Amazon Marketing Services Coming May 1 – Thoughts?

Jordan Dane
@JordanDane

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Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) will launch May 1, 2016. What does this mean to you, authors? As an Advantage or CreateSpace publisher, you can sign up for AMS for an annual fee of $99.00. Word of caution, from what I’ve seen of the sign-up instructions, this is for Kindle Select books only. The annual fee is charged against your account as a deduction from your sales. No Paypal or credit card charge up front. Once you become a “member” of AMS, you gain access to marketing programs reserved for Amazon’s biggest vendors. Feel empowered yet?

Below are the programs available to members:

Advertising on Keywords/Tags – Pay Per Click

The right keywords and tags can help you with discoverability on your titles at Amazon while setting your own budget allowance for promotion. Popular keywords, phrases, and tags on a book can generate momentum on search pages to get a title noticed. You’d only pay when a reader clicks on your book ad. According to Amazon, a click budget can be as low at $100.00, capping off your cost at your option.

Enhanced “A+” Detail Pages

Sometimes bling is the thing to showcase a book. Amazon offers enticing content for an author’s book page for $600, such as videos, sample page shots, photos and other creative promotion ideas. The deluxe page content also features advanced formatting and rich media content to tease the readers to buy.

Price Discounts

This is a really great idea. Amazon now offers vendor-provided coupon links (offered on the product detail page) to give readers/customers immediate discounts off the Amazon sales price. This will allow you to offer true sales campaigns and promotions during a peak period, in a more nimble way than ever before. You can drive sales during a virtual tour event or for a given weekend or launch period with ease.

Dashboard Sales Analytics

Want to evaluate your promotion effectiveness with REAL sales data? Now you can with AMS. If you’d like to evaluate one campaign service provider or a blog tour or advertising on Facebook for example, now you can if you isolate the event and analyze the effectiveness through analytics offered on the AMS dashboard. You’ll be able to analyze your return on investment down to the title and event to fine tune your marketing strategies with real sales data.

Vine Reviews

Chasing reviews can be a challenge if you want exposure and honest reviews. The cost for promotion service providers to solicit readers for an honest review can take time to scrutinize the potential reader and the cost for such a service can vary. Amazon had its established Vine Reviewers program of pre-approved reviewers. This is a costly service, priced at $1500.00, but it allows you to access the entire Vine Reviewer list without taking the time to approach them one at a time. If you invest in this service, AMS handles the details.

How to sign up for AMS?
If you’re curious about this new Amazon program, here is the link for AMS – https://ams.amazon.com/  I have to admit that I thought this would be for ANY KDP author. That’s how it is presented under the instructions as you set up, but when you drill down into the instructions on page 2, it appears these services are only for Kindle Select books.

Or you can do what I tried to do, which is set up my corporation (or my publishing company name) under the Amazon Advantage program at this LINK. (I thought I could set up as a vendor.) But alas, I could not set up under the Advantage program as a vendor under my company name OR my brand name (author name). On the surface it would appear Amazon is forcing authors into their KDP SELECT program to become a member of AMS. If anyone knows any differently, or had another approach and was successful, please let me know.

I’ve read that if your book has an ISBN and you’re signed up through Createspace, this might get you into AMS, but after I explored Createspace, I did not find a way into AMS this way either.

Here’s link to an Amazon brochure on “Drive Sales with Amazon Marketing Services.”

Here is a FAQ link.

For Discussion:

1.) What do you think of the tools AMS makes available to all authors? Which service are you most interested in?

2.) Is anyone a member already? Have you encountered any problems?

3.) What do you think of the exclusivity of having this program only available to Kindle Select, meaning your book will only be sold on Amazon for a time under those rules?

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She is the author of young-adult novels written for Harlequin Teen, the Sweet Justice thriller series for HarperCollins., and the Ryker Townsend FBI psychic profiler series, Mercer's War vigilante novellas, and the upcoming Trinity LeDoux bounty hunter novels set in New Orleans. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs. To keep up with new releases & exclusive giveaways, click HERE

15 thoughts on “Amazon Marketing Services Coming May 1 – Thoughts?

  1. Not sure what I think. I’ve read one other post on this subject, and still, I’m not as impressed as I’d like (not by the posts, by AMS). It seems the best opportunities (like Vine) are priced so high that many of us could never take advantage. On the other post, a Vine reviewer commented. From her response, it sounded as if this service was way overpriced for what you’ll receive. I hope you’ll do a follow-up post if you find a way to take advantage of this.

    • I wouldn’t do Vine Reviews. There are cheaper options. Either way, there’s no guarantee people will want to read your book for review and whatever number of reviews you get may not be worth $1500. At that price point, you’d have to sell a lot if books just to break even.

      For me, the event analytics would be interesting and the ability to discount. These are areas other service providers could replicate maybe. Thanks, Sue.

  2. Having to be in Select is a total deal killer, and I wouldn’t even read further. I refuse to put all my eggs in Amazon’s basket. Even if I didn’t have a decent readership from the other channels, I’d still be wary about setting things up so there’s no longer any competition in the marketplace and Amazon can change its TOS any time it wants to. What they did at ACX practically killed the audio book market for indie authors. Sorry — no deal.

    • I find it interesting that Amazon isn’t more forthcoming on saying it upfront–THIS IS FOR KDP SELECT. Like you, I’m now wary about this. Think I’ll wait to see how things go for others. Thanks, Terry.

  3. Thanks, Jordan, for providing info on this new program. The ‘zon is a very savvy, efficient company, but they have a pattern of roping authors in, then changing the rules partway through the game. Predatory practices and monopolies dominate so much business today. Writers need to be cautious. Appreciate your keeping us up to date!

    • Thanks, Debbie. I’ve noticed lots of talk about this on my indy loop but no one has actually been successful in becoming a member. KDP Select appeared to be losing traction so this might be their way of making it relevant again. We’ll see.

  4. I remember the subsidy publishing all too well, and how they took advantage of newbie authors. This sounds all too greedy on Amazon’s part. I am extremely skeptical of it. I had many friends that were taken in the subsidy scams..I know Amazon is a great company, but this raises a red flag to me.

    • Thanks for your input, Rebecca. I’m hoping other online services cherry pick some of the more desirable AMS services & implement them elsewhere. Yes, I’m wary too.

  5. Hmm. I advertised with Amazon back in 2014, and when I go to the website, I don’t see any of the services you’ve written about. Am I missing something here?

    As for being KDP Select only, I have no quibble with that. I’ve been exclusive with Amazon for years and haven’t regretted it for a moment.

    • This is a brand new program, Rob. I heard about it on an indie loop I belong to. In my post, I included links to see what AMS is about.

      If you’re using KDP Select exclusively, you might find some of their services handy.

  6. I hadn’t heard about this program before. Amazon is such an innovator and dominant force in the entertainment industry, so I’d say that it’s probably wise for authors to stay on top of their latest marketing schemes. I’ll look forward to your update about the AMS Program, Jordan–thanks for this post!

    • They definitely are innovators. I liked the direction of some of these AMS services. Maybe Amazon will eventually broaden the scope of the program beyond KDP SELECT in the future. Or perhaps KDP SELECT is worth consideration if for a limited period of time & AMS off enough marketing juice. Thanks, Kathryn.

  7. Amazon doesn’t like paid reviews… unless you pay for Vine reviews???

    Inconsistent.

    For the ‘poor’ author, as many are, the prices are steep. Does a poor author keep on writing?

    • I wonder who gets the $1500 for the reviews. Yes, very suspect and inconsistent in policy.

      An author friend of mine shared that Amazon pulled all her reviews because she was an author, as if authors can’t be readers too. She shared that others have been told their reviews were pulled because they were “friends” with the author on FB. Whether this is true or not, it would seem Amazon would want to distance themselves from the appearance of impropriety regarding reviews. This would cast doubt on the objectivity of their reviews, similar to Kirkus paid reviews. How would that be any different?

      Poor author keeps writing brilliant books that make him or her happy. More affordable alternative services will arise in time. Keep the faith, baby. Thanks, Sheryl.

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