How to Advertise KDP books on Amazon.CO.UK and .DE (UK and Germany)

AMS for Publishers goes to Europe!

A little bit of KDP ads history

There was a time when authors could post an ad on AMS (now called Amazon Advertising) and be reasonably sure that it will make them money.
Times have changed, competition intensified, the Amazon market for book ads has matured.

Nowadays, having a profitable ad campaign is much harder — the main reason for that being that clicks cost a lot more.

To put that into perspective, my once-profitable campaign for a Coffee book would cost me $120 and bring in $500. That campaign slowly deteriorated to costing $100 and bringing in $80.

“Great!” you might say “I missed the train! Why are you even telling me this?”
I am telling you this because it seems that there is a second train coming.

In fact, there are two smaller trains coming.

A second chance?

Amazon’s ad platform for KDP publishers allowed them to advertise in the amazon.com store, which is the US store. But that is not the only store Amazon has.

Savvy publishers found ways to advertise their books on the UK store. Doing so required opening a UK Advantage account or Vendor account with Amazon.

However, Amazon stopped creating new Advantage accounts last July. Amazon has since then refused to reveal if and when they will start accepting new registrations for Advantage accounts.

If you tried emailing Amazon about getting an Advantage account you would get a bot reply that would (no surprise) not address your specific issues or concerns. If Amazon wants to be secretive about something, they will not shy away from sending you the same exact reply over and over again — that’s for sure.

Opening a Vendor account is nearly impossible for most small publishers.
The combination of the above facts meant one thing — that you could not advertise your books on Amazon UK unless you happened to have an Advantage or Vendor account in the UK.

Fortunately, this is all about to change.

Is it even possible?

I have written KDP a few times trying to understand what they are exactly trying to achieve by blocking KDP author from using UK ads.

I still get those emails where the KDP support agent simply tells me to delete my cache, and restart my browser. I feel empathetic towards the agents. Perhaps one day, a girl I have just met will ask me a question I will have no idea how to answer and then — I will tell her to delete her cache. I am looking forward to this.

Sometimes, however, I get some KDP agents that know their stuff and are willing to put in the extra effort to reply back with an answer that makes sense (even if all they are saying is that they don’t know).

One of these helpful agents wrote to me about a week ago.

“Amazon Advertising for KDP Authors currently offers Sponsored Products in US, UK and DE, while Lockscreen Ads are offered for US Authors only”

KDP had previously denied that this functionality was available. I was shocked!

But I was also a bit skeptical. I visited the KDP support website where I was able to dig out more information.

Advertising for KDP Books | Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
Running ads for your KDP books can help you reach new customers. With Amazon Advertising, you can create custom ads for…kdp.amazon.com

In that page it says,

“You can create ads for books you published through KDP that are available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, or Amazon.de and meet these requirements…”

“You can run ads on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.de if you have a title eligible in those marketplaces.”

That’s awesome! The only problem is… how?

Practically Speaking…

I emailed KDP asking for specific directions. Here are the first five steps.

1. Go to your Bookshelf: https://kdp.amazon.com/bookshelf.
2. Click the ellipsis button (“…”) next to the book you want to advertise.
3. Click “Promote and Advertise”
4. Click the button located under “Run an ad campaign” section.
5. Select the marketplace where you’d like to create your ad.

Alas, there was a problem. Step five never came up during the process. Instead of step five, I was forwarded to the default US advertising console.

I decided to visit https://advertising.amazon.co.uk to check if, by some kind of miracle, there was a way to register an account.

And there it was!

Amazon Advertising UK has added a new log-in option that reads “I have a KDP account”

Words cannot describe my feelings while clicking on that link. Amazon had finally catered to the needs of thousands of publishers to advertise on Amazon UK.

Or did they?

Alas, clicking on the link (on the co.uk website) took me back to the amazon.com website.

How could they?

The End

So, I wrote to KDP (I do that a lot) asking for explanations.

In fact, I was so frustrated, that I wrote them two emails.

I got one email telling me to delete my cache.

And I got one more.

I really apologize for the issues selecting UK and DE for the Ads Campaigns. I tried contacting you at the phone number you provided but was unable to reach you. The option to create Ads Campaigns for UK and DE was going to be live since October 1st, however, our team had some technical issues and the option is still not available. This will be added in the next 24 hours. I apologize as it was an unexpected error and we are working hard to have this feature available as soon as possible. I will follow up with you and let you know once it has been added. In advance, I appreciate your comprehension Ioannis. We always remain at your disposition. Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

The Train Has Arrived!

The functionality is out right now (today!).

So, for everybody who wanted to advertise their books in England and Germany, the gates have opened.

To advertise your book in the UK or Germany, simply login to your KDP account, go to the book you want to advertise, and click on “Promote and Advertise”. On the next page, you can (finally) choose a marketplace, amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, or amazon.de

I would expect the UK and Germany markets to mature faster than the US one. Publishers already know how to use the advertising platform and they know the benefits, so the opportunity window is likely to be smaller.

Nevertheless, it is still an opportunity, and you are among the first to know if you read this article when it was published. Good thing you have subscribed to this publication!

UK flag image used under CC BY 2.0 from https://www.flickr.com/photos/80497449@N04/7377899512

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