About us


Jonathan Ball Publishers was started in 1976 and is the leading publisher and distributor of English general books in South Africa. We specialise in South African history, politics and current affairs and also publish some fiction. We also act as agents for British and American publishers, marketing and distributing books on their behalf in southern Africa.


Among the many and varied titles distributed in South Africa by us are the Harry Potter series, probably the biggest success story ever in the field of children's literature. We are also the sole distributors of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and C.S. Lewis' popular stories in The Chronicles of Narnia series.


Jonathan Ball Publishers have won the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award on eight occasions with The Dead will Arise by Jeff Peires, The Scramble for Africa by Thomas Pakenham, Mandela by Anthony Sampson, The Seed is Mine by Charles van Onselen, Mouthful of Glass by Henk van Woerden and Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred by Mark Gevisser. Jonny Steinberg is the only author to have won the prize twice for Midlands in 2003 and for The Number in 2005.






Our Own Publishing:

To publish books about South Africa which enlighten and entertain. Books of a liberal sanity which pander to neither left nor right nor to clever contemporary fashions in thinking.



Our Agency and Distribution Business:

To be South Africa's leading agent for British and American publishers and in this way maintain and foster links with the English speaking world. To offer the most efficient, fastest and most cheerful service to our Bookseller customers.







Adams Media

Allison & Busby Publications

Ayebia Clarke Publishing
Black And White Publishing
Bloomsbury Publishing
Bonnier Zaffre

Catnip Books

Chronicle Books

David Fickling Books

Elliott & Thompson

Europa Editions

Faber & Faber
Faber Factory Plus
Flying Eye Books
Gecko Press
Granta Books

Hachette Book Group

Hardie Grant Books

HarperCollins UK
HarperCollins USA
Head of Zeus
Headline Publishing
Hodder and Stoughton
Hot Key Books
Icon Books
Jane Nissen Books
John Murray Press
Kogan Page
Kyle Books
Little Brown Book Group
Mills & Boon

Michael O'Mara Books

Murdoch Books

Nosy Crow
Octopus Publishing Group
One World Publications
Orion Publishing Group
Pavilion Books Group
Phaidon Press
Plata Press 
Profile Books
Quercus Books
RDA Press

Rich Press

Rowman & Littlefield International

Rough Guides

Short Books
Simon & Schuster AUS
Simon & Schuster UK
Simon & Schuster USA
Taschen Books
Taylor & Francis
Templar Publishing
Upstart Press
Yale University Press


E-commerce Retailers