you. If you have some time, and the capacity to take on a little extra stress, go for it!

Who can use Amazon Advertising?

Anyone with something to sell. Obviously this blog is focused on authors who want to get their book read so we can refine that to any author who want to get their book read. There are multiple platforms to publish your book through. I published mine through KDP (Amazon's publishing platform) which is the most direct way to deal with AMS (and therefore might have less headaches involved) as your book is already a part of their system. Although it has gotten more expensive and will most likely continue to get more expensive, it can be a driving force behind getting your book read. Personally, I believe those with the most to gain from it are multi-book authors, or authors who have a larger package to sell through the book. Although it is hard to get a positive ROI on a single book, it's a lot easier to break-even or lose money on the first book if your readers are going to buy a second book, a related course, or some sort of consulting program from you.

Where can you access Amazon Advertising

This is Amazon Advertising or Amazon Marketing Services (AMS for short).

AMS Portal

AMS is made up of an array of solutions for really big businesses, all the way down to indie authors. We won't worry about the bigger marketing service for the purpose for this article. We'll just focus on the self-service portal.

The self service portal allows authors to create ads like the ones seen at the top of this article. It allows authors to bid on various keywords and product that they want their book to show up for. I've also written about various targeting strategies such as:

So I won't cover them here but feel free to reference the blogs listed above to go deeper on the various ad strategies. The goal with this piece is just to introduce you to the world of Amazon Advertising without over-complicating things.

One thing to note is that this is a separate platform from the KDP portal where you actually publish your book. This is the only platform that you can directly run Amazon Ads through, see data about your performance of your ads, and adjust accordingly.

So there you have it, a quick overview of What is an Amazon Ad? Why would you use Amazon Advertising? Who can use Amazon Advertising? and Where can you access Amazon Advertising?

For follow along videos and a deeper dive into the how behind Amazon Advertising, feel free to check out our 2021 Advanced Amazon Ads Author Masterclass.

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