Amazon has rolled out a new offer for authors whose titles are published through the Kindle platform: Amazon Marketing Services. Basically, this is an additional layer of potential promotion that the retailer has given authors, letting them pay for per-click advertising on their self-published titles.
“Wait, Amazon’s done that for ages. Why is this news?” Well, they’ve sort of done it for ages. AMS was one of the special perks that authors got for listing their books in the exclusive KDP Select program. In order to be able to sign up for ads, the book had to be enrolled. Now, Amazon has eased that restriction, and instead only requires the following:
1. Be available on Amazon.com
2. Be an Ebook published with KDP
3. Be written in English
4. Meet the Kindle Author Creative Acceptance Policies for book ads
It’s those pesky “acceptance policies” that will stand in some authors’ way, however. Not only does the author’s ad have to meet rigid guidelines, the cover and content of the book also have to be approved in order to be promoted. This is keeping with Amazon’s stance that just about anything is publishable, but that doesn’t mean they will promote it to unsuspecting readers.
Below are a few of the acceptance guidelines for a book to have an AMS ad:
• Books glorifying or promoting the use of illicit drugs, drug paraphernalia or products to beat drug tests
• Books with content that is obscene, defamatory, libelous, illegal, invasive of another’s privacy, or contains hate speech
• Books with content that is threatening, abusive, harassing, or that discriminate or advocate against a protected group, whether based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age or any other category
Unacceptable ad content
• Books with overtly religious or spiritual content
• Books that advocate a specific political ideology, advocate for or against a specific political issue, or promote a specific candidate. Objective, educational or historical political content may be accepted
• Foul, vulgar, or obscene language, including censored words that indicate foul, vulgar, or obscene language
• Images of human or animal abuse, mistreatment, or distress
• Images or titles glorifying or promoting the use of illicit drugs, drug paraphernalia or products to beat drug tests
• Images or titles that are obscene, defamatory, libelous, illegal, invasive of another’s privacy, or contain hate speech
• Images or titles that may be interpreted as threatening, abusive, harassing, or that discriminate or advocate against a protected group, whether based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age or any other category.
• Provocative imagery such as blatantly sexual prurient poses or poses that may be suggestive of sexual behavior, including partial nudity, excessive cleavage, or models in lingerie, underwear, or swimwear
• Violent or disturbing images or titles. This includes excessive blood, injuries, mutilations, guts, corpses, and weapons being used in a violent or threatening manner.
The policies go on to exclude any ads that target children, LGBTQ readers, religion, several categories of self-help books, and weight loss books. For complete explanations as to why those books may not meet the approval for an ad, see the policies concerning approved AMS books. In order to promote a book, authors only need to choose an eligible eBook from their KDP bookshelf, select “promote and advertise” then “create an ad campaign,” then select an ad type and follow the ad builder instructions.