ShapeShifter

Meet Jonathan Ball, founder of South Africa’s leading publisher of English books

I don’t have a stake in the business anymore. I sold it to Naspers.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

The largest quantity of books sold in South Africa are British.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

Jeff Bezos took away a lot of sales from us. But we survived, and survived with profits!

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

Jonathan Ball founded Jonathan Ball Publishers in 1976.

It is leading publisher and distributor of English books in South Africa.

Jonathan Ball Publishers specialises in South African history, politics and current affairs.

It also publishes fiction and acts as agents for British and American publishers, marketing and distributing books on their behalf in southern Africa.

Examples include the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia series.

Jonathan Ball Publishers is an eight time winner of the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Ball for his “ShapeShifter” feature.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for more quotes from it).

I got poached by the British company Macmillan.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

I am Anglo-South African.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

English is a language that has given me immense pleasure.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

My very first book – South African Society - did quite well! It was prescribed by universities.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

I retired… but I’m often in the office. I’m called ‘publisher at large’.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

None of us would’ve guessed that “Smuts” would sell an excess of 20 000… Smuts made the peace between Afrikaners and the English.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

There’s a smallish paper revival.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

Publishing is quite lively in South Africa.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

South Africa is a fractured country, but it’s a fractured world.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

A lot of the books we commission.

Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Ball Publishers

Click here (then “like” the page) to follow Bruce on Facebook.

Enter your email address in the form below to receive a newsletter containing the most-read articles of the week from Bruce Whitfield’s The Money Show every Friday morning in your inbox.

Subscribe to our Business Wrap Newsletter


This article first appeared on 702 : Meet Jonathan Ball, founder of South Africa’s leading publisher of English books


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Got loans? Save money! You’re paying for insurance (even if you don't know it)

Got loans? Save money! You’re paying for insurance (even if you don't know it)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Nkazi Sokhulu, co-founder and CEO at credit life insurance provider Yalu.

FoodForward SA eases hunger by distributing good food that would’ve been wasted

FoodForward SA eases hunger by distributing good food that would’ve been wasted

14 million South Africans go hungry every day. Bruce Whitfield interviews Andy Du Plessis, Managing Director at FoodForward SA.

We need to deracialise our thinking - Sandile Zungu (Black Business Council)

We need to deracialise our thinking - Sandile Zungu (Black Business Council)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews newly elected Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu.

Hedy Lamarr invented what became Wi-Fi. She's more famous for onscreen nudity

Hedy Lamarr invented what became Wi-Fi. She's more famous for onscreen nudity

You may not have heard of Hedy Lamarr, but you owe this 1940s Hollywood star a great deal.

#DataMustFall! Meet Rain CEO Willem Roos... he is making it happen

#DataMustFall! Meet Rain CEO Willem Roos... he is making it happen

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Rain CEO Willem Roos for his weekly “ShapeShifter” feature.

Sars acting Commissioner Mark Kingon wants tax to be boring. It won't be easy

Sars acting Commissioner Mark Kingon wants tax to be boring. It won't be easy

South African Revenue Services' Mark Kingon has the most dreadfully important job. Bruce Whitfield interviews him...

Popular articles
Ramaphosa's new advisory team has 6 months to draw up national land reform plan

Ramaphosa's new advisory team has 6 months to draw up national land reform plan

Land researcher Prof. Ruth Hall says the panel faces an exciting challenge to see how government can fix the land reform process.

[LISTEN] Opinion: 'Thuma Mina dares not fail'

[LISTEN] Opinion: 'Thuma Mina dares not fail'

Breakfast Show host Bongani Bingwa says skeptics are right to question whether Ramaphosa will succeed in his mandate as president.

[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

Lecturer at TUT's Dept of Tourism, Unathi Henama says that the tourism sector is at the center of the economic policies in SA.

Creativity is not respected... People take but don't credit - Nompumelelo Mqwebu

Creativity is not respected... People take but don't credit - Nompumelelo Mqwebu

Author of 'Through the Eyes of An African Chef', Nompumelelo Mqwebu, chats about some of the challenges she's faced in her career.

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv has lost about 140 000 Premium subscribers to Netflix over the past two years, tech expert Arthur Goldstuck.

Tips on how to stop unauthorised debit orders

Tips on how to stop unauthorised debit orders

CEO of Payments Association of SA, Walter Volker says these fraudsters get a list of debit orders from unscrupulous employees.