On 29 August 2020, The Ball magazine launched the first sportsbook by the talented writer C.S Chiwanza.
“Chiwanza on Sport is a collection of thought-provoking articles from a writer who is sure to start garnering a larger audience soon,” said Simon Lewis, editor and publisher of The Ball magazine.
The book has been produced in digital format as a PDF and is available to the public at no charge.
“I really enjoy his writing and the way he brings other sports and historical figures into his pieces, and I think it’s so important to promote writing talent that isn’t yet part of mainstream media. Publishing books digitally is exciting because it offers the opportunity to take a chance on new writers or exciting new content that might otherwise never have seen the light of day through a mainstream publisher,” added Lewis.
The articles cover a broad spectrum of sporting interest, from finding the key to success, to creating teamwork that makes the dream work and the importance of visualisation in sport.
“Some of my personal favourites include ‘Lessons from South Korea’s golfers’, ‘Late bloomer’, ‘The world needs more people like Peter Norman’, ‘The invisible stars’ and ‘The science behind the art of visualization in sport’. These articles all offer great insight and food for thought for sportswomen and -men at all levels, as well as parents and fans,” said Lewis.
“These articles can all be read online, but there’s something special about having a digital copy that you can keep to re-read at your leisure. The book is in PDF format, so you never have to worry about a link being broken or not having data… or needing to update software or even get a new cellphone in order to read it. There are also no limitations on readers being able to share the book with family and friends, so if audiences enjoy it then there’s no limit to how many people can read it.
“I truly believe this form of publishing will play a huge role in education in the coming decades, especially on the African continent where so many of our children don’t have sufficient (or any) WiFi access, and where access to devices or computers is either minimal or outdated.”
The book has been produced in two versions: a landscape format (ideal for reading on a tablet or a computer screen) as well as a portrait version, which is perfect for reading on a smartphone. The PDF format includes functions such as hyperlinks to online content as well as a contents page with hyperlinks to each article within the PDF book.
“Some might view this format as low-tech, as there aren’t fancy bells and whistles, but when it comes to reading an article or a story your focus is going to be on the words. I want these books to be accessible to as wide an audience of sports lovers as possible and with no technology barriers, which is why the PDF format is the magic ticket!”
An additional innovation is the fact that readers have a range of cover options to select from when they download Chiwanza on Sport.
“You should never judge a book by its cover, but at the same time sports lovers all have different interests and preferences. We thought it would be fun for people to choose to download this book with their choice of a cover that features Tiger Woods, Se Ri Pak, Michael Phelps, John McEnroe, Miguel Indurain, Shane Battier, Mike Hussey, Peter Norman, Mariano Rivera or even one featuring the might New Zealand haka!
“The cover of a digital book isn’t as relevant as a printed book that will physically be seen on your coffee table or bookshelf, but it’s so simple to make an extra version with a different cover, so we thought ‘why not’,” said Lewis, who has a number of digital books and magazines in production, including some educational offerings he hopes could make a difference in the lives of South Africa’s youth in particular, the majority of whom have inadequate educational facilities or learning material.
“Mainstream media, in particular print, is under huge strain due to a massive reduction in advertising spend. You see the cost of print magazines going up rapidly and the number of pages dropping. Book prices seem to just keep rising as well. I don’t believe print will ever die, but compared to 20 years ago when there were hundreds of magazines being published in South Africa, the market has now shifted radically as only the strongest can survive. We have yet to find a way to make digital publishing profitable – or even simply sustainable – but what excites me is that it’s a way to test new talent and subject matter in the market as well as to build new brands.”
For now, though, Lewis is excited simply to be pushing the publishing envelope.
“I’ve experimented with digital publishing for the past decade, but between the world’s economic struggles and now the global lockdown, somehow it seems like the time might be right for the public to really latch on to the full potential of digital publishing,” said Lewis. “I don’t know if it can become sustainable financially as print media has been, but by pushing the envelope with passion projects we might be able to create something of a revolution in publishing. But hopefully, at least Chiwanza on Sport will bring the author opportunities to soon share his fresh views with readers of the world’s major newspapers.”
DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF CHINWAZA ON SPORT HERE
- Tiger Woods cover
- Shane Battier cover
- Se Ri Pak cover
- Michael Phelps cover
- Peter Norman cover
- Miguel Indurain cover
- John McEnroe cover
- Mariano Rivera cover
- Mike Hussey cover
- Haka cover
Tablet & computer versions