Based in a small street in inner Wellington, Julia Marshall runs a global children’s publishing business.
Like the native animal it is named for, Gecko Press aims to be nimble, quick and curious.
About 85 per cent of titles are based on translation rights.
The remainder are original New Zealand books by well known authors such as Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop, Jenny Bornholdt, and Mary McCallum.
The company’s books based on translation rights are sold mainly in Australia, the United States, United Kingdom and China. And of course, New Zealand.
In 10 years Marshall’s company has grown from publishing four books a year to 20, reaching $1.3 million annual turnover, employing four fulltime staff and garnering plaudits from hard-to-please critics.
Her titles are what she likes to describe as "curiously good books" and are sourced from French, German, Belgium, Swedish, Polish, Dutch and Japanese publishing houses.
A freelance team of translators then translates the books into English for sale to English-speaking audiences.
Among the New Zealand books – she produces about four originals a year – Joy Cowley’s Snake and Lizard has enjoyed runaway success, with the rights being sold 11 times around the world.