I've been using some Kindle advertising recently to see if I could generate some sales.
There are different ways you can use Kindle ads, though they all use targeting on Amazon.
One way is to target groups. For instance, I've been using "Flypaper Boy: Coming of Age" for my ads. Here's my blurb:
He always wanted to fit in but never had the skills. Now he has the moves, confidence, and the opportunity to choose. Will he be a superhero or a villain?
You're limited for the number of characters, so you have to spend a lot of time refining your blurb to say exactly what you want, very concisely.
Then you choose your target. You can target interests or products. Interests are like, Reading: Fiction: Young Adult. There are not a ton of them to choose from, so it's really hard for me to create a target group that is successful.
The other way is to choose products like books by Bryan Cohen or Brandon Sanderson, or any other author or series that is similar in some way--that an audience for that product would be interested in your book, read the blurb and buy.
On the page of that target group or product, a little picture of my book shows up as a suggested purchase, with the little blurb next to it.
The final step to reach people is that you must name your price, the amount you are willing to pay to have your ad 'clicked'. Others may be out there bidding higher than you and will have their ad placed before you, but I've found for $.60 I get a lot of 'impressions' (the ad being placed on a page.)
Here are the results of three ads I placed for Flypaper Boy.
The first was based on groups, such as that mentioned above. I got:
54 clicks at an average of $.49 per click and a total for $26.66 spent
0 sales when I stopped the advertisement.
I saw that was going nowhere, so I stopped it and changed my approach. I picked three different authors and targeted about fifty books.
I only got 35K impression and 11 clicks over four days for a cost of $5.95, but I had 3 sales for $6.20 in profit. Kindle shut down my ad because they said, "It lacked relevance." I realize I wasn't getting hundreds of thousands of view and clicks, but I actually turned a profit.
I beefed up the same ad but added a about 700 more specific books to target. That got me really relevant. I got 233K impressions, 101 clicks and spent $52 to get $16 in sales. (That's about $10 in revenue for a loss of $42.)
What is my take away from these three trials?
The ad that is relevant to Kindle Direct Publishing is one that makes them money fast.