Advertising Your Books Online: Tips for Australian Authors

Learn how to run ads for books and grow your audience..
25th Oct, 2023

The benefits of online advertising for authors

You’ve put in the hard work of creating your book. Now it’s time to reach your readers!

Advertising online can help you connect with your audience where they shop and read. It can be a great way to increase the visibility of your books, help attract sales and grow a loyal fanbase. And advertising your books here on Amazon can be easier than you might expect.

First things first

When you’re selling books online, there are a couple of steps you can take to help maximise the appeal and reach of your books on Amazon.

Consider Kindle Direct Publishing

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is Amazon’s self-publishing service. If you haven’t already added the digital version of your book to KDP, check out more of the benefits for Australian authors.

Learn more about Kindle Direct Publishing

Claim your page in Author Central

By claiming your author page in Author Central, you can take control of your official author profile shown across Amazon, Audible and Kindle. Customers will be able to Follow your profile and get updates as you add new releases.

Claim your Author Page

Types of advertising for books

Now let’s look at how to run ads for Australian authors.

1. Amazon advertising

There are a few different ways to advertise on Amazon and drive discovery of your books.

Sponsored Products

Sponsored Product ads can be a great way to advertise a single book title. These individual product listings are cost-per-click (CPC), so you only pay when shoppers click on your ad. Simply choose how much you want to bid per click and set your budget, and the listing will show in shopping results and on detail pages based on keyword searches. When clicked, the ad sends shoppers to your book's detail page.

Learn about Sponsored Products

Sponsored Brands

A Sponsored Brand listing can be a powerful way to advertise a collection of books and drive awareness of your brand as an author. You can choose a custom headline and showcase three titles, and the cost-per-click listing will show in prominent locations on search result pages based on keyword searches. When clicked, the ad sends shoppers to an immersive custom landing page or your Amazon Store.

Learn about Sponsored Brands
Good to know:
To advertise with Sponsored Brands, you’ll need to have your brand enrolled with Amazon’s Brand Registry.

Sponsored Display

Sponsored Display ads let you engage and re-engage shoppers across their Amazon journey, on Twitch, and across third-party apps and websites. Sponsored Display ads are purchased on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-1,000 viewable impression basis (vCPM). When clicked, the ad directs shoppers to your landing page.

Learn about Sponsored Display ads

2. The Amazon Associates Program

Amazon Associates lets you work with influential content creators to promote your books. You could consider reaching out to popular book reviewers or bloggers who are passionate about your book genre. If their link leads to a purchase of your book, the content creator earns a commission.

You can even register as an affiliate for your own books, so you can earn commissions through your own social media channels.

Targeting your book ads

Targeting can help you to get the best return on investment when it comes to advertising your titles. As you learn how to run Amazon ads for books, think about the different ways of finding your audience.

Automatic targeting

Automatic targeting is a great option when you’re just starting to advertise on Amazon. Simply set your ad campaign to automatic targeting, and Amazon will optimise placements for you based on relevant queries and products. Over time, data from automatic targeting can help you gain insights for your keyword strategy.

Manual targeting

When you choose manual targeting you can bid to target specific keywords and products.
Depending on your keyword research you could target certain categories, books, brands, features, similar authors or genres.

Broad vs phrase vs exact targeting

Selecting for Broad matches will give you the broadest traffic exposure.
Selecting for Phrase matches will target the exact phrase or close variations.
Selecting for Exact matches will target for the exact phrase only.

Negative targeting

Negative targeting allows you to exclude certain keywords, books or brands that aren’t relevant for your targeting. If you don’t know where to start with ad targeting, don’t worry – you’ll see automatic recommendations in your advertising console. Factor in 24-38 hours for moderation before ads go live, and give your campaigns enough time to run and accumulate useful data.

Measuring the success of your book ads

Your advertising metrics can give you clarity as you grow your business and sales. Here are some of the useful metrics you might see in your Amazon Ads console.

Impressions and click-through rate (CTR)

Your impressions show how many times your ad appeared, while the click-through rate shows the number of clicks the ad received as a percentage of impressions. These figures can indicate how effective your ad creative and bid strategy are

Advertising Cost of Sales (ACOS)

Advertising cost of sales metrics are a feature for Sponsored Product ads. ACOS can help you to understand the amount you’ve spent on your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign as a proportion of the amount earned.

ACOS = (ad spend ÷ ad revenue) x 100

New-to-brand metrics

New-to-brand metrics are a feature for Sponsored Brands ads. These metrics help you to understand whether buyers are existing customers, or if they're purchasing from your brand for the first time in the past 12 months.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Return on ad spend helps you to assess the amount of revenue earned for every dollar spent on advertising. The higher your ROAS, the better your advertising return on investment.

ROAS = ad revenue ÷ ad spend


Of course, sales indicate how many people are buying your books. While it’s tempting to rely on sales metrics alone, it’s important to consider other metrics as they can tell you different things about your ad spend.

For example, your new-to-brand metrics will indicate how effective your campaigns are at attracting new customers; your ROAS tells you how much you earn from an ad campaign; and your ACOS can tell you the percentage of increase.

Best practices when advertising books

Optimise your book detail pages

Spend some time finessing your product description, , and make the most of A+ content for ebooks published with Kindle.

Anticipate holidays and events

Plan ahead with ad campaigns ahead of relevant holidays and events, as readers could have time to enjoy new books and share books as gifts.

Add all formats of your book

You can increase your visibility and sales by giving customers a choice of reading formats between ebook, paperback, hardback and audiobook.

Meet the guidelines

Make sure your ad and book content meets the Book Advertising Guidelines and Acceptance Policies, for smooth sales and advertising

And remember: you can run ad campaigns simultaneously

Different ad types can work well together to capture the customer’s attention at different points of their shopping experience.

How to get started

You can set up Amazon ads for your books from your Kindle Direct Publishing account, or through Author Central.

Sign into Kindle Direct Publishing
Sign into Author Central

And if you’re brand new to selling physical books on Amazon, our Beginner’s Guide can be a useful place to start.

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