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The Amazon Book Blueprint (Mini Course Lesson 3)

Welcome back to the Amazon Book Publishing Blueprint. You’re at lesson three, which means we’re right at the end. To be honest, this one’s my favorite lesson. I’ve been saving the best for last.

So a lot of you have been watching these lessons and thinking, “yeah, this all sounds great, but I don’t have an audience. I don’t have an email list. I don’t have readers. If I put a book up on Amazon, it’s going to reach nobody.” That’s potentially correct.

But we have a solution for you today, and obviously we’ve got my friend Todd here with us.

Todd runs a successful Amazon ad agency for people with books. In this lesson, he’ll teach us how to plan an advertising strategy that works on Amazon, for cheap. This is what I call the the unconventional moneymaker. Amazon Ads are one of the most underrated secrets in the book writing world.

Amazon has millions of readers, which means tons of untapped potential for you as a writer.

I strongly recommend you watch the whole video, but here are the highlights.

 

Books don’t sell themselves

Maybe 10 years ago when Amazon publishing was still new, your book would sell easily. But now when you have millions of books published every year, when you have 16,000 categories, when you have all of these different markets on Amazon, there’s a lot of competition

So just putting your book up there, isn’t quite enough.

 

Organic sales do not exist

Todd and I create a lot of content. We’re on LinkedIn, or Medium, or Twitter pretty much constantly. Sometimes that work sells books. But even though that’s the case, Todd likes to pretend this kind of sell will NEVER HAPPEN. He doesn’t live in a world where he just wakes up and someone’s bought his book without anything driving that sale.

(You and I don’t live in that world either.)

So how can we build a sales strategy to sell more books over time? Todd says most writers have two options:

 

Option 1 – Write, Hope, and Pray

Sadly, this is what most writers do. We want to believe that our work is so good that it will magically conquer the world. In rare cases, that might be true. I don’t like rare cases. I never seem to be one of those lucky leprechauns.

 

Option 2 – Run profitable Ads

Ads sell your book while you sleep. When you do ads right, you can throw in money, get that money back, get more money, and have sold a lot of books in the process. Not only are you making some money to run your ads, you’re also getting your message out into the world.

It’s a very realistic possibly that you can trade $5 or $10 to make $50 to $100 in book sales.

And it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can start running ads with the numbers Todd gives you in only 5 minutes or less.

 

Amazon Ads only charge for clicks, not impressions

This comes in later in the video, but it’s so huge I have to highlight it up front.

Amazon only charges you money IF someone clicks on your book.

Here’s what Todd said:

“Do you see what I mean when I say it’s almost impossible to lose money with this???

Facebook blows your money out the window. Google really good at spending your money. Amazon is thrifty, just like authors are.

Think about the exposure. Todd’s book cover has received over 1,000,000 impressions this month. Talk about and efficient way for people to discover you. Good grief.

 

How to log in to the Amazon Advertising Dashboard

Start watching at 8:23

 

Step 1: Head to this website (https://advertising.amazon.com/)

Step 2: Click “Register” in the top right corner

Step 3: Select your country (Start with the US, even if you don’t live there)

Step 4: Click “I have a Kindle Direct Publishing account”*

Step 5: Log in to the Dashboard

 

*If you don’t have a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account, you will be prompted to set one up. Or, you can had to this website and set one up first

 

How to start your very first advertisement

Start watching at 14:22

 

Step 1: Once you are in the dashboard, click on “create campaign.”

Step 2: Choose the “Sponsored Products” campaign type (The other two will burn your money faster than you can say “wait, what?”)

Step 3: Set the campaign name. Todd suggested using “[Your Book Name] Sponsored Keyword – [Month and Year](Number of Ad)”

Step 4: Set the daily budget to $5

Step 5: Set the end date for your advertisement to 1 month from the current day

Step 6: For Targeting, select “Manual targeting”

Step 7: For bidding strategy, select: “Dynamic bids, down only.”

Step 8: For ad format, select: “Custom text ad”

Step 9: Choose your book

Step 10: For targeting, choose “Keyword targeting”

 

Never use the suggested budget

Start watching at 26:20

 

I had to yell at you there, even though we’re not done setting up this first ad. Suggested budgets are a great way to throw away all your money. Todd uses a different strategy to play smart with his money.

These next steps take place in the “Keyword targeting” box

Step 11: Change the dropdown menu from “Suggested bid” to “default bid”

Step 12: Type in “0.30” into the default bid box

Step 13: Click “Add All” on the list of suggested keywords.

Step 14: Write a good two-sentence blurb for your advertising copy (Todd actually touches on this at 21:26)

Step 15: Click “Launch Campaign”

 

You’ve done it!

Easy-peasy, right?

Again, I highly recommend watching the video because Todd is a fountain of knowledge around this stuff. He nerds out constantly throughout the video to give context on why he’s doing what he does.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini course.

Like I said last week. Books are an underrated way for the modern online writer to both get discovered while making money at the same time.

With what we’ve taught you this week, you’ll go pretty far. But if you’re really serious about writing books and increasing your income, be sure to enroll in our full-length course, The Amazon Book Publishing Shortcut.

In addition to having easy lifetime access to this mini course, you’ll also learn about:

  • Going from blogs to books as quickly as possible to ramp up your revenue
  • Learning Amazon’s like a pro to save you headaches when putting your book for sale.
  • Creating a dynamite cover that grabs reader eyeballs on any budget
  • Stacking your digital book with a physical book to earn more money

We’ve also got a few plug-and-play templates Todd convinced me to include, such as:

  • Pre-formatted documents for Amazon’s print and Kindle specifications (no work for you)
  • The exact “Amazon Audit Dashboard” Todd uses to help his client’s books dominate on the platform.

And, as usual, we’ve got a community built into the course. Our communities get better every time. Honestly, it takes on a life of its own. We’ve building life-long friendships in there. The community gives you a group that will help you when you struggle, pick you up when you fall, and cheer you on when you’re winning.

The course and community are currently closed, but you can learn more here.

-Tim