About Us

Short Version

It’s the 70’s. Boy meets Girl. They marry, and travel. They have a thing for windmills, and photograph them often. At some point they notice most windmills are Climaxes, and the jokes begin…  Fast forward to 2014: They put it all together, as a cheeky little book called The Climax Collection: The Secret Life Of Windmills, but soon realise it is too edgy and alternative to be picked up by a conventional publisher. So they sell a kidney or two and print it themselves under the label El Gecko Publishing. They also travel around in their dodgy 4x4 called Koos, to market and distribute it. It becomes a best seller, already into its 3rd impression. The travels give rise to another fun book, Travels Troubles With Koos. They print The Climax Collection 2 and launch 10 e-books. The journey continues…

Longer Version

Max and Sue Hoppe are a couple from Port Elizabeth, who are, let’s just say, ‘past their prime.’ Max is in business admin, and due to retire in a couple of years’ time. Sue is an artist (see her work here), working mostly in oils, mixed media and the odd sculpture. They’ve been married for 40 years and have two kids, both married with two kids of their own.

Ever since Max and Sue met, they have shared a passion for travel and photography, and both love to see the world, with open eyes and minds.

EL GECKO PUBLISHING is an indie publisher, making high-quality, fun books and products, with a distinctly South African flavour.

For Max and Sue, it’s been quite a ride, from having an idea, to deciding they believed in it enough to take the large financial gamble of making it into a physical book, to figuring out how to let people know about the book, to printing another, and so-on. And it all started with a CLIMAX!

Their road trips have always involved hunting for windmills. With the advent of digital photography, and a slower style of travel, they have built a huge collection of windmill photos, many of which are of the Climax brand. Of course, the name Climax lends itself to all sorts of double entendre. This play on words that led the pair to come up with naughty interpretations for their hundreds of windmill photos. Since the idea for the book was born, they have had a huge amount of fun, looking for shots and matching captions. But it’s a long and expensive road, from an idea to a real hold-it-in-your-hands book!

With no prior publishing experience, they jumped in the deep-end of indie-publishing with The Climax Collection: The secret life of Windmills, a tongue-in-cheek look at what windmills might get up to when they think we aren’t looking, and have been delighted with how well that book has done (and continues to do!) They’ve learned a lot along the way, travelled extensively, and met wonderful creative people along the way, many of whom are now stockists and readers of El Gecko Publishing books.