Icon Books is an independent publisher founded in 1992 – making 2022 our 30th anniversary – which specialises in intelligent, quality non-fiction for a general audience. Our Introducing Graphic Guide series thrives alongside a list of books in science, history, politics, sport, language, humour and much else besides.
Based primarily near Caledonian Road station in north London, Icon publish books in all English-speaking markets of the world – and many non-English speaking ones too. We are part of the Independent Alliance sales grouping in the UK and other markets, and our books are sold by leading distributors around the world, such as PGW in the USA, PGC in Canada, Allen & Unwin in Australasia, Jonathan Ball in South Africa and Penguin Random House in Singapore, Malaysia and India. Our translation rights sales are managed by the Marsh Agency in London.
In January 2017 we were delighted to be shortlisted for Independent Trade Publisher of the Year at the IPG Independent Publishing Awards – read more about that here.
Check out our latest catalogues:
We love to hear what our readers – and our customers – think of our books and how we publish them. Get in touch via email@example.com or on social media – you’ll see the links in the menu bar at the top of the site.
Who’s Who at Icon
Philip Cotterell, CEO
At 17, my first job in publishing was assistant receptionist at the then proprietorially owned Bodley Head in London’s swinging 60s before becoming the youngest ever rep visiting schools a couple of years later. Having lived overseas and building up number of U.K. independent publishing companies over the years, I joined Icon as Managing Director in 2012 and in that time, alongside the hugely talented Icon team, have helped create the innovative, eclectic publishing house we have today. Publishing is more than a career, it is a stimulating, enjoyable and ever challenging lifestyle working with and on behalf of our authors.
Andrew Furlow, Associate Publisher
firstname.lastname@example.org / 0207 700 9961
I joined Icon in 1999 and have worked since at the heart of almost everything Icon does. I am now specifically responsible for our sales throughout the world and the relationships we have with the people that are most important to us – you, our readers! I also manage US rights and translation rights. I am, in no particular order, a cyclist, runner, fan of contemporary fiction and 20th century history, and bass player! My favourite book is Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
Duncan Heath, Publisher & Editorial Director
I joined Icon in 1994, shortly after the company was founded, and since then I have worked in all aspects of editorial and production. I am now lucky enough to be in overall charge of commissioning new titles across Icon’s list, and, with six other editors, ensuring that we produce the very best books we can. Among the books I have recently enjoyed are Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn and The Overstory by Richard Powers.
Sue Cracknell, Accounts Manager
I joined Icon Books in 2006 as a part time bookkeeper. Coming from a banking background, publishing was a whole new world for me. But working with the small, but friendly and professional team here at Icon made it so easy and I now run the accounts office. Away from the numbers and computer screen, I like to cook for my now grown up family, potter in my garden, and pull on my walking boots whenever I can explore the countryside. Of course, always finding the time to sneak off with what ever book I’m reading at the time.
Kiera Jamison, Senior Commissioning Editor
I’ve been commissioning at Icon since 2014, before which I worked for five years as an editor at McGraw-Hill Education. I commission across genres and look after Icon’s comic-book style Introducing Graphic Guides, a highlight of which is Barker & Scheele’s trilogy: Queer, Gender and Sexuality. I’m interested in exploratory, critical and narrative books in subjects from social history to gender and equality, nature writing, psychology and philosophy, biological sciences, and culture, as well as non-fiction graphic novels and comics. I’m open to anything: outdoorsy or adventurous; to do with the sea, woods or mountains; on dance or music; diving into unusual passions and hobbies; relating third-culture or immigrant experiences, or post-colonial history; topic-driven life writing.
Michael Sells, Sports Editor
I look after Icon’s sports list and am interested in books that offer fresh insights into professional sport, as well as books that shed light on lesser-explored disciplines and sporting subcultures. Football titles form the core of our sports list but I’m keen to see proposals on a range of sports including American football, motorsports and athletics. My list includes 100 Years of Leeds United by Daniel Chapman, 5000-1: The Leicester City Story by Rob Tanner, Pompey: A Season Inside Fratton Park by Neil Allen and Verstappen by James Gray.
Ellen Conlon, Commissioning Editor
I joined Icon as an assistant editor in 2016, and have been commissioning and building my list since 2018. I’m looking to find stories told with strong, engaging, narrative voices that simply must be heard. Whether that’s memoir, alternative history, current affairs, true crime, popular culture or travel writing, I love to see a subject or idea covered in such a way that you can’t believe it’s not been done before, especially if there is an international appeal. My list includes The Gran Tour: Travels with My Elders by Ben Aitken, The Year of the End: A Memoir of Marriage, Truth and Fiction by Anne Theroux and John Stonehouse, My Father: The True Story of the Runaway MP by Julia Stonehouse.
Robert Sharman, Senior Editor
I’ve worked as an editor for many years, first with Tempus Publishing/The History Press, then Dorling Kindersley and now Icon Books. I love working closely with our brilliant authors and sharing in their knowledge and expertise; I only wish I could remember half of the fascinating stuff I’ve learned from them.
Clare Bullock, Commissioning Editor
I joined Icon in January 2021 after working at Ebury Press and Jonathan Cape. I’m particularly interested in the voices and stories we haven’t heard before, be that in narrative non-fiction and memoir, nature writing, social history or current affairs. I would also love to find some new talent in UK comics to bring to Icon. Recent non-fiction books I have admired include Motherwell by Deborah Orr, My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay, The Shapeless Unease by Samantha Harvey and The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang. On the comics front, I’m a big fan of Joe Sacco, Sarah Lippett and Marjane Satrapi. I have a one-year-old, so I don’t have any spare time, but if I did, I would spend it playing bad acoustic guitar, going to gigs and getting out of London to go for walks.
Lydia Wilson, Sales Manager
I’ve been at Icon since September 2016- I started on a two-week work experience placement and have been here ever since! I work across all aspects of sales, mainly managing our relationships with our brilliant reps and distributors around the world. I also handle the sale of audio and large-print rights, and work closely with our translation rights agents. Away from the office, you’ll probably find me watching any kind of sport or on my long-running quest to find the best pub in London.
Hamza Jahanzeb, Senior Marketing Executive
I have been working at Icon Books since 2020 and work on the marketing of exciting and varied campaigns of our books. During my university years, I revelled in the Graphic Guide series and particularly know how personally transformative reading Queer: A Graphic History was. I believe, and have done since I was brought up in the north of England, in the profound impact borrowing a book from your local library can have on both first-time and seasoned readers alike. It is an honour to bring our rich books to readers across the world and in numerous languages. I was also named The Bookseller’s Rising Star of 2020 – an accolade which celebrates book trade professionals tipped as future leaders of our industry. Previously, I worked at PRH N. Asia, Pan Macmillan and the Octopus Publishing Group (Hachette UK). Aside from being holed up with a book on my couch or writing poetry at a coffee shop, you’ll often see me enjoying the vast cultural landscape that the UK has to offer (from West End and regional touring theatre, to museums and art exhibitions) or hosting intimate supper clubs where I share my culture, heritage and tantalising treats with guests.
Hanna Milner, Desk Editor
I joined Icon in 2020 having previously worked as an editor at Nobrow, where I focused on illustrated non-fiction titles and graphic novels. In between Nobrow and Icon, I completed a Master’s degree in Linguistics at University College London. When I’m not working on projects with the Senior and Commissioning Editors, I’m reading contemporary Japanese fiction (I’ve recently enjoyed Mieko Kawakami, Sayaka Murata and Yukiko Motoya), collecting prints from my favourite illustrators and thinking about language.
Thea Al-Hirsi, Publishing Assistant
I joined Icon in 2020 and have since been lucky enough to work across all the different departments, at times creating marketing graphics and videos, and other times proofreading or helping out in Finance. I enjoy reading everything from sci-fi to politics and current affairs (although those sometimes don’t feel so different). I’m an avid linguist and am passionate about using the arts to promote underrepresented voices and new perspectives. If I’m not reading or learning, I’ll probably be decorating a cake or banging unrhythmically on my drum kit to songs sometimes even I don’t understand.
Temi Gadu, Publishing Intern