Master the Tool that Changes the Ads Game for Authors

Imagine creating a captivating Facebook Ad for your latest novel. It garners attention, driving traffic to your book’s Amazon page. Then comes the million-dollar question: how do you calculate the impact of this ad? How many clickers turn into customers?

Advertising is a key part of any author’s marketing strategy, capable of turning the unknown into a household name. But for ads to bring about the best results, understanding and optimizing their performance is critical. For the longest time, tracking whether ads on other platforms led to sales on Amazon was a guessing game. That changed with the expansion of the Amazon Attribution tool, previously only available to third party sellers but now available to Kindle Direct Publishing users as of September 2022.

This powerful tool is free and accessible on the Amazon Ads dashboard, and it doesn’t require an author to run Amazon Ads in order to use it. So what does it actually do? Amazon Attribution creates links that allow you to track sales and page reads from individual ad sources. Connect them to ads on Facebook, BookBub, emails, and on other platforms, and you’ll be able to monitor the data associated with each ad source individually.

For authors, this tool is transformative, providing you with the information you need to adjust your strategy in real time. It paves the way for smarter decisions, better ad optimization, and ultimately, more book sales.

The Game-Changing Attributes of Amazon Attribution

Before September 2022, KDP sellers didn’t have a way to confirm that a click on a Facebook ad directly led to sales or page reads on Amazon. With Amazon Attribution, that—and a host of other benefits—are available. 

For one, with the tool, authors now have access to conversion reporting. No more guessing games about which ad campaigns translate to sales or page reads; authors can log in to the console and access reports at their convenience or schedule them at specific intervals. This allows for quick decisions that optimize ads during campaigns, ensuring you get the most out of your advertising spend.

Amazon Attribution also has cross-platform tracking capabilities. It can unify performance data from multiple ads across different platforms, providing a comprehensive overview of your ads and how they’ve each affected Amazon sales and page reads.

Setting Up Amazon Attribution: A Step-By-Step Guide

Now that you understand the “why” behind Amazon Attribution, let’s delve into the “how.” 

Author Nickolas Erik provides a detailed overview of how authors can set up the tool on his website: Below, we’ve included some of his tips for setting up Amazon Attribution to track your book ads.

  1. Navigate to the Amazon Ads dashboard: Go to the Amazon Ads dashboard and find the Amazon Attribution section under “Measurement and Reporting.” Ensure you’re in the Amazon Ad dashboard region where your ad will be running.
  2. Create a new campaign: Click on “Create Campaign” to generate links for a new book or ad platform. You can then choose between manually creating a campaign or uploading a file for a bulk import. 
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  1. Add your advertised book to the campaign: When setting up a campaign, add only the advertised book instead of your entire series or catalog. This makes it easier to get an accurate snapshot of how many sales and reads your ads are generating for that specific book. 
  2. Use a clean link to build the attribution link: Use a clean Amazon link, free of extra parameters, to create the attribution link. According to Erik, you should avoid using redirect services or link shorteners like; instead, use the attribution link directly.
  3. Create unique attribution links for each different ad: Each ad you run should have a unique attribution link. This enables you to compare the performance of different ads, helping you optimize your ad budget by identifying high and low performers.5W NpTTpl5xEZgev8IXZ VsUQgGJsgsGu aOJj5fm4v57dMwHIFicXTpCl uK0OUdBaSe6UVFsTkEu0Crin5Ey QSmcWbQIF9n0tiRHTkX3 pjX9QsjSk
  4. Align the attribution link name with the ad’s name on the ad platform: Match the names in Amazon Attribution to the names you’re using on the ads platforms to keep data from each ad campaign separate and easy to analyze later.
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Decoding Amazon Attribution Metrics

Now that you’ve set up Amazon Attribution, you’ll start gathering valuable data about your ads. But how do you interpret this information to make informed decisions? Here are some things to keep in mind as you review your attribution data to guide your ad optimization:

  1. Last touch attribution model: This model attributes sales and reads to the most recently clicked ad when a potential reader clicks on multiple tracking links. Understanding this model will help you better assess the direct impact of individual ads on your sales.
  2. Fourteen-day attribution window: Users must buy or read a book in the two-week period after clicking an attribution link in order to count on the dashboard. Understanding this window helps you grasp the typical timeframe between ad engagement and sales.
  3. Data accuracy: In his post from February 2023, Nikolas Erik reported discrepancies of 10 percent to 15 percent in Amazon’s dashboard reporting and that of the traffic source (e.g., the Facebook Ads dashboard, BookBub Ads, your email service provider, etc.) and wrote that it is normal. Keep this in mind when comparing data across platforms.
  4. Reporting lag: Data recorded with Amazon Attribution doesn’t sync in real time and instead updates a few times a day. It takes about eight to twelve hours for clicks to show up; other metrics like detailed page views, sales, and reads come in gradually over the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Consider this lag when you plan to review your data for the most accurate insights.

Optimizing Your Ad Campaigns with Amazon Attribution

Once you have your Amazon Attribution set up and key metrics decoded, it’s time to take your advertising strategy to the next level. Consider the following methods of analyzing the data you record to improve your campaigns:

Identify High-Performing Ads: Use your Amazon Attribution data to identify which ads are driving the most sales and reads, and allocate more of your ad budget to these successful campaigns.

Discard Underperforming Ads: Similarly, identify ads that aren’t yielding a satisfactory return on investment (ROI). Consider discontinuing these ads to prevent wasting your budget.

Experiment with Different Ad Creatives: Since Amazon Attribution allows you to create unique tracking links for different ad creatives, test and compare ad versions using different links to examine which gets the most buzz.

Adjust Your Advertising Based on the Fourteen-Day Attribution Window: If you notice that most of your conversions are happening within a few days of clicking the ad, consider running shorter, more intensive campaigns.

Overall, Amazon Attribution can be an indispensable tool for authors in the digital age. Understanding how it works, setting it up, and interpreting the data it generates can be the key to a successful, data-driven ad strategy. 

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Chelle Honiker

Chelle Honiker is an advocate for the empowerment of authorpreneurs, recognizing the importance of authors taking charge of both their craft and careers. In response to this need, she has founded a media and training company dedicated to supporting these creative professionals. As the co-founder and publisher of Indie Author Magazine, IndieAuthorTraining, Indie Author Tools, and, Chelle’s team of more than 80 writers, editors, trainers, and support staff provides resources and insights that help authors navigate the complexities of self-publishing. Her role as the programming director for Author Nation, an annual conference in Las Vegas, further exemplifies her commitment to fostering a community where authors can grow and succeed. With a career spanning over two decades in executive operations and leadership, Chelle has honed her skills in managing complex projects and delivering impactful training programs. Her experience as a speaker and TEDx Organizer has taken her to many countries, where she has shared her insights with diverse audiences.

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