Customize the Headlines of Your Cost-Per-Click KDP Ads

Sometime back in January, Kindle Direct Publishing launched its new pay-per-click advertising campaign through Amazon Marketing Services. The service is only available for any KDP select titles, meaning, they must be exclusive through Amazon. I decided to try out campaigns for both of my e-books that were already in KDP select and KDP Unlimited.

Some said that this would put indie books in the big leagues, while I think it’s more like the minor leagues. Why? Because the ads are so small, not much bigger than one square inch and with very little information: The title, the number of ratings and the star rating, the price and a very small thumbnail of the cover. The ads are often times placed low on the page while professional ads, purchased with some big ad dollars, are strategically placed for maximum clicks.

I’m not the first to say this that this form of advertising is really hit and miss, and for me, after running four campaigns for nearly a month, I saw only a marginal bump in sales. I have included a chart for you to see. From the four campaigns, the highest click-through-rate was an abysmal 0.273%. That’s like a quarter of a percent. Pretty bad, huh? It wasn’t any great disappointment and worth the few dollars I spent just to see what would happen.

Screen Grab_KDP_Ad_Campaign


That was until yesterday, when KDP announced that you can now create a custom headline for your ad. This, my friends, is a REAL game changer by adding a custom title that makes the ad pop, using targeted words that you create.

I started a new campaign with the headline. Here’s how I did it. Select the book from one of your KDP titles:


Target your ad by product or genre. I chose genre with targets: Teen and Young Adults and Romance.
Next, select a campaign name, cost-per-click, the budget and start and end date.


Finally, write your headline (choose wisely because you won’t be able to change it once you’ve submitted it for review) and preview your ad. The one glitch that I encountered is that no matter what format of ad you choose, it will always default back to 270 x 150 pixels. Then submit your campaign for review. This might take about a day.



Two days later, I can view my new campaign with surprising results. With 800 impressions, 5 clicks and 7 detailed page views, I have a click-through-rate of 0.611% which is more than double my best campaign. And that’s just in two days!



I can’t tell if that will mean more sales or sales dollars in my pocket, but it is certainly encouraging.
Once the campaign is over in a months time, I will show you the final results to see if truly, this is worth it in the end.

Love and Cola Wars – Free Download!

Love-and-Cola-Wars (194x300)Get a free copy of my e-book, Love and Cola Wars for 5 DAYS ONLY! This giveaway is a promotion through Amazon and available on all of my channels.

Here are what readers had to say:

…an intriguing little story that at first aroused my strong suspicions but turned out to be more than I expected. Or, at the least, I saw more in it than I expected to. Light, fun and entertaining with a thread of a lesson if you seek it out. ***** Rob Slaven, Top 50 Amazon Reviewer

I, personally, had trouble putting this book down because I was just captivated by the storyline. The concept of the story itself is really quite interesting because I could, honestly, see it happening, since there’s already a battle between which is better: Coke or Pepsi products.
Chelsea’s Reading Adventures

I absolutely loved your book and was very sad when I finished it. I absolutely loved the plot and the characters…Coco and Vincente were both very lovable characters and I really liked that the book was written in both perspectives. Mimi, Goodreads Reader

Here are the Amazon download links:

Happy Reading,



Self-Published Titles Hitting the Virtual Stacks

Library10 (800x600)Another reason not to be exclusive! There’s no doubt that indies and self-published authors have made headways in recent years, and are finally getting their due. While I’m late to this – I would probably be late to my own funeral – libraries and educational institutions are getting their hands on self-published and indie titles including e-books and audio books.

Why is it important to have your book in libraries? It’s a mode of discovery. According to a phone survey of 2,986 Americans ages 16 and older conducted in 2011, and subsequent surveys conducted in 2012, of Americans that read e-books, 12% borrowed an e-book in the last year. Among those who read e-books, 41% of those who borrow e-books from libraries purchased their most recent e-book. (SOURCE: Pew Internet )

I discovered the most recent platform by chance, when Mark Leslie Lefebvre, of Kobo Writing Life, mentioned a payment program for authors with titles in Canadian libraries (more on that at the end). Only problem is, you have to actually have your book in the library to begin with.

So that’s when I discovered Overdrive, the digital distributor of a catalog of over 2 million eBooks, audiobooks, and videos. According to their website (OverDrive), they distribute to over 30,000 libraries (90% of all US libraries) in 40+ countries, including my local library and most likely a library near you.

But here’s where things get exciting. Yes, they distribute titles from the big five publishers, but as of May 2014, aggregator Smashwords began distributing thousands of indie and self-published titles too. OverDrive and Smashwords created curated buy-lists that libraries can use to purchase the most popular indie authors and titles. Smashwords authors will earn 45% of the library list price they set.

If you don’t have an account with Smashwords, don’t fret. If you have less than 5 e-books and assuming that you aren’t exclusive, you can submit you e-titles for distribution through the Smashwords Dashboard Channel Manager and set your prices through the Pricing Manager. According to the OverDrive agreement, you cannot sell your title to libraries for less than $1.99, but you are welcomed to sell your title for less than you sell on Amazon or Kobo, for example.

While the entire Smashwords catalogue is available through Overdrive, your new titles most likely won’t be on the buy-lists – unless you are a best seller currently – but you can approach your local library to request that they include your book in their selection. More about the Smashwords / OverDrive agreement here.

Alternatively, if you have published 5+ titles, you can submit your titles directly to OverDrive. If approved, OverDrive works with the publisher (you) to confirm a wholesale discount (Distributor Cost) that will be used to determine the amount the you are paid for each digital product sold. You choose your suggested retail price and digital rights management. Here is the link for more information  and to submit directly to OverDrive, email

I would be remiss not to mention that authors with available hard copy books(hard cover, paperback, print-on-demand, etc.), can get your book into libraries even if you are self-published and don’t have an agent. Libraries are now looking to obtain self-published titles, especially from local authors. Most libraries have a website and there might be an area on their site for self-published author submissions. My hometown of Toronto, for instance, currently has this kind of submission process. If not, you might have to contact your local library directly. This is another way to get exposure from the local crowd.

As well, pretty much all libraries have a “suggest a book” link on their website, where you can ask friends and family to recommend your book. The only caveat is that you sometimes have to have a library card for that particular library.

Finally, as I mentioned above, the Canada Council for the Arts, offers a Public Lending Right Program, and pays authors with titles in Canadian libraries, a lending royalty above and beyond library acquisitions. There is only one time a year to apply and the current deadline is May 1, 2015. Here is the website where you can get more information and download the application. I don’t know if there is something similar in other countries, but if anyone knows, please share in the comment section below.


RAVENOUS – 2nd Edition free download from Amazon

RavenousCover2nd_EdFor five days, my newly released RAVENOUS – 2nd Edition is on promotion at Amazon and FREE for download.  This edition is a fully revised and extended edition, to tie in with the summer release of its sequel, ANCESTOR.

Click here to download for free!

(here for CANADA)

You can also check out sample chapters of RAVENOUS with Booktrack for free along with my other book, Love and Cola Wars!

As always,

Happy Reading!



Merry Christmas and a Goodreads Giveaway


Hey Everyone,

Its’ Christmas time, and until New Years, I’m offering a chance to win a paperback copy of my book RAVENOUS- 2nd Edition on Goodreads.  This version is an extended and fully re-edited version of the original Ravenous, released back in 2013.  I was so delighted to work with my very talented editor, Julie Wallace, who also edited Love and Cola Wars.  Jule is also editing Ancestor, the sequel to Ravenous.  I hope to release that by the summer of 2015.

I also am offering e-book copies for members at the Library Thing. You’ll have to scroll past all of the Paleo Diet and Gluten Free books to find it :)

Happy Holidays!



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