Novel Effect App Review

As educators, it is important to make literary experiences as interactive and valuable for the students that we work with. With that in mind, the Novel Effect app does a fantastic job merging reading and layering it with an immersive experience by including accurately timed audio effects that help bring stories to life! 

In the video below, Mat, Novel Effect's developer, is live reading a story with the Novel Effect app (which adds sound effects) to a preschool class. Mat goes on to explain more about the Novel Effect app.

There are several ways to utilize the app including reading hard cover books as well as eBooks. Educators and students can read a hard copy print (or Braille) version of a story book that is available from the app’s list of books. There is also an option to download eBooks directly within the app and read on the go.  

The Novel Effect app is free. You can download and learn more about the app here:

This first video demonstrates the process of downloading an ebook and how Novel Effects automatically adds and syncs appropriate sound effects that are activated as you live read the story to a student.

The second video demonstrates a live reading of the book with the Novel Effect sounds following the live reader. Listen for the background music and additional sounds that correspond with the story!

There is also an interactive video series.  This video series is available online on a computer and will be available in the future on streaming devices and mobile devices as well.

Want to try Novel Effect? Select your desired book here and read the speech bubbles. Your voice will be in sync with the story and sound effects are activated when you say key words.

What are your thoughts on this app?  How would you use it with your students?

Editor's Note: APH and Novel Effects have partnered to create sound effects for the tactile book, The Littlest Pumpkin. Learn more in the post, APH's Littlest Pumpkin Tactile Book and Sound Effects! post.



Posted by Teresa.Martin-BJan 16, 2020

The Novel Effect App is amazing.  Being a teacher of the visually impaired,  pictures are no longer a major factor of the story.  Finally, there is a technology that can turn storytime into a real-life experience by adding voices, sounds, and music.  While reading a story and making the story come to life my students become excited about reading. 
I was very excited to learn of the Novel Effect app that has partnered with the American Printing House of the Blind (APH) to bring a classic story, The Littlest Pumpkin to life.  Moving forward with using the Novel Effect app, I plan to send Novel Effect a list of books from APH and hope Novel Effect will upload the books to their library. How special for a new braille reader to have an opportunity to read and bring a story to life. 

Posted by ErickaJan 16, 2020

That is fantastic Teresa! I am looking forward to seeing how this amazing collaboration between APH and Novel Effect evolves.  Thank you so much for bringing the Novel Effect app to my attention.  As soon as you told me about it, I downloaded it and used it with one of my totally blind students.  She was way more engaged with the story and I was able to pace my reading and ask questions about the text as the story progressed.  I can see this being a big boost to increasing literature for our population of students.  I appreciate your continued support! 

Posted by mfurzeJan 22, 2020

Ericka! Thanks so much for the great article. I am the Chief of Ed at Novel Effect and a CTVI. I am so happy you are including us in your blog! We love hearing from TVIs and other vision professionals who are using our product with their students. Thanks for all you do! 

Posted by Diane BraunerJan 23, 2020

Thank YOU, mfurze, for sharing your TVI knowledge with Novel Effects - we appreciate this app and how much our students with VIB and their sighted peers are enjoying these wonderful stories!

Posted by ErickaJan 23, 2020

Thank you so much for the acknowledgment and the support of our fantastic students and teachers! I am really enjoying the app and am so excited that the video feature is now available on Mobile! Looking forward to more ways that our totally blind students can interact with the cause and effect portion of the videos. I was looking for a transcript of the three posted videos that are currently available so that I could make a Braille copy for my students.

Thank you!


Posted by mfurzeJan 23, 2020

Yes Ericka! This is a great question. I believe we do have a way to get transcripts. Can you shoot me an email Melodyatnoveleffectdotcom and I'll update you with my progress. Hopefully will be able to post them on our site as well :) Great call! 

Posted by Jpcoleman4May 16, 2020

I have tried everything to get the audio to work on my new iPad Pro 4th generation device with no success.  Have you had this issue before?  I have tried troubleshooting with Apple to no avail.  Is Novel Effect compatible with this IPad?  I so want to get this to work. Please help!

Posted by ErickaMay 17, 2020

Hello JPcoleman4,

I am sorry about your difficulty and am sure you are anxious to resolve this issue.  I have reached out to Novel Effect in your behalf and am waiting on a resolution for you.  The response might come from me via a reply messge here or from staff at Novel Effect.  Thank you and I will certainly keep you posted.