Advertising with Barnes and Noble

by | Jan 31, 2019

By Amy Collins

Joining in the party (although a tad late) is Barnes and Noble who announced last week that they are now offering a self-service advertising program. The program is now in Beta and quickly maxed out on takers. Within 24 hours after the announcement, B&N’s page showed that they were no longer accepting Beta testers for the program.

What We Know About Advertising With B&N

Keywords and Descriptions

The advertising program asks author/publishers to supply keywords and descriptions and B&N will create the ad to show up in category and genre pages. At this point we have not seen the listings, but B&N says that they will put the ads and listings in and among similar author’s books and searches.


The costs are determined by CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Unlike Amazon which charges per click, B&N charges per impression. An impression is the term that refers to the number of views an ad is displayed to an online visitor or displayed on a web page.

You can set your budget per day and per campaign, but paying per impression means that publishers and authors may end up going through more advertising dollars without their books getting a chance to make their case to potential purchasers.

Setup and Monitoring Views

Like Amazon, which has an online reporting portal, B&N’s advertisers log in to the Ad portal to check on their ad’s performance, including how many times their ad was viewed (the # of impressions) and the number of clicks their ad received. Reports are imported daily.

The ads B&N creates for you are display ads. You can:

  • pick the number of days to run the ads
  • set the dates you want the ads to run
  • set your budget

There are no set up fees.


Your ad will appear at the bottom of the category genre page that you selected in a sponsored merchandising section.

B&N Ads versus Amazon Ads

Amazon display ads have shown to not garner as many sales per campaign as the sponsored listing ads that appear in the search listings.

And a quick study of cost per click vs. cost per impressions show that most marketing professionals and comparison studies prefer a Cost per Click model.

The results and sales ROI in most studies give the current Amazon method a higher rate of success.

But until the Beta program is complete and the program is announced for everyone, let’s reserve judgement.

Photo: BigStockPhoto

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