Miss Priss Mondays (and an AMS Ads for Authors Note)

It’s been one of those days. While dealing with something that required the use of copious amounts of  bleach, I dropped my phone in said bleach, so then had to run it under water to get the bleach off before it did any damage. Now my phone is soaking in rice while it hopefully dries out so it can start working again.

If it does die it’s not the end of the world. I have an iPhone so small that people comment on it, that’s how old it is. But I really didn’t need to buy a new phone right now, so fingers-crossed water and rice save it from the bleach.

In the meantime, have a puppy who really didn’t want to leave the dog park. This was at Glencarlyn in DC where they had a great river for the dogs to swim in.

Sad Faced Pup

And, two quick announcements. AMS Ads for Authors is now available on pretty much every retailer except Google. (If someone really wants me to put it on Google I can, I just don’t seem to sell non-fiction on there and don’t particularly like their preview options, especially when it comes to non-fiction.)

Also, the Rider’s series is rolling out of KU this week. If anyone was in the midst of reading those books through KU, be sure to borrow them before September 8th. You don’t have to read them before then, just borrow them. So, fair warning.

AMS and The Mystery of the Also-Boughts

One of the things I do with my own AMS ads, and that I recommend others do, is list the authors in their also-boughts as keywords.  Makes sense, right? Enough people who bought your book also bought books by this other author so it seems like a good place to target your advertising.

Except…

AMS ads don’t work on a pure bid-based process.  You can’t just bid the most and be placed on a book’s page. There’s some Amazon algorithm at work that decides how relevant your keywords are for that particular author, book, or search. And if Amazon decides you aren’t relevant, almost no amount of money will get your ad on that page.

You’d think that Amazon would see that an author in your also-boughts is a good match for your advertisement. But in my experience it’s just not the case.

I spent most of today consolidating impressions, clicks, spend, and sales on my Rider’s books across about 18 different ads I’ve run over the last 18 months. When it was all combined I had 5.7 million impressions and 1,567 keywords. (80 with a paid sale, 447 with at least one click, for those who were interested.)

Right now, for the top author in my also-boughts I’ve only managed to rack up 3,124 impressions using their name.

For the next author I only have 5,479 impressions.

Compare that to 370,000 impressions for my most popular author name.

So what gives? Why can’t I get more impressions on those authors who are in my also-boughts?

Is it because they aren’t popular enough so there just aren’t that many impressions to be had?  Well, no. After Rachel E. Carter’s books dominated my also-boughts in January I tried my darnedest to use her as a keyword but had almost no results. And she was in the top 50 paid in the store at the time.

Maybe those authors are just really expensive to use as keywords and I’m not bidding high enough? That could be some of it. Many of them are in the top 100 authors for the genre, and one of those authors did cost me about 75 cents when I managed to get a click using their name.

The other thing I always wonder is, how did these authors end up in my also-boughts int the first place?

Granted, about 20% of my impressions and clicks are from generic genre-driven keywords.  So that could explain that…

I kind of like that you don’t know exactly what’s happening with AMS. It makes them a fun challenge. (Although the last few days they seem to be a fun challenge that has stopped working well…Last time that happened was in April and it hurt. A lot.)

Anyway. Back to drafting a whole new set of keywords because the Rider’s books are rolling out of KU in a week and I don’t want to target lower-priced or KU-dominant titles when I won’t be in KU and will be selling at $6.99. Good times.