Amazon extends Kindle e-reader full-screen advertising to self-publishers

Self-published authors can now advertise their KDP Select books as full-screen ads on Kindle e-readers as well as on Amazon’s website.

The company is gradually rolling out access to this premium ad placement for KDP authors. You’ll need to have your book enrolled in KDP select, making the ebook exclusive to Kindle, to gain access to the advertising.

Depending on how it’s applied, this could be a great move for indie authors as the e-reader promotions are full-screen advertisements that are generally shown when someone switches on their Kindle.

The new option appears to be included within the Amazon Marketing Services’ pay-per-click ad campaign minimum of $100, so it really is adding some value to the access to pay-per-click Amazon ads for self-publishers.

To get started, go to your Bookshelf and create a new campaign. This was introduced in January when  Amazon opened up its pay-per-click advertising to self-published authors.

You have the choice of targeting an ad by interest or product. If you want to be considered for e-reader ads, you must choose interest.

After that, when you target your ad ‘By interest’, your ad will automatically be considered for placement on Kindle e-readers.

Amazon has added a lot of niches to the interests covered and there are now 13 top-level categories with a total of 128 sub-categories. The categories are:

  • Biographies & Memoirs (12 sub-categories)
  • Business & Money (16 sub-categories)
  • Children’s (6 sub-categories)
  • Comics & Graphic Novels (7 sub-categories)
  • Education & Teaching (5 sub-categories)
  • Health, Fitness & Dieting (11 sub-categories)
  • Humor & Enertainment (7 sub-categories)
  • Literature & Fiction (14 sub-categories)
  • Mystery, Thriller & Suspense (10 sub-categories)
  • Romance (15 sub-categories)
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy (11 sub-categories)
  • Teen & Young Adult (7 sub-categories)
  • Other (10 sub-categories) —
    • Computers & Technology
    • Cookbooks, Food & Wine
    • Crafts, Hobbies & Home
    • History
    • Non-fiction
    • Parenting & Relationships
    • Politics & Social Sciences
    • Science & Math
    • Sports & Outdoors
    • Travel


Using the ‘Interests’ targeting option, you can also include a headline for your book ad, although the headline appears to be included only in website ads rather than e-reader ads where only the book title is shown.

After selecting interest, you set your pay-per-click bid. Amazon shows the average bid, which is generally in the range of $0.52-0.63. The minimum campaign budget is $100.

To see what your ad will look like on e-readers, scroll down to the ‘Preview Your Ad’ section of the campaign builder page. For instance, here is how an e-reader ad for Charlotte’s Wedding by Mary Rizza (one of my clients) would look on an e-reader (on the left) and on a Kindle home screen.

The screenshot below shows an example of a 300 x 250 ad and its placement on the Amazon website.

Amazon promotes its general ads on Kindle as: ‘Reach Amazon customers with visually stunning offers and sponsored screensavers, in unique and uncluttered environments on Kindle. Kindle ads aren’t just banners on mobile websites, they are full-screen canvases, integrated into the device itself. They are required viewing, and yet they never interrupt the customer experience on their device.

‘Full-screen screensavers and special offers on Kindle and Kindle Fire lead to powerful, high impact brand experiences that drive action and deliver results. From these experiences, our customers are one tap from consideration, and three taps from purchase, making Kindle Amazon’s most effective and efficient advertising solution spanning both brand and direct-response goals.’

Amazon applies additional acceptance policies for ads on Kindle e-readers as compared with ads on the Amazon website, which means that although your ad may be accepted to run on the website it might not be accepted for Kindle e-readers.

Amazon’s KDP Ads Acceptance Policies and Guidelines include:

Ad image

  • Ad images should be simple, clear and of high-resolution quality

Ad headlines

  • Headline must be relevant to the book promoted
  • Headline does not contain any pricing saving messages unless clear, accurate and consistent with the offer on landing page
  • If the ad refers to another title, it does not imply surpassing the other book or its writer (e.g. we would not approve “more suspense than [Other Book Title]”)
  • The copy does not use overly forceful phrases or exclamation points (e.g. “Don’t miss out!”, “HURRY – SAVE NOW” are not acceptable; “time limited offer” is more appropriate for Amazon customers
  • The headline does not present customers with emotionally draining or depressing messages
  • Supporting evidence from an independent source does accompany superlative claims made within your ad, e.g. “Best Seller in the US*… *NY Times, March 2014”. Supporting disclosures are contained within the ad or are clear and conspicuous on the landing page
  • If the advertising contains special offers, promotions, contests, the landing page prominently presents the offer as advertised
  • Headlines that mention the name of Amazon do not include the Amazon logo, and comply with the Brand Usage Guidelines
  • The headline does not contain customer reviews and does not refer to the Amazon rating score

Unacceptable books and ad content

  • Unacceptable books include the usual range of anything threatening, abusive, discriminatory, promoting the use of illicit drugs, etc.
  • Unacceptable ad content also includes the above plus images that are sexually provocative, violent or disturbing.

Restricted ad content and books

Amazon warns that some types of books may not be accepted for website or e-reader advertising. These could include:

  • Non-fiction self-help books relating to dating and relationships
  • Non-fiction books that allude to sensitive financial topics, such as bad credit or bankruptcy
  • Non-fiction self-help books that refer to topics of grief, mourning, and loss
  • Books for weight loss
  • Religious or spiritual content
  • Books about political parties, issues and related content

You can read Amazon’s ad acceptance policies in full at KDP Ads Acceptance Policies and Guidelines.

You might also like:

How to use Amazon’s pay-per-click ad scheme for KDP Select self-published authors