Those are my AMS results for August 2021. So when I talk about ‘results’ and doing well, this is what I’m talking about.

August was a MUCH better month than normal. I tested out a few new things with upping bids and lettings some auto bids I normally would cut off run.

SA: Relentless is in there, and it’s burning up the charts. Amazon wants me to spend up to $90 a day on it – I’m refusing to do so. It’s not returning enough (on an individual ad group basis) that it would make sense.

I also am unlike many in how I do this (and unlike many others I speak to). Things to note about what I do:

– I place defensive bids against my own or my series names (Tao Wong / System Apocalypse / A Thousand Li/ etc.). A large chunk of those results are because of these bids. Could I be paying for sales that I would have gotten anyway? Sure. Is it all 100% of those bids? No.

Don’t forget, if I’m there; others aren’t. And that means they can’t steal my customers. Assuming a rational bidder on the other end, the only time they’ll bid on my name would be to win the bid and thus ‘steal’ that reader.

I want that reader. I have a LOT of books.

– I bid with all my eBooks included in my AMS ads. While the majority of actual sales and impressions end up on book 1 anyway, book 2-11 or whatever it is still show up and they do cost me money (and generate sales!)

Doing an all in series bid this way means my tracking is better, but it does mean that someone who clicks on a book 4 work and doesn’t buy because they were expecting a book 1 is wasted dollars. 

That’s fine. I’d rather take the slight loss there for better tracking.

Not everyone agrees.

– I have a free book 1 series (Adventures on Brad) which has a particularly warped set of stats (448% ACOS!) but if I turn it off, my sales plummet on that series.

AMS doesn’t track everything and it doesn’t track it particularly well. While it isn’t always true (I’ve tested with some of my other shorter series); in this case, it’s well worth me pushing my AoB series even at a technical ‘loss’.

– I also run like 3 different category ads, all of which are -ve returns but are done on purpose for branding I figure grabbing new readers who are looking for generic fantasy, who are looking for generic space opera or post-apoc books and who read my work is well worth it. 

This is more growing the pie and planting seeds kind of spend that other people might not be able to afford. I can, so I do it and hope that it helps in the long-term. But I’m all about pushing people into the sales funnel, even at the highest level.

Btw, as far as I can tell and I’ve tested on my other short series; you will lose money on category ads. Don’t bother unless you have multiple books to generate read through returns and even then, tread carefully.

Hopefully some of that is useful for people.

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