How to create Amazon Marketing Services Product Display Ads for books

By Tips, Video

Last year, I wrote an article for the IBPA Independent magazine on how to use Amazon Marketing Services advertisements for books. It got a fantastic response. In fact, I am still interviewed and give presentations about this topic today. But I wanted to create an AMS tutorial on video that demonstrates how to make AMS Product Display ads for books.

AMS Product Display ads are an alternative to Google AdWords or Facebook targeted ads, and enable your books to show up product pages of other Amazon books. The video covers:

  1. Targeting shoppers viewing specific products or categories, or by interest.
  2. How to set cost-per-click (CPC) bids and daily budgets
  3. Advice about competing titles
  4. The importance of AMS headlines
  5. Scratchpads for headlines and AMS keywords

Setting up an Amazon Marketing Services Product Display ad requires an AMS account through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or Amazon Advantage. Scroll to 02:15 if you already have an account.

New product line: In 30 Minutes video classes

By Blog, News, Video

Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes video classes

Publisher i30 Media is pleased to announce a new product line: In 30 Minutes video classes. We’re starting with the Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes video course (For a limited time, available at a 25% discount on Gumroad or available as a video class on Udemy), but will expand to other topics soon. You can learn more about the Google Drive and Docs video here, and we will also distribute the class to other online educational platforms.

The idea for In 30 Minutes video classes has been around almost as long as the book series. Around the same time the ebook and paperback versions of Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes were launched, i30 Media posted a series of short video screencasts on YouTube. They were very popular — one video that shows how to convert a PDF to Microsoft Word or Google Docs has garnered tens of thousands of views. Would people be interested in watching a longer video course about Google’s free online office suite? The popularity of the YouTube videos indicated that the answer was probably “yes” … but it would require a lot of work, ranging from writing a script to setting up a studio to shoot the on-screen narrations and screencast demonstrations.

What’s inside the Google Drive & Google Docs video class?

Here’s an excerpt from the description of Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes (video class):

This 30-minute class is narrated by the author of the top-selling guide, Google Drive & Google Docs In 30 Minutes. The course includes lectures on registration, finding and organizing files, creating documents and formatting them, working with Microsoft Word documents in Google Docs, and a complete review of the interfaces for Google Drive and Google Docs on the Web and mobile devices. The tone of this guide is friendly and easy to understand, with lots of step-by-step instructions and examples that show exactly what to do.

In addition to serving as a solid introduction to new users, it’s great for people making the transition from Microsoft Office, not to mention teachers using Google Drive for education and Google Docs in the classroom.

Here is the lecture list:

  • Introduction
  • The Google Drive user interface
  • The Google Docs user interface
  • Using the Google Drive and Google Docs mobile apps
  • Formatting in Google Docs
  • Formatting Microsoft Word files in Google Docs
  • The Google Drive desktop application for syncing and storage
  • Collaboration

We hope the Google Drive video classes prove as popular as the ebook/paperback versions of the guide. In addition, we will be paying close attention to how people use the course in order to improve the video tutorials and create new instructional videos based on popular topics.

Easy Chinese recipe for Red-Braised Pork (紅燒肉)

By Blog, Video

Easy chinese recipe for braised porkThe latest recipe for Chinese Cooking In 30 Minutes is ready! Last week, we showcased the recipe and video for Shiao-jang Kung’s Soy-Braised Salmon (蔥燒鮭魚). We got some great feedback from testers. This week, we’d like you to try home-style Red-Braised Pork (紅燒肉). Like all recipes in the book, it’s designed to be cooked in 30 minutes or less, and uses healthy, simple ingredients you can find in ANY American supermarket. The full recipe is below. If you want to be notified when this title and other In 30 Minutes guides are released, please enter your email address in the following form:

The full recipe follows. If you try it out, please let us know how it worked. We are particularly interested in:

  • Type of pork used (ribs, chops, etc.)
  • Type of pot used
  • Cooking times

Leave comments at the bottom of this page.

Recipe for Red-Braised Pork/紅燒肉


  • Two tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
  • Two scallions, ends trimmed off
  • Two medium onions, roughly chopped into slivers about the width of a pencil
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • One to two-inch stub of ginger, sliced into strips about the width of a quarter
  • 1/2 teaspoon white or brown sugar (or one tablespoon rock sugar or Japanese Mirin)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • If using frozen meat, 1/4 cup beer or wine (or Chinese rice wine, if you have it). If the meat is fresh or thawed, use 1/2 cup.
  • 2 pounds of pork ribs (bone-in or “country style”). If you don’t have ribs, use pork chops or pork sirloin. Darker meat will be more tender, while white meat is more lean. Frozen pork is OK, but you will need to cook it longer (see notes, below).
  • Optional: One tomato, chopped into eighths. Add this after the pork is placed in the pot.
  • Four medium carrots, chopped into rough pieces about an inch long. Or substitute green beans with the ends chopped off, or 3 or 4 cabbage leaves, chopped into inch-wide strips.

Note on timing: If you are using fresh or unfrozen pork, this dish can be prepared and cooked in 30 minutes. If you are using unthawed frozen pork, give it 45 minutes. Note that you can simmer it beyond these times to make the meat more tender.


Get all of the ingredients ready. This should take five minutes — the pork does not need to be sliced or even thawed! If you are serving it with rice, start cooking that, too.

Get a large iron pot, turn on the heat to medium-high, and add the oil. Add the scallions, onions, ginger, and garlic, and stir them around until they are coated with oil.

The mixture will soon start to sizzle. Stir it around so it doesn’t burn. After 4-5 minutes in the pot, it should be very fragrant. Place the meat on top of it, then add the soy, beer/wine, and sugar. If the meat is frozen it may not lie flat in the pot, but don’t worry — as it thaws it will fall into the liquid. Add the tomato (optional) at this point, but not the other vegetables.

Turn the heat down to medium and cover. After 5-10 minutes, lift the lid and check. It should be bubbling. If you are using frozen meat pieces, use a wooden spoon to separate them and push them down so they are lying flat, almost covered with liquid. Frozen pork will throw off enough liquid to cover. Fresh pork wont, so if too much pork is poking out of the liquid, add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or beer so the meat is mostly submerged.

Cook covered for ten more minutes. By now the pork will be cooked through. Taste the broth. Is it flavorful enough? If not, add another tablespoon of soy. Using a wooden spoon, break apart the meat if the pieces are too large (this will be easier to do the longer it’s cooked).

If you are using fresh pork, add the carrots, green beans, or other chopped vegetables. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. If the vegetables are the right texture for you, turn off the heat and serve.

If you are using frozen pork, this will take longer — heat covered for another 10-15 minutes, then lift the lid and add the vegetables.

Note that if you want more tender pork, have it cook for another 15-30 minutes (hold off adding the vegetables until the end). If you do cook it longer, make sure the pork stays partially covered with liquid — add small amounts of water, beer or wine as needed.


Chinese Fish Dish: Soy-braised salmon from the next “In 30 Minutes” guide

By Blog, Video

salmon chinese fish dish

Get ready to try a superb Chinese fish dish — soy-braised salmon! It’s a recipe from an upcoming In 30 Minutes title on Chinese cooking by author Shiao-jang Kung (Update: The ebook Easy Chinese Recipes In 30 Minutes was just released). The recipes in the book are easy to cook (all take less than 30 minutes from start to finish), and use simple, healthy ingredients that you can buy at any American supermarket. The ebook also contains embedded videos.

If this title interests you, please “Like” this page and share it with your friends. And be sure to visit the product page for Easy Chinese Recipes In 30 Minutes.

The recipe is printed below. If you try to make the soy-braised salmon dish, please let us know in the comments how it went!

Soy-braised salmon (蔥燒鮭魚)


  • Cooking oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Onions: One large onion or two small ones — about 1 to 1.5 cups, sliced into rough strands about the width of a pencil. The onion will give the dish some sweetness.
  • Scallions: Two scallions, with the ends trimmed and sliced diagonally to make longer strands.
  • Ginger: 2 inch long stub. Cut off the skin and slice into rough strands about the thickness of cooked spaghetti.
  • Salmon filets – 1 pound, cut into 3-inch wide strips (4 or 5). If it has skin, that’s OK — it can be removed after cooking.
  • Rice wine (or substitute white wine or beer): 1/4 cup
  • White sugar or brown sugar: 1/8 teaspoon. You can also substitute Japanese mirin (about 1 tablespoon).
  • Soy sauce: 6 tablespoons


Prepare the ingredients. This should take 5-10 minutes.

Turn on heat below wok to high. Add the cooking oil. After one minute, add ginger, onion, and scallions, and stir them around to coat with oil. Stir regularly over next five minutes. When the mixture is throwing off fragrance, lay the strips of fish on top. Mix wine or beer with the sugar, then add the liquid to the wok. Pour the soy in equal amounts over the fish. Cover the wok and turn down heat to medium-high.

Cook covered for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium, and open cover. The sauce should be a bit thicker and bubbling. The top of the fish may look a little pale. Using a spatula, lift one of the pieces to check the bottom of the fish. If it’s light brown on the bottom, the soy flavor is getting into the fish and you can flip all of the pieces so the pale side is facing down. If not, cover the fish for two more minutes and then flip the pieces.

After the pieces have been flipped, cover the wok and cook for two more minutes. Turn down the heat to medium-low, and take off the cover. Check to see if the fish is done by taking a fork and opening the end of one of the fatter pieces. If it’s flaky and not red inside, you’re done — turn off the heat and serve!

You can add a little sesame oil (drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon) over the fish to add a little more flavor, but it tastes pretty good by itself over rice!