What is Amazon Doing Now? Can it Work for You?

Jordan Dane
@JordanDane

I received a notice recently from Amazon regarding its implementation of “Amazon Stores,” a way to promote a brand or company products. I’m not sure how open and available this is for anyone with a brand or a store concept. Are many authors using this?

I have a corporation, Cosas Finas LLC, that I have developed into Cosas Finas Publications to promote my brand and I have a website that I’m still developing for this entity. (My navigation needs improvement and I’m tweaking it after my deadline, so be kind.)

Awhile back I set up an Amazon PAGE for my company/brand using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to link ad campaigns to. I created a landing page for my ads to show more of my books and group them by series or featured new releases.

I’m a user of Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) and have various ad campaigns established for my books as they release or I develop a concept to promote a series, for example. Through AMS I had created a Cosas Finas Publications company PAGE, which is different than their new STORE idea. Amazon Stores are slicker and more attractive in appearance.

Brand pages are going away or the links to these pages will start to be phased out by Oct 31 and completely gone by Dec. It’s only cost me the money for “click-thru” ads and I set my budget and can monitor the expense vs sales revenues. I’ve been satisfied with the benefits outweighing the cost on AMS and I monitor my profitability and tweak ad campaigns to make them more effective.

Amazon Stores are free to vendors. I just set up an ad campaign that links directly to my new store. It was very easy. I chose a HEADLINE search for keywords as my campaign structure (recommended by Amazon and others I’ve researched) and I can query Amazon’s own system for high traffic keywords used by customers. I set up a daily max budget with a click-thru cost for an ongoing campaign without an end. It’ll be up to me to periodically evaluate the effectiveness and I can terminate any campaign at any time. From what I understand, these vendor stores will be required to have at least one ad campaign linked to them to keep them active. This will probably go into effect after Dec, 2017.

I really liked the ad design I submitted yesterday for Amazon approval. Instead of me creating an intriguing tag line for each book, I was able to use my brand slogan, which is “Take a front Row Seat to Suspense” and direct readers to my store. My ad dollars will go farther if I can consolidate my ads for my brand. We’ll see how this turns out. It’s still very new and I need a final approval on my ad campaign before I can see what traffic and sales it generates, but the metrics are there to analyze, with revenues vs ad cost.

To check out more details, visit AMS for vendors (first party sellers are vendors) or Seller Central (for 3rd party sellers that sell other’s products) for sellers.

How many of you advertise through AMS? What’s been your experience?

My STORE is approved as of yesterday. I hope this link works – Cosas Finas Publications The pre-set design templates are not flexible enough for me. It would be nice to have them in modules where you could mix and match, but I can play with the templates to see what works best for books.

Key Features of Amazon Stores:

1.) Design templates allow you to feature different books in a way that your Amazon Author Page isn’t set up to do. You can add video/book trailers, post promo text, praise blurbs/awards, or feature upcoming releases.

2.) Flexible ability to feature different products at your command. You are the keeper of your store and what is in it. If you have other products that are associated with your brand or writing, like T-shirts or coffee mugs for writers, you can feature those along with your books.

3.) There are social sharing buttons tagged to your store and you can set up HEADLINE search ads or drive readers to your store through your ad campaigns and increase your store traffic. Amazon allows a vendor to search existing keywords already proven to have high traffic on their system.

4.) You can take your Amazon Store link and use it in other promotions off the Amazon website. I can see this working for KDP Select products that are exclusive to Amazon for a time.

5.) Developing an ad campaign for my whole brand of books allows me to make the most of my budget for advertising. Rather than creating an ad for a new release, I can create one for my brand and update the book offerings as I have releases.

For those of you focused on your writing and not at the point of targeting the “not so fun” part of the business end, it’s still important for you to see what authors are doing to promote their work. I talk to many aspiring authors whose eyes glaze over when you share the very necessary business side. They want to believe a publisher will “take care of them” and sell their books, easy/peezy, but that’s not how it works.

I wanted TKZers to see how this might work for you, if you’re not aware of AMS and the Amazon STORE concept, but if you are using it, what are your thoughts? Where do you see this going for Amazon? Is this concept directed at larger companies with multiple products, like a running shoe company for example, or can this work for authors on a budget?

5+

16 thoughts on “What is Amazon Doing Now? Can it Work for You?

  1. The Amazon marketing scared me with its complexity–I only took a cursory look and that was enough. Kudos for seeing it through. I’m giving the BookBub ads (not the expensive featured deals) a try for the first time and will see how that plays out.

    • I haven’t tried BookBub but I looked into it. It seemed very costly with a lot of requirements. I’m referring to the “featured” version. Good luck though. Many authors try for it & it has its rewards.

      The hardest thing about AMS is getting into it but I stuck with it. It’s simple after you become a vendor.
      .

      • The featured version is an entirely different game. It’s actually very simply to apply for, but they only accept about 15-20% of submissions. Costly – can be depending on genre, but the one time I was approved, I made more than I’d paid by a considerable amount.

  2. I went to your link (which yes, works) – really like the set-up; I can see this working well to organize all your publications into one link. Thanks for sharing the information. Not at that stage yet but always interested in learning new ways to publicize work.

    • I set up my corp as a store. It helped me qualify as a vendor but authors are vendors. I wonder if Amazon now makes it easier for authors to do this. It’s why I brought it up here. Thanks, Maggie

  3. This post is so timely for me. With numerous books published, marketing becomes much harder. Do you focus on new releases, or include all titles? That question haunts me, especially with four releases this year. That said, marketing each and every book separately is time-consuming and expensive. Recently, I ran a BB ad (not feature deal), and it sold great in Canada, not so great in the US, which I found strange. I still can’t figure out why. Perhaps AMS is the answer. It certainly sounds promising. I’ll be eager to find out how it works for you, Jordan.

    • All my releases this year made me re-evaluate my ads. I can limit any separate promo for one release if I have a store for my overall brand. Promo is simplified & with analytics, I can see profitability at a glance.

      It’s worth checking out, if you can qualify as a vendor (which I can’t see any reason Amazon would reject).

      Develop a brand slogan, Sue, and give it a shot.

  4. Are you using the Cosas Finas “store” as you author website now or are you linking to it from your website? (I would think you would link to it – that way you can still have links to other/from other retail sites.)

    When I just search for your name in Amazon – it brings up your books. It didn’t even bring up your “author” page today. So, someone would have to search for Cosas Finas to find this storefront? (This didn’t work either – it brought up your books, but other stuff as well, no storefront.) It is looking like the only way to the storefront is via a direct link…???

    I do like the Amazon storefront. Even if you only link to it as your list of “books” from your website I think it makes a nice, useful way to keep, maintain, and display your books for sale in a very professional manner. I also think it’s smart the way you mention that you can consolidate and organize your offerings to use your marketing money more efficiently. The only downside is – it kind of makes Amazon your default book site (which might not be bad as probably 75-80% of your sales come from Amazon purchases).

    Thanks for showing and testing this out… it’s hard to hear about and know half of anything – without help.

    Looking forward to seeing your new site as well.

    • I just noticed you had some audio offerings of your books. I didn’t know you had any. I don’t remember seeing those in your storefront – (I was perusing kinda quick though). I would want those connected to my books and in my store – there are some that only get the audio versions.

    • Amazon doesn’t like promo links that takes traffic off their site. Amazon expects me as a vendor to promote the link to my store from other social media options but mainly thru their ad campaigns. This IS an Amazon exclusive since this store gets ongoing traffic from the AMS ad campaign I have just set up.

      I’m experimenting with how to use this store beyond my Amazon Marketing Services ad campaigns but having a central store to link to on those ads allows my campaign to be more cost effective. I can promote more books thru one campaign. The ad campaign link is the main reason to do this. I can see my click throughs & analyze the cost vs revenue.

      I just updated the header on my store to show my name & the look of my new website (coming next week).

      This isn’t my only promo but since many of my latest books are Amazon Kindle Worlds or KDP Select, it helps to optimize my Amazon traffic. Amazon is my largest retailer earnings.

      Almost all of my books have audio formats. Since this store has limited blocks/templates to feature my books, I had to select ebooks since they’re my largest revenue generator. My author page is still on Amazon. That’s where all my formats are listed. But again, the real benefit to do this is linking an ad campaign to the store.

      Thanks for all the good questions, Penny.

      • Cool. It will be interesting to see how things work out and through. I get the feeling you’ll get more TKZ articles out of this venture. 😀

  5. Thanks for this info, Jordan! I hope to be in aa position in the not too distant future to take advantage of AMS. I look forwa d to hearing more about how it is working for you .

Comments are closed.