Creating fresh, engaging content for your stream is hard! This selection of books for streamers is perfect to inspire and develop you and your stream.
Ever since I was a child I had a deep love for reading. Books transformed me to fantastical worlds, broadened my perspective, and taught me new things. My favorite reads were those that lingered even I had finished reading. They had left an imprint on me and I was forever changed. We all know that books are powerful tools that continue to transform readers around the world, but I feel like are often neglected by streamers. As streamers we can learn from watching other streams or consuming a YouTube how-to in a matter of minutes. How can reading a book benefit a streamer?
Studies have shown that reading is an active activity that will help you retain information longer compared to watching a video. The reader is forced to actively engage and comprehend what they're consuming compared to watching a video which is more of passive activity. As streamers there's a wealth of knowledge and ideas from literature that can benefit us and our streams.
What are the best books for streamers to read? There's hundreds upon hundreds of books that would benefit streamers, but here's a list of 6 must read books for streamers. Each one of these books will help you improve your content, your community building skills, your brand and more!
Seth Godin is one of the leading influencers in the world of marketing. He brings his ideas on products, marketing, and community to the world through his numerous award-winning books and his daily blog. He's an innovative thinker who presents new ideas to his audience in a compelling way which is why his blog is widely popular. I'd highly suggest giving his a blog a read over at Seth.Blogs. But what does this have to do with streaming you ask?
This book, Tribes, is the perfect primer to helping you think about your channel's community and it's culture. Seth lays out the truth that there are people in this world who are your exact audience. Just in the same way that there's a group of people who think Crocs are cool shoes, there are a group of people who think your channel is the bee's knees.
As a streamer you may be tempted to change your channel to fit the status quo, but Godin argues that there are like-minded individuals in the world who are looking for exactly what your presenting. This doesn't mean that you should settle for mediocrity. Instead Godin inspires readers to take ownership and be the type of leader who develops the culture of their community.
The book talks about the responsibility of leadership, and how we as leaders (or in this case streamers) should be taking intentional steps to lead your "tribe." Whether you like the idea of being a "leader" or not - it is true that you are the one in charge of your stream's channel, its culture, and the community it fosters. What can you do to boost your community, meet its needs, and grow it into exactly what you envision?
Tribes is an excellent book on community building and leadership. It's short and will leave you with a million different ideas to implement to your channel and its community.
When you think of the culture of your stream's community - what do you imagine? Are you a helpful community? Are you a group of people who value a good meme? Does your channel's community love to troll each other? This book will have you thinking about the type of tribe (community) you want to foster and the steps that you can do as the leader to move it in that direction.
Quote from the book:
“Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect with their tribes, and when they help the tribe connect to itself.”
If you read the Amazon reviews, you'll see some negative ones at the top. Don't listen to them as this book is a godsend for creatives! Pressfield delivers an inspiring read for all creatives. All creative types (this includes streamers!) deal with obstacles that block them from being truly creative. Pressfield calls it "the resistance" and he motivates, teaches, and shows you how you can move forward to get the work done. Every single streamer should read this book.
One of the easiest things for a streamer to do is not be intentional and creative with their stream. It's TOO easy to hit the "go live" button without doing the creative work of making your stream better. It's why there's 10,000 Call of Duty streams with a guy sitting with a controller. It's boring, uncreative, and the reason they have no views. Push through the resistance and take time to implement ideas to make your stream better.
Quote from the book:
“It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.”
This book is the go-to guide for any streamer who longs to be original and create mind-blowing content. It's written by Ed Catmull was co-founder of Pixar and president of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Have you heard of Toy Story, The Incredibles, or Monsters Inc.? Catmull was part of their creation!
It's an interesting read as it gives you an inside look into the wildly successful movie making company Pixar. But the heart of the book is about creativity. Catmull talks about the fears that prevent people from being creative, and also how to foster creativity within yourself and others.
Many of the most successful and creative ideas weren't one person's idea, but a conglomeration of ideas from a community of creative people. How do you come up with ideas for your stream? Are you alone in the creativity process? If so, are there people in your life that you could brainstorm with to come up with unique, creative ideas for your stream? There is great powerful in working with others.
Quote from the book:
“For many people, changing course is also a sign of weakness, tantamount to admitting that you don’t know what you are doing. This strikes me as particularly bizarre—personally, I think the person who can’t change his or her mind is dangerous. Steve Jobs was known for changing his mind instantly in the light of new facts, and I don’t know anyone who thought he was weak.”
There are viewers who may "like" a twitter post or drop in your channel from time to time. But "Superfans" will truly be your biggest and most loyal fans. They will promote you and your channel, because they know that you make content that they truly enjoy. They'll retweet your posts, tell their friends, and show up to your channel whenever they're able. These are the fans that all streamers dream of, because they're a reminder that you're building something incredible.
But these types of viewers don't suddenly come out of nowhere. The author Pat Flynn states that it is magical moments that you create over time that turn regular fans into superfans. Flynn lays out the strategy and techniques that you can implement to stand out and develop superfans. Highly recommend this book for streamers!
Key takeaway for streamers:
You don't need to impress every person in the world with your channel, but you do need to impress someone. How can you grow your stream WITH these fans of your channel? What if these fans came alongside you to promote and grow your channel? What would this look like?
Quote from the book:
“When you become a superfan of something, it’s not because of a person, a product, a name, or a brand. You become a superfan because of how that person, product, or brand makes you feel.”
It's a world full of distractions, which makes it harder than ever to focus on what matters. Cal Newport dives into the myth of "multi-tasking" and shows how the best things are built with laser focus. By allowing ourselves to get distracted we're ruining the quality of our work. Newport not only backs his findings with scientific studies, but also gives highly practical tips on how we can launch into "deep work" that produces high quality content.
Most streamers are limited on the time they can dedicate to their stream. It's a mixture of streaming, but also marketing their stream, growing that YouTube channel, getting more followers on social media, brainstorming new ideas, etc. By disciplining one's self to work on the work that truly matters you will see better results.
Quote from the book:
“To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction. Put another way, the type of work that optimizes your performance is deep work.”