Book trailers have been a thing for a while now, some good, some meh, some amazing. That said, “trailers” aren’t the only way authors can promote their books, and themselves, using video. In an era where video is king and 71% of all online activity involves watching video, creatives in the publishing and film industries are inventing new ways to reach out to readers. Author’s videos are just one example. Here’s a look at some of the best-produced videos online, from bestselling established authors like James Patterson and Anthony Swofford, to successful self-published authors, and even legendary rock icons!

HOTELS HOSPITALS AND JAILS by Anthony Swofford
Published by Twelve Books

Sometimes authors are also terrific actors. Jarhead scribe Anthony Swofford appeared in one of the first cinematic book trailers ever filmed!

James Patterson
MasterClass Promo Video

A trailer for James Patterson’s 22-video writing class. The insanely popular MasterClass produces videos that are the new benchmark for author’s videos as far as image quality.

SPAM NATION by Brian Krebs
Published by Sourcebooks

Former Washington Post reporter and cybercrime expert Brian Krebs appears in this interview-style trailer that uses branded graphics and creepy music that sounds like an episode of True Detective.

HOW TO HANG A WITCH by Adriana Mather
Published by Random House Kids

This super-meta-author video uses clips from the full-length cinematic book trailer for How to Hang a Witch and merges the author interview with behind-the-scenes features.

DAYS OF RAIN AND BLOOD by Rod Hewitt
Self-published

Emotionally engaging interview footage, mixed with cinematic B-roll and gorgeous, haunting music. Days of Rain and Blood is Hewitt’s forthcoming first novel.

FACE THE MUSIC by Paul Stanley
Published by HarperOne

KISS legend Paul Stanley jams out on his acoustic as he tells readers about his new memoir and what inspired him to tell his story.

STRANGE AS IT SEEMS by Chip Jacobs
Published by Rare Bird Books

Because sometimes a minute just isn’t enough! This video for Chip Jacobs‘ bio of his uncle, the great Gordon Zahler is more of a short documentary.

YOU HAD ME AT WOOF by Julie Klam
Published by Riverhead Books

Author Julie Klam appears with Oscar-winner Timothy Hutton in her hilarious mockumentary-style book video.

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs
Published by Quirk Books

Extremely well-produced book trailer with over a million Youtube views, and a reminder to authors who hope to have their books adapted into movies: this book went on to become a Tim Burton film. Hmm, maybe he liked the book trailer 🙂

FOREVER by J Channing
Published by Amberjack Publishing

A completely new approach to book videos, start-up production company the Book Trailer Ninjas made this one for J Channing’s historical fiction novel using free vintage footage found on archive.org.