How often can you say that every page of a book inspired you? To mark the May paperback launch of Khaled Hosseini’s best selling novel And the Mountains Echoed, Penguin Books Canada and agency Dare Toronto have created an interactive experience that will tap all the book’s 402 pages for inspiration called “The Echo Project.”
The site features interactive puzzles, motion graphics, videos, illustrations, audio, and video that allows readers to explore themes that are complementary to the story, such as cultural and historical background on the novel’s setting. At one point the book makes reference to a specific fort in Kabul that played a role in the war with the British. The agency tracked down historical photos from that time gives the user background about what took place there.
“The brief from Penguin was to deliver an idea that had never been done before in publishing, and that importantly, would help them reach and engage readers in an entirely new way worth talking about,” says Dare Toronto executive creative director Paul Little. “And the Mountains Echoed is an extraordinary novel that takes readers around the world and through generations, and it is truly a stimulating, emotional experience to read. Penguin felt that this was the novel to push the creative boundaries with.”
The project has contributions from Hosseini himself, as well as Canadian book editors, media personalities, authors, painters, and illustrators. It’s still ongoing because it also asks readers to submit their own ideas and inspirations from the book, which will eventually help it reach the full 402 pages. “We knew it would make an exciting destination that would give fans a reason to return over and over up until the launch of the paperback,” says Little. “We also wanted to include fan created content for them to contribute and then share.”