Small independent children’s publisher wins Nielsen Publisher of the Year at the 2017 Book Industry Awards

Energy, innovation and niche


Gecko Press, an independent and international publisher of children’s books based in Wellington, has won New Zealand Publisher of the Year this week, for “energy and innovation” and for “proving and consolidating a niche”.

Thirteen years ago, when I first started Gecko Press to translate the best children’s books in the world into English, the Swedish publisher of Margaret Mahy told me, ‘either you’re an idiot or it’s a niche. Let’s hope it’s a niche,’” says Gecko Press publisher Julia Marshall.

It has proven a satisfying and strong niche, to bring the best children’s writers in the world to English-speaking readers worldwide,” she says.

We are now in the business of collaboration, to make sure reading remains a top activity for children in an age of digital distraction.”


The Curiously Good Book Club

The judges also mentioned the new Curiously Good BookClub, launched by Gecko Press to increase conversation about the importance of reading, to help people choose books for children and to bring books to where children are.

Earlier this year Gecko Press kickstarted the Curiously Good Book Club with a Crowdfunding campaign that raised over $38,000. The initiative embraces and encourages collaboration across booksellers, publishers and readers.

The aim of the Curiously Good Book Club is that every child discovers the love of reading. It is a place where people can share knowledge about great books (not just Gecko Press books) and find creative ways to encourage reading.

2017: a wealth of awards for Gecko Press!

Gecko Press prides itself on publishing a small number of carefully-selected children’s books, on good production—design, paper, bindings, covers—and on trying to make each book the best it can be. This quality and diversity has been awarded many times this year:

– Wolf Erlbruch – “a careful and caring visionary” – is the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award laureate for 2017

– Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis won the NZ Picture Book Award 2017 with That’s Not A Hippopotamus!

– Gecko Press awarded Nielsen  Publisher of the Year at the 2017 Book Industry Awards, for “continuing innovation and a fantastic year of creating readers”

– Spencer Levine with Annual, won the Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children’s Book, the Mary Egan Publishing Award for Best Typography and the Hachette New Zealand People’s Choice Award at the PANZ Book Design Awards 

Bathtime for little Rabbit shortlisted for the Sainbury’s Children’s Book Awards.

For more information, contact Faustine Tillard or +64 4 801 9333

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