Skip to main content

Amazon Has Started Using Kindle eBooks as Adverts

9614599760_fec833c2f6_bAmazon has built the Kindle platform into the single largest ebook reading platform in the world, and now Amazon’s ad dept is turning that to their advantage.

Business Insider reports that Amazon has been partnering with companies to produce ebooks as adverts for companies which do not sell their products and services on the

Speaking at The Financial Times' FT Digital Media conference in London on Tuesday, Amazon Media Group’s Seth Dallaire explained that Amazon had partnered with car companies, including Nissan and Land Rover, to use Kindle ebooks to market their vehicles.

For example, the partnership with Land Rover involved an ebook written by an established author and distributed by Amazon. According to Dallaire, the ebook proved highly successful: "We saw very high engagement from customers in terms of reading it. It was not promoted as a pure advertisement, but rather content, and the author that created that content is what brought customers in to engage with it to begin with. It was a great learning for us."

Edit: Juli Monroe encountered the Land Rover ebook last November via an advert on her Kindle. She wrote about her experience over on Teleread.

Dallaire, speaking in his role as the vice president of global advertising sales at Amazon Media Group, went on to tell the audience that Amazon had also been working with Nissan in Japan to publish ebook brochures for its new models. That program was so effective that Amazon is considering expanding that type of format to other markets.

"Most people don’t associate Amazon with cars; we don’t sell cars on the platform. But customers trust Amazon to provide objective opinions about a product or a brand … we will work hard to show that there is some attribution to that level of investment that drives business results, even if it doesn’t happen on Amazon," Dallaire said.

I have to say that I am not surprised. This type of marketing has been around for decades if not centuries (the free Sears-Roebuck catalog is one famous example) and marketers have long adapted the the idea to ebooks (and PDFs, for SEO reasons).

And now Amazon is getting into the game. Given that Amazon embeds ads on the Fire tablets and Kindle ereaders, this was a logical next step.

That said, I hope I never notice the ads. Amazon is welcome to publish what they like, but they would b well advised to take a leaf from Eyeo’s good conduct playbook and keep the ads subtle and not annoying.

So far, the ads have not crossed my radar. Have you seen an ebook which you believe is an advert?

image by mobilyazilar,

Similar Articles


Maria (BearMountainBooks) April 28, 2015 um 1:05 pm

Tesla, if you would like me to change the car I’m using in Executive Dirt (WIP) just give me a call. I picked the Porsche Panamera hybrid over the Tesla because there was more information about it online. But. I could be talked into changing my mind…


Juli Monroe April 28, 2015 um 3:01 pm

I downloaded and read the Land Rover ebook. It showed up as a screensaver ad one morning on my Paperwhite, and I decided to give it a try. I wrote about it on TeleRead and gave my impressions. It wasn’t bad at all.

Nate Hoffelder April 28, 2015 um 3:14 pm

Thanks! I forgot about that post. I also didn’t realize at the time that Amazon was an active partner.

Al the Great and Powerful April 28, 2015 um 10:36 pm

Another reason I’m glad my Kindle DX is a fossil… no ads. And I tend to convert my kindle books to epub for Moon+Reader on my Nexus tablet, so all I see on Kindle there is impulse buys and freebies.

Advertisers can go whistle.

Reader April 29, 2015 um 8:54 am

I purchased a Kindle last year in spite of its ads. I was all ready to HATE my new Kindle because of the ads, fearing that the presence of ads on my new Kindle would result in an ad-infested experience comparable to turning off AdBlock on my browser.The only time I have had WiFi on was to download books from the Amazon cloud. I therefore do not inundated with new ads after new ads. I have been pleasantly surprised. I have not found ads to be distracting at all- just something to ignore – except to notice it is the same old, same old ad I have seen time and again- when I turn my Kindle on.

Nate Hoffelder April 29, 2015 um 9:04 am

I generally don’t notice the adverts, either.

Robert April 29, 2015 um 9:17 am

I couldn’t take it anymore and I paid to get them off my Kindle Voyage. I was tired of seeing the same dog food ad every time I opened my Kindle case. I don’t have a dog, Amazon. I’m sure Amazon knows that!

It’s proven to be the best $20 I’ve spent in a long while.

Nate Hoffelder April 29, 2015 um 9:19 am

I paid to get them taken off of a Kindle back in 2011, but not later units. I think I learned to tune them out.

Robert April 29, 2015 um 10:17 am

I wouldn’t have minded so much if they were better at pushing targeted ads. It was an interesting way to learn about new books but it was never even remotely in the right ballpark. It seemed really strange given how accurate the website is at suggesting stuff. All I ever saw were romance books, dog food, and that Land Rover tie-in.

Nate Hoffelder April 29, 2015 um 10:45 am

I had similar experiences, and I think that’s how I learned to tune them out. There was no reason to even see them.

Wie Amazon über kostenlose Kindle Books für Autos wirbt – om8 April 29, 2015 um 7:00 am

[…] [Ink, Bits, & Pixels | Shutterstock (Bild ] […]

Ekta Garg April 29, 2015 um 9:41 am

I saw the ad for the Land Rover book and went to Amazon to read reviews of it before I downloaded it because I didn’t realize at first that it was for advertising purposes. Several reviewers complained about the quality of the story and the fact that they got "duped" into reading a book that was an ad. I didn’t download the book because I wasn’t interested in advertising, but now I’m a little curious.

Nate Hoffelder April 29, 2015 um 9:49 am

I think the book is called The Vanishing Game. I haven’t read it either.

Medium Punch April 29, 2015 um 9:57 am

Factory reset (that unfortunately doesn’t rollback latest update), not reconnecting to wifi, and airplane mode.

Manually installing my books doesn’t bother me, especially since I’m mainly an epub reader so I do a lot of converting. Though I’m still trying to figure out how to install my own screensavers. :/

fournier April 30, 2015 um 7:33 am

Two years ago a french company (Les Guides MAF) made the same business with RedBull and a guide about Leonardo da Vinci in Milan on iPad (an hypermedia ebook). See the article in French by Actualitté:

Nate Hoffelder April 30, 2015 um 7:34 am


The Kindle Chronicles – TKC 352 Douglas Rushkoff May 13, 2015 um 8:54 pm

[…] “Amazon Has Started Using Kindle eBooks as Adverts” by Nate Hoffelder at Ink, Bits & Pixels – April 28, 2015 […]

Write a Comment