The Netflix for Books? – A Review of Epic!

Product: Epic! is a subscription-based ebook service for kids under 12. Your child can read ebooks on virtually any device, including iOS or Android mobile devices, Chromebooks, laptops, desktops, and even Smart TVs. A subscription to Epic! gives your child unlimited access to thousands of high quality books in many different genres and multiple languages for $7.99 a month.

Glows: Epic!’s interface is easy to use, and you can get started in just a few minutes. There’s a huge selection of books, and there are no ads or in-app purchases within the app. You can create up to four profiles per account, so if you’ve got multiple children, you can see what each kid is reading and track their progress. The majority of their books are downloadable, so your kids can also read them offline.

Grows: There is virtually no documentation on how to set up, use, or troubleshoot the app. You’ll need to search for and install the app through your respective app store. We’re also heard reports of some problems getting the app installed on Amazon devices, including the Kindle and Kindle Fire. If you want to end your subscription, you’ll need to unsubscribe in the same way you subscribed – whether that’s through the App Store, Google Play, or the Epic! website.

Bottom Line: Epic! puts thousands of high-quality books at your child’s fingertips for a low monthly price. If you’re a Kindle user, start with a free subscription first, to make sure you can set up the app on your device.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

How Epic! Works

Epic! is a giant digital library of books for various age groups and reading levels, in hundreds of genres. It’s been described as “Netflix for Books.” Their app also includes hundreds of educational videos from sources like Flocabulary and National Geographic Kids.

You can create up to four different profiles in your account, so each of your children can have their own profile that is customized just for them. As your child reads, Epic! will track their progress and you’ll be able to see stats like time spent reading, number of pages flipped, and total number of books completed. Your kids will be able to earn rewards and badges when they hit certain milestones in their accounts.

The Epic! system will make book recommendations for your child, based on their preferences and what they’re reading. Users can also search for books based on subject, genre, and age. Some books also include audio or “read-to-me” versions, and your child can follow along with highlighted words on the page.

The Epic! collection includes lots of STEM-related titles. A quick search for “coding” in the app turned up these titles (plus many more):

Epic! also offers free accounts to elementary educators and school librarians. If your child’s teacher uses Epic! in the classroom and you have a current Epic! account at home, you can sync the accounts together. When your accounts are linked, you’ll be able to see what your child is reading in school, and your child’s teacher will be able to view what your child reads at home.

The Inspiration Behind the Epic! Application

Epic! was founded in 2013 by Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue. At the time, the founders noticed that their kids loved their tablets and mobile devices, but they spent all of their time watching videos or playing games, not reading. They wanted to create an app that gave kids access to an unlimited library of digital books that didn’t require parents to continually purchase individual titles.

Co-founder Suren Markosian says:

Books are one of the most essential resources used by teachers, but because so many of today’s school and classroom libraries have limited quantity and selection, it is becoming harder and harder to get kids excited about reading. This is when I realized that the entire ecosystem was broken and that nobody had built a compelling and fun reading experience for children on touchscreen devices. Kids can easily download games and watch videos — why couldn’t they just as easily access and read good books?

How to Get Started with Epic!

The process of getting started with Epic! is fast, so your child can start reading in minutes.

Go to the Getting Started page, enter your email address and password, and then put in your payment details. Epic! is free for the first month, and then you’ll be automatically billed $7.99 each month, until you cancel your subscription.

Once you’ve set up your account and created a profile for your child, we recommend setting your Preferences by clicking on the gear icon in the app.

You can add your child’s age, favorite topics, and language preference – you can choose between English, Spanish, Chinese, and French. You can also disable things like the learning videos, the community area, and app notifications. Setting your preferences will help Epic! customize their recommendations specifically for your child.

If you set up your profile and preferences using an desktop or laptop browser, you’ll also need to download the app on your mobile device. You should be able to search for “Epic!” or “Epic! – books for kids” to find the app in your store. Then you can download the app and log in using your username and password.


Epic’s About Us page

Common Sense Media’s review of the Epic! app

Interview with one of the founders

Epic’s FAQ page

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