Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Amazon now accepts advertising! Can you advertise your book there?

For a while now I’ve been hoping that Amazon would let self-publishing authors pay for cost-per-click advertising on the Amazon Kindle Store search result and category list pages. It would be a good deal for both the author and Amazon.

Authors could pay to get greater exposure in exactly the place they needed it. What better place to advertise than in the store that sells your books? The obvious analogy to this is the big cardboard standees that publisher pay to put in Barnes & Noble and other brick and mortar stores. Why do you think James Patterson and others sell so many books? Might have something to do with the huge standees stacked with his books right inside the door of the bookstores. Publishers pay big bucks to B&N for that prime real estate.

Amazon would also benefit from such selling ad space to authors. Authors would be directly paying Amazon $$ to get people to buy more stuff from Amazon! It sounds like a racket, doesn’t it? But it’s actually a good deal.

So, I was quite happy to see ads start appearing on Amazon, and I quickly clicked the link to learn more.

Amazon is supporting two different advertising services: Product Ads and Display Ads.

Unfortunately, product ads are not allowed in the Books category, so that’s no help to authors.

That left Display Ads. Amazon has very little information about Display Ads on their web page. But there is a contact us link, which I immediately sent an inquiry to.

Unfortunately, the response (from Adzinia Display Advertising) provided requirements that clearly disqualifies self-publishing authors from participating in Amazon advertising. The two pertinent points are:

1.    “…due to the volume of inquiries we receive, we are unable to respond to emails from private email accounts (e.g. or, and can only respond to requests from appropriate agency or client business email addresses”

2.    “The minimum campaign spend for Display Advertising with Adzinia is $25,000”!!!


That's about  100 to 1000 times more than I'm able to spend. How about you? Got a spare 25 large laying around to sell your $3 book? You'll only need to sell 12,500 copies to recoup that expense.

So, my hopes were shattered, at least for the time being.


  1. Getting around the email address problem shouldn't be an issue, but 25 grand? For that kind of money, I'd want to see an ad for my thriller pop up on the page with the top 20 thrillers on Amazon!

  2. Whoa! How long does the ad run? My lifetime? :)

  3. if you work with 1000 authors together that might work. (depending how many times the ad is shown)

  4. Good news is, at those rates, even major publishers will only be able to buy an ad package for major books, so most books won't hit those ads. ;)

  5. It is possible to have display ads on Facebook and using Google Adwords at only a fraction of the price.


  6. Hi,
    just landed here and I am really impressed. Your blog was named in a big German News-Site in an article about selling Ebooks on Amazon.
    Unfortunally the Germans don't buy so many Ebooks like you Americans. Argh!
    Most people wanna have a real book. No wondering, if Ebooks cost the same like real books...



  7. Seb,

    Vielen dank! Well, I hope some Germans pick up my books, Dead Dwarves Don't Dance has a German villain (Bernd Buhl) and The Elemental Odyssey has a German hero (Jurgen Schmidt).

  8. This is helpful. The irony is that if I had a spare $25,000 I wouldn't need to advertise my book. Ah well....

  9. Amazing information about ads or Advertise. Thanks for sharing....

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