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Meet Our Authors

  • Adam DeMarco

    Adam DeMarco is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point as well as Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and McDonough Business School. He is...

  • Ashton Pienaar

    Ashton Pienaar is perhaps best known for his role on Bravo’s hit reality TV show Below Deck. He appeared on season six as a deckhand and was so popular that he was...

  • Christopher Mark McKinley

    Christopher Mark McKinley is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL with more than fifteen years of combined Naval Special Operations Command (NAVSOC) and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)/Department of State (DoS)...

  • Jennifer Smith, PhD

    Jennifer Smith has always been passionate about emerging infectious diseases like prions, Ebola virus, and 1918 influenza. She earned her doctoral degree in microbiology and molecular cell sciences while working...

  • John P. Lyons

    John Patrick Lyons was born in Houston, Texas. At the age of 15, John went to work at the Port of Houston and later in the oilfields of South Texas....

  • Kim Carson

    Kim Carson’s journey is a tapestry of resilience, determination, and an unwavering commitment to shatter barriers hindering marginalized communities in the tech industry. Her story is one of staunch dedication...

  • Mark Burrell

    Mark is originally from Pennsylvania and grew up in the Episcopal Church where he accepted Christ as a teenager. He attended Penn State University and met his wife, Charlene, in...

  • Rear Admiral Kyle Cozad, Retired Navy Pilot And Paralyzed Vet

    Rear Admiral Kyle Cozad graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985. His Navy career centered around aviation training and operations, and he served extensively as an instructor pilot in...

Most Recent Blog

How a Hybrid Publishing Deal Can Launch—or Enrich—Your Business Coaching Career

As business leaders across markets better understand the value professional coaching provides, a wash of new coaches, all hoping to cash in, has flooded the pool. Whether you’re an established business coach with decades of experience or a newcomer desperate to make your mark, taking strategic steps now will ensure you’re ready to float above the rest.

Ballast Author Testimonials

"The list of accolades I could provide regarding my experience with Ballast Books could be quite long. I will suffice it to say that Ballast has delivered on every service they claim to offer. As a first-time author, I have had direct access to the founder of Ballast Books, Andy Symonds. From day one, he began to educate me on every step of the publishing process and my alternatives for publishing, distribution, etc. Andy and his entire team have been very responsive and professional every step of the way. The distribution network and marketing services that Ballast offers have been instrumental for creating opportunities for increased exposure for my memoir. Andy was beyond gracious when he connected me with the right folks (outside of his organization) that enabled me to create an audio version of my book from the comfort of my home. I am beyond grateful to Andy Symonds and the team he has built at Ballast Books!"

-J.D. McCabe

Author of The Third Gift

“As a writer publishing for the first time, Ballast Books has been the perfect partner for me. It is very easy to be overwhelmed by the publishing juggernaut. Ballast Books handled everything from developing the finished manuscript and layout to printing, distribution, and marketing strategies. The publisher himself, Andy Symonds, is accessible for advice and coaching and is a great help when decisions need to be made. Their marketing pros have been terrific to work with and have secured numerous guest appearances on podcasts and conferences. These folks are the best, full stop.”

-Marv Weidner

Author of When the Rocks Sing

“Ballast Books made it easy for a first-time author to produce and deliver a very professional product. From first contact to first book on the shelves, no question was left unanswered, and the collaboration was second to none. I’d gladly recommend their services for any author—a “first timer” like me or someone who has multiple books on the drawing table. Thanks for helping me deliver Relentless Positivity in a manner that exceeded my expectations!”

-Rear Admiral Kyle Cozad

Author of Relentless Positivity

"The Ballast Books team was like having my own cheering squad right next to me the entire time as I wrote my first book. They went back and forth with me every step of the way. They carried me through the highs and lows of writing a book and gave me the confidence to follow through. Don't even get me started on the quality. The beauty and the quality of the book is the number one compliment I get as soon as people get it in their hands. Ballast Books is worth every penny!"

-Justine Evirs

Author of F This

"As first-time authors, we had no idea what to expect when publishing. But Andy and his team did an incredible job walking us through the entire process and our options for publishing and laid out the expectations and timelines for our team. The Twenty-Year War is a large profile coffee table photo journal with high-detail images and custom layouts on every page. The timeline to produce and release a book of its magnitude was astonishingly tight. Any other publisher would have likely laughed us out of the room, but we were pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of Andy's team to get our book across the finish line in time for our release date."

-Dan Blakeley

Author of The Twenty-Year War

“It was my goal for many years to publish a coffee table book, and I initially felt overwhelmed by the possibilities. I knew I needed the editorial and design support from a publishing company but had strong opinions on many visual elements that I knew could be usurped by a traditional publishing model. In this research phase, I discovered Ballast Books through the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, as they had recently published The Twenty-Year War. The quality and visual appeal of that book, along with feeling comfortable that my military theme would fit into their library, prompted me to inquire.

I immediately felt at home and excited about the hybrid model Ballast Books uses. Every step of the way, they provided high-level professional support while honoring my vision for the project. Their meticulous attention to detail and expertise helped the book to be elevated beyond what I thought it could be. Everyone on the team made the experience outstanding—from vision casting to editing, design, logistics, strategy, and marketing. I’m so glad I worked with Ballast Books on this project!”

-Kristin Cronic

Author of A Midshipman’s Journey

“Have you dreamed of writing a book? What happens when your dream suddenly becomes a nightmare? Changing publishers midstream is an author’s nightmare—kind of like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute and hoping to grab a friend on the way down. During the publishing of my second book, I lost my parachute (aka my publisher) and was freefalling—that is, until Ballast Books invited me to grab onto their parachute. Ballast Books not only took on my unfinished project, but they also they did it with class and professionalism. I had a tight deadline to meet, and the team at Ballast was unwavering in their commitment. Even though words are my life, I find myself without the words to describe the depth of gratitude and respect I have for the Ballast team. If you have suddenly found yourself without a publishing home or are otherwise considering your publishing options, put Ballast Books at the top of your list. I think you will be as pleased as I am…maybe more!”

-Matthew Q. Lesser

Author of unEngaged

“As a first-time author (who isn't really an author), I was very intimidated going into the experience of writing a book. From the beginning, Ballast gave me comfort, guidance, and unfiltered truth that gave me the confidence to achieve my dream of publishing a memoir. They were easy to work with, responsive, and direct—​all of which matters for full-time executives like myself. I would recommend Ballast to anyone with a dream of becoming a published author.”

-Michael Stutts

Author of There’s No Room Service at the Psych Ward

“As a first-time author, the publishing process can be confusing and overwhelming. I am glad I selected Ballast Books as my publishing company. From day one, the Ballast team was incredibly professional and attentive, providing a level of reliability and efficiency that surpassed all my expectations. The quality of their book publishing service was exceptional, and I would recommend Ballast Books to any author looking for a reliable team to help with all aspects of the publishing process. Thank you, Ballast Books, for not only meeting but exceeding my expectations!”

-Dafne Toro

Author of The Strategic Business of You

"Ballast Books is among a new wave of hybrid publishers democratizing and disrupting the publishing industry. Their business model opens publishing up to visionary authors with a purpose whose works often get overlooked by traditional publishers. Every step of the way, Ballast’s collaborative approach and exceptional quality has equaled or surpassed my experience of traditional publishers within the top seven."

-Diana Smith

Author of Remaking the Space Between Us

"Your team has been great to work with … I knew nothing when I started this journey and know a little bit now…but they have made each step super simple. Thanks for all that you guys do!"

-Greg McNeilly

Author of Red, White & Verse