Amazon KDP PPC Advertising Is Quite Awful, Yet Very Useful

KDP Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Amazon KDP Pay Per Click Advertising should be a lot better for the money you pay

If you are enrolled in Amazon KDP Select, you will have access to Amazon’s Ad Campaigns.

This allows authors and publishers to advertise their individual books on related popular and best-selling Amazon book pages. This indeed is a great opportunity.

Yet, after using Amazon KDP PPC Advertising for three months now, all I can say is that Amazon KDP PPC Advertising is, in order, awful, archaic, slow, horrid, dreadful, frustrating, confusing and altogether, a very unpleasant experience.

It is exactly what PPC advertising should not be. With the exception that it is Amazon, and about placing ads on Amazon, even after having said that it is entirely and absolutely horrid, it is still also very worthwhile.


So first, what are the problems with Amazon Pay Per Click advertising?

1. Up to 72 hours to have a new ad approved? What? For an existing book on Amazon? Duh. Dumb. Idiotic!

2. Up to 72 hours to get click and sales data. What again? You could have spent $1,000 and you have no idea if it was worth it? Duh. Dumb. Idiotic!

3. Just because you have a book published on Amazon, it does NOT mean you can advertise your book. Bad luck for erotic writers because your books are immediately banned.

But also, if you read the fine print, if you have a book cover showing a gun, blood or anything else deemed as unsavoury by Amazon advertising, you are out too.

This is because Amazon PPC Advertising is under the control of Amazon advertising and not Amazon Kindle. Don’t even bother if your cover shows someone smoking. Heaven forbid! Um, it’s fiction! Duh. Dumb. Idiotic!

4. The PPC dashboard reminds me of working on a Commodore 64, except that the Commodore 64 was much more fun. I really had thought that Amazon was a cool company, but the Ad Campaign dashboard is an archaeological disaster.

Um, it’s 2015, isn’t it? Duh. Dumb. Idiotic!

5. Interest-based ads earn no clicks at all. However, targeted ads DO! They are a pain to set up, because it necessities finding a bunch of books similar to yours, but what the hell, we’ve all got hours to waste, haven’t we? Duh. Dumb. Idiotic!

6. Facebook PPC ads are approved and up and running in mere minutes. Competition? Well, no. Because they do not place your book ad on Amazon book pages. This is now NOT duh, dumb or idiotic!

This is where ugly, awful, archaic, slow, horrid, dreadful, frustrating and confusing turns into something very useful and profitable.


Amazon KDP Pay Per Click Advertising does one thing well.

For all it’s failings and incomprehensible slowness, Amazon Ads do one thing very well. They deliver your book ad onto popular Amazon book pages, and you can expect to sell some books. What more do you want?

From my experience, for my book covers that don’t have guns, blood, smoking, demi-semi-naked women or anything that could possibly offend a four-year-old, they sell books well and return above my investment with Amazon PPC ads.

It’s just a pity about the rest of my books, which have quite normal book covers for fiction novels but are deemed as unsavoury by Amazon Ads. Duh. Dumb. Idiotic!


It could be a lot better.

Ok, there are some hurdles to scale, but in the end, Amazon KDP ads, for all their failings are a good investment. So long as you are very, very, very, and, I mean very patient.

And also, if you don’t have a book cover that could have the potential to offend the sensitivity of the trainee nuns at Amazon Ads.

Yes, oh dear I’m banned because my cover has a gun on it because it is a murder mystery! Amazon KDP Ads. Duh. Dumb. Idiotic! Sure, but very worthwhile.


More reading: Are Your Amazon Books Merged On Your Book Sales Page?

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

Avatar for Derek Haines

9 thoughts on “Amazon KDP PPC Advertising Is Quite Awful, Yet Very Useful

  • Avatar for gareth
    December 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Why not just run ads using PPV networks & side stem Amazon while using Amazon target URL’s

    • Avatar for S.A.H.A
      December 12, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      I don’t honestly know what PPV networks & side stem Amazon. I followed the Advertisement steps on my personal KDP page. I have not gotten any attention from the readers with that.

  • Avatar for S.A.H.A
    November 25, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    It has been 2 weeks since I posted my Manga. It took 3 days for the ads to get approved. I literally had to get rid of my logo just because of their dumb rules, even though the book is declared for mature audience. It’s been over a week now and no one, I can’t even stress this enough no one seems to have clicked or found my book. I thought this process would have been a bit easier, and a lot less stressful.

  • Avatar for Suzie
    October 2, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Does KDP take the payment for ads out of your royalties or does it bill your credit card separately?

  • Avatar for KL Forslund (@KLForslund)
    September 14, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    For comparison, what to do the major publishers see with their ads for their books? I don’t know if anybody knows an inside man, or has at least noticed the ads for non-KDP books.

  • Avatar for Derek Haines
    December 7, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I can well understand that you received an illogical response, Samantha. I had exactly the same experience, twice! Amazon PCC really seem to have a policy of making life difficult for fiction authors.

  • Avatar for Samantha Beardon
    December 7, 2015 at 9:08 am

    I started an ad campaign and had it “paused” euphemism for stopped. Was sent an email that listed four reasons why ads cannot run…therefore fudging the specific reason.I presume it is because it has adult content. But the ad was approved so I was a little confused. Askinget why got me no rational answer..


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