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Amazon Ads for Traditionally Published Authors

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Amazon now allows traditionally published authors to purchase ads for their books, after previously selling ads only to self-published authors. As with any marketing expense, it’s best to start with a realistic view of the potential return on investment. This is especially true for traditionally published books, because the lower royalty rates can make pay-per-click ads prohibitively expensive.

To help traditionally published authors get the lay of the land, this panel includes bestselling indie authors and book marketing professionals who have been working with Amazon Ads for years. The panel will discuss the situations when Amazon ads are most fruitful, when your budget and effort are best spent elsewhere, and best practices you should know before beginning an ad campaign.

Special thanks to The Hot Sheet for collaborating with the Authors Guild Foundation on this panel. The Hot Sheet offers deep discounts on subscriptions to its exclusive bi-monthly publishing industry newsletter to Guild members. Click here for more info about the discount.


Dave Chesson is the guy behind, a website devoted to teaching authors about book marketing. Recommended by Amazon KDP as the place where you can learn how to “optimize marketing for your books,” Kindlepreneur has grown to be one of the largest book marketing websites. Having worked with such authors as Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson, Ted Dekker and more, his tactics help both Fiction and Nonfiction authors of all levels get their books discovered by the right readers. Dave is also the creator of Publisher Rocket, a software that helps authors see what’s really going on in the book market, and thus pick better keywords and categories to help them sell more books.

Jess Johns is a data-driven book marketer with over 15 years of experience in book publishing, consumer marketing, and marketing technology and analytics. As part of Ingram’s consumer insights team, she works to better understand book audiences and build services and solutions that help authors and publishers of all sizes connect with their readers and grow sales. Prior to joining Ingram, Jess was a cofounder of OptiQly, a consumer analytics startup acquired by Ingram in 2017 (now Marketing Insights), and a partner and consultant at Logical Marketing and The Idea Logical Company, where she worked with leading publishers, bestselling authors, startups, and media brands on publishing and marketing strategies. 

Michael La Ronn is the author of over 60 science fiction and fantasy books and self-help books for writers. He writes from the great plains of Iowa and has managed to write while raising a family, working a full-time job, and even attending law school classes in the evenings. You can find his fiction at and his videos and books for writers at

Jennie Marts is the USA TODAY bestselling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Her books range from western romance to cozy mysteries but they all have the charm and appeal of quirky small town life. Follow her on Facebook at Jennie Marts Books, or Twitter at @JennieMarts. Visit her at and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest news and releases.

Yuting Qi is the marketing analytics manager at Open Road Integrated Media. With a background in ecommerce marketing and data analytics, Yuting has leveraged various advertising platforms and analytic tools to boost title visibility and sales. Prior to joining Open Road, Yuting worked at Nestle and United Nations.

Jane Friedman (moderator) has nearly 25 years of experience in the publishing industry. She writes and publishes The Hot Sheet, an industry newsletter for authors, which was named 2020 Media Outlet of the Year by Digital Book World.