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 Har3ry 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.







Allison & Busby Publications
Ayebia Clarke Publishing
Bloomsbury Academic Publishing
Bloomsbury Publishing
Bonnier Publishing
Cengage Learning
David Fickling Books
Era Publications
Faber & Faber
Gecko Press
Guilford Publishers
Hachette Book Group USA
HarperCollins Publishers UK
HarperCollins Publishers USA
Head of Zeus
Headline Publishing Group
Hesperus Press 
Hodder & Stoughton
Hodder Consumer Education

Kogan Page Publishers

Kyle Books
Little, Brown Book Group
Mills & Boon
Murdoch Books
Nosy Crow
Octopus Publishing Group
Orion Publishing Group
Phaidon Press
Phoenix Publishers
Plata Publishing
Practical Action Publishing
Profile Books
Publishers Group West
Quercus Publishing
RDA Press
Short Books
Simon & Schuster UK
Simon & Schuster USA
Taylor and Francis Group
Teaching Solutions
Templar Publishing
Yale University Press

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