April 25, 2018

How to Get Started With Kindle Ads

by Ryan

It's possible to get started with Kindle ads on Amazon in only a few minutes without breaking the bank. In this post, I'll share a quick look at ads and recommend a book (I'm a librarian, I can't help it) if you want to go deeper.


Creating Your Kindle Ads in 5 Minutes

In this post, I'll share how to create quick Kindle ads. If you've never created ads before this might seem like a big step, but it's easy to get started. It won't take more than a few minutes, and you can change the ad later. And it doesn't have to cost much money at all. I am assuming that you've published your book directly on the Kindle Direct Platform (KDP) in this post. Let's jump in, and I'll define things along the way.

Pick Your Book

It's probably obvious, but you need to pick which book you want to use for your Kindle ads. Log into your KDP dashboard and find the title you want to use. Use the three-dot menu on the right and click Promote and Advertise.

Kindle Ads Title Menu

Your promotional options depend on whether or not you enrolled your book in Kindle Select. Since we're focusing on advertising, it doesn't matter. You'll pick the Create an ad campaign button in the "Run an Ad Campaign" section.

Kindle Ads Options

Choosing the Type of Kindle Ads

After confirming your login, Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) loads. You can check your ads later by going to and logging in. You're offered two options for your Kindle ads:

  • Sponsored Products. These show in search results and product pages based on keywords selected. This is the type of campaign that covered in this post.
  • Product Display Ads. These ads run on product pages and Kindle eReaders. I'm not covering these in this post.

Since I want to create a sponsored products ad, I'll click that first box.

Kindle Ads Types

Filling in Your Kindle Ads Details

Since I started on a specific title on the KDP dashboard, AMS already selected that title for the ad. You can change it, but it's the one I wanted so I'm good with that. The name is automatically entered based on the title and the date and time. If you run a lot of ads, it'd be good to edit this name. It's also not a bad idea to change it to something that reflects what you are testing. I'm going to use The Murders in the Reed Moore 4/25/18 Auto Target.

Always decide what you are testing. It might be keywords, copy, type of targeting, budget, or other details. You want to test and do more of what works.

The next option to set is the daily budget. The daily budget is the maximum I want to spend—and you only pay for clicks. For this campaign, I'm setting it to the minimum of $1.00. You can increase the budget later if it's working.

For the duration, decide if you want it to run continuously (until you end it), or set an end date. I'll leave this on continuous. Why? I'm running the ad primarily for impressions. The impression means that AMS displayed your ad to someone. It doesn't cost me anything, so it's just showing up. That's great! I want readers who might enjoy my book to see it, and this is one way to do that with no risk. If a reader clicks, it'll cost me .25¢/click (up to my budget). If the reader buys the e-book, it'll be worth it.

Next, targeting type. You've got options to specify keywords or use automatic targeting. AMS will suggest keywords if you do manual keywords and you can add your own. It gives you more control over the targeting. In this case, I want to test automatic targeting and see how it works for this title.

The Cost Per Click (CPC) bid is the maximum I want to pay per click. For this ad, I'll leave it at the default .25¢, but you could try a lower number if you decide to test that—just don't test too many things at once otherwise it's hard to see what impact the changes make.

Finally, customize the text of your ad in 150 characters. 

Library cat C. Auguste Dupin uses his wits to restore order to his daily routine (and help his librarian) following murders at the Reed Moore Library.

At the bottom of the page, you'll see a preview of your Kindle ad.

Kindle Ads Preview

You can save it, or click the Submit campaign for review button if you are happy with the ad. AMS reviews the ad (usually in 24 hours) to make sure it meets the guidelines. After approval, you can return to your dashboard to monitor the progress of your ad, make changes, or end it.

Recommended Kindle Ads Book

As a librarian and a reader, I love it when I find good books. I enjoy recommending books to my friends, so I hope you'll enjoy this one if you want to get a little deeper into Kindle Ads. It is Mark J. Dawson's Learn Amazon Ads: Use AMS to Find More Readers and Sell More Books.

This isn't a lengthy or complicated book. I finished reading it during my vacation. Dawson and Alexander delivered a clear guide that makes AMS it easy for anyone to get started with ads on Amazon.

The big realization for me when I read this book was the idea behind impressions. Basically, by taking a few minutes to fill out the form, I can put my book in front of readers who might enjoy my book—and it doesn't cost me anything! That's incredible.

When I started my indie author journey years ago, I didn't even attempt to "market" my books. I think it was a combination of attitude, not knowing what to do, and some fear that my books weren't "good enough." It was one of the bigger mistakes I made.

I'm comfortable recommending books when I wear my librarian hat. I had to realize that making my books more visible to readers who might enjoy them isn't a bad thing. Ideally, we both end up making a connection and are happy. 

Get More Information

If you've enjoyed this post and would like more like this, sign up for the newsletter. It's easy, no spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Or let me know in the comments what you thought, what questions you have, or share your experiences with Kindle ads. I'd love to hear from you.

Help Ryan write full time by supporting him on Patreon!


Ryan M. Williams lives a double life as a full-time career librarian and a multi-genre writer with over twenty books. He writes across a range of genres including science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, mystery, horror, and romance. He earned a Master of Arts degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose University. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies from Pocket Books, WMG Publishing, and in On Spec Magazine.

Ryan M. Williams

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