Everything You Should Know About Novel Effect

Have you heard of Novel Effect?

Someone recommended it to me a few months ago and I’ve been playing around with it this spring.

The basic idea is that it adds sound effects and musical backgrounds as you read aloud from a picture book.

It’s a cool concept and a fun way to add a little more entertainment value to storytime.

Here is what you need to know about Novel Effect!

novel effect

What is Novel Effect?
Novel Effect is a interactive read aloud book app that responds to your voice and adds sound effects and music blips as you read aloud from a book. For example, if you say “the horn went beep” the app would follow that up with a car honking. It’s a great way to really increase engagement when reading aloud.

How does Novel Effect work?
Novel Effect is very simple to use. After you have downloaded the app, click on a book, select if you brought your own book or if you would like to use the ebook from their library (there isn’t always this option), press play and begin reading aloud. As soon as you start to read aloud, the app will automatically start adding in music and sound effects. You can read at your own speed and style and the app follows along really well. It’s pretty cool!

How much does the Novel Effect app cost?
The app itself is free to download and they have a handful of books you can use for free, but for the sound effects to work, you will have to have a physical copy of the book. Keep in mind that if you are using the free version, each free book offered can only be read a certain number of times in a month (which is usually 5). If you want access to the entire Novel Effect library, you can pay $7.99 a month of $59.99 a year for a family or $49.99 a year for an educator! They also have school plans available. You can also do a free 7 day trial and then cancel before it converts to a paid membership.

How many books are in the Novel Effect library?
As of now, they have just over 1,000 books with soundscapes.

Can I use a Bluetooth speaker instead of my phone?
Yes! Once you are in the Novel Effect app and have selected a book, click the button ‘Connect’ at the bottom of the screen and select the device you want it connected to.

What else does Novel Effect offer?
With a paid subscription, Novel Effect also offers book activities for some of their books. All you have to do is click on the pencil icon in the lower left corner, scroll down and see what downloadable activity they have to go along with what you are reading. You can purchase these separately if you don’t have a subscription here. Most of the activities run between $5-$10 each, so it would make more sense to pay for an entire month to get all of the benefits.

Any questions about Novel Effect? Do you think this is an app you’d use? I’d love to hear!


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