Amazon Drops Product Display Ads, Launches Lockscreen Ads for Authors

Over the past few months I have been hearing rumors of Amazon changing its ad program while at the same time I’ve been seeing indie titles show up in lock screen ads. All this activity signaled changes were coming, and today Amazon made it official.

A reader just sent me Amazon’s new ad guide for authors (Thanks, Tom!).

The guide details lock screen ads, which are just now (officially) being made available to authors, explains how to use the ad campaign manager, and walks you through the new ways that authors can target ads for specific products. There’s also a timeline explaining when the old product display ads are going to be retired.

Edit: Apparently I was misinformed; authors always had access to lock screen ads (my source was wrong).

I’m still reading the guide and getting feedback from experts, but it looks to me like Amazon just took about a third of what you learned in that course in Amazon ads last year and tossed it out the window.

It’s a whole new ball game.

Amazon Advertising (PDF)

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Darryl7 January, 2019

    With the new lockscreen ads, it says “Lockscreen Ads require a minimum total budget of $100, but you’re only charged when a customer clicks your ad”. So what happens if I pause my ad indefinitely? Do you think they would still charge $100 at the end of the campaign?

    1. S. J. Pajonas8 January, 2019

      Nope. If you pause your ad, you’ll only pay for the clicks that happened. This was their same stance on Product Display ads.

      1. Nate Hoffelder8 January, 2019


  2. Mike Cane8 January, 2019

    Kindle ads are now full-screen when locked?! Well, I guess some people would find that a good thing if they get an ad from a favorite author whose new book is out. Hmph.

  3. Thomas Herold8 January, 2019

    Display ads are now Lookscreen ads and show up on Fire Tablets in addition to the Kindle reader. They no longer show on the amazon page. I believe it’s harder to make this ad work, unless you have a New York bestseller, a thriller or any kind of romance ebook.

    The addition of a chart to track ad performance was long overdue. Still it lacks some features that the website shows better.

  4. Nirmala8 January, 2019

    They also just improved the reporting on the dashboard for amazon advertising. It is waaaay better as you can now select date ranges so you can see what effect recent changes are having on an ads performance.


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