How to Use Google Ads for Books? (In 2024)

Google Ads for Books

Having written your magnum opus, you’d like to represent it to the world. After hearing so much about Google Ads, you decide to see what it can do for your book.

However, running Google Ads is not an easy process. Without knowing what you are doing, you could end up spending a lot of money with little to show for it.

So unless you hire an expert, be careful. Read on to discover how to use Google Ads for books.

First Understand Why You Are Using Google Ads

First, you should ask yourself why you are using Google Ads to run your advertisement. Are you looking for help with your book launch and perhaps entering the Amazon bestseller list?

Do you need a mailing list to help you market your book? Or do you want to simply make more money by selling more books? Regardless of the reason, you need to be clear about why you want to run ads. 

Do the Math

Every campaign begins with a simple concept. Your goal is to earn more money than you are spending on it.

So, if you spend $100 on ads, you should get at least $101 back to make your campaign profitable. In this context, ask yourself these questions:

  • How much does my book cost? How much money do I make from each book I sell after paying my publisher, my agent, and my seller?
  • Can I estimate the “conversion rate” for my site (the number of visitors who buy my book)?
  • How much would it cost me to run ads to bring in one person to my book page?

When working with a professional, discover if your campaigns will be based on pay-per-click (you pay when your ad is clicked) or pay-per-impression (you pay when your ad is displayed, regardless of whether it is clicked or not).

However, you’ll need to figure out what your goals are before you start working with a professional.

If you’re running your own campaigns, be prepared. Start small, be cautious, and make sure you fully understand each step before launching your campaigns. 

Your campaign’s success depends on how measurable your goal is. If your goal is to sell your books directly, how many books did you sell? If you wanted to get traffic to your website, did your traffic increase?

It is important to pause your campaigns frequently to reevaluate your goals.

Fix a Budget

You should set yourself a budget before running your Google Ads campaign for books.

Therefore, you should know how much you will spend and be realistic about your expectations of the campaign.

Have a Landing Page Ready

When a visitor clicks on an ad, the ad will take the visitor to a landing page. Studies have shown that having a single call to action (such as “Buy the Book” or “Sign-up for My Newsletter”) is better than having a large number of options on a page for visitors.

However, you should consider when visitors click on your ad where you want to take them. Do you want them to go to a specific blog post (where you talk about your new book) or a specific page on your author’s website?

Also, ensure that the page where your visitors land after clicking on your ad is clear, well-organized, and, most importantly, has a call to action.

Choose the Type of Google Ads You Want to Run

Advertisers can run ads on Google’s search pages when people enter a specific term or on its set of partner sites.

They call it the Google Display Network. These are actually blogs and other websites which have content targeted at specific audiences.

Choose the Keywords and Setup the Ad

In general, keywords are words or phrases that your target audience might use when searching.

For example, if you wrote a book that appeals to fans of the Hunger Games series, maybe you should run an ad targeting people searching for “Katniss” (one of the main characters in the Hunger Games.)

Google ads allow you to bid on keywords. In a twist to the concept of a traditional auction, the winning bidder pays the amount equal to the next lowest bid.

This is known as a Vickrey auction among those in the auction industry. In the above example, let’s assume you bid 10 cents for the Katniss keyword.

Another bidder may have bid 8 cents and lost the auction. In this scenario, you will only be charged 8 cents rather than 10 cents. However, it is also possible to run a Google Ads campaign without keywords.

Google Ads also lets you target your ads in various ways so that the right kind of person sees your advertisement. Let’s look at the options you have with Google Ads that can make your marketing campaigns even more targeted:

  • Keywords
  • Ad location
  • Age, location, and language
  • Days, times, and frequency
  • Devices

Next, you need to identify the exact message you want to convey to your potential visitor. This is usually a challenging part since you need to maintain an economy of words while conveying the message clearly.

It is always best to create individual ads for each slogan in your campaign.

Monitor the Ad

You can monitor the performance of their ads after publishing them through a dashboard similar to a Google Analytics page for a website.

It shows how many clicks and impressions have been received and the average cost-per-click rate of the advertisement.

Recent Policy Update

Please note that Google recently made some changes to its policy regarding advertising books. Effective from May 18, 2021, Google has stopped advertising digital books globally in Shopping ads.

This means that all digital book-related Shopping ads, including current campaigns, will be disapproved at the offer level. This rule applies only to digital books, including PDFs, ePubs, MOBI, and eBooks formats.

However, the policy regarding physical books and audiobooks will remain unchanged.


The activity of running Google Ads is pretty intensive, involves a lot of hands-on involvement, and, at times, can be risky. It is also way more expensive than alternative options.

Google Ads may work if your book is fairly high priced and you have a good conversion rate. Otherwise, you might try advertising on sites in which your target readers frequently visit.

For any help with your Google ads management, contact me any time and I would be happy to help you.


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