Icon Books is an independent publisher founded in 1992 – making 2017 our 25th 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
Peter Pugh, Chairman
I founded Icon Books in 1992 to re-introduce the Beginners series. We started with just four titles but there are currently over 90 titles in the series now called Introducing. Icon also publishes single titles such as The Etymologicon, a bestseller. I am now the chairman with a great team to build the company into a significant publisher. My night job is writing company histories. I have written 50 including a three-volume history of Rolls-Royce of which Icon has sold over 70,000 copies. My weekend job is trying to help my seven grandchildren avoid all the mistakes I made when I was young. I used to play golf but gave up when I was 50 to take up a less active sport, tennis. I also swim twice a day in the North Sea off the Norfolk coast.
Philip Cotterell, Managing Director
My first job in publishing was assistant receptionist at the Bodley Head in London’s Covent Garden in the middle of Swinging London in the 60s before becoming the youngest ever educational representative into schools at the age of 19, a record held to this very day. Having lived overseas and holding a number of positions at three independent publishing companies, I joined Piatkus Books in its infancy in 1982 and with Judy Piatkus and others, built Piatkus Books to being one of the most successful UK independent publishing houses of its time, which we sold in 2007. I became MD of Icon two years ago after some time as their non-executive director. Publishing is more than a career – it is a stimulating and enjoyable lifestyle.
Andrew Furlow, Sales & Marketing Director
firstname.lastname@example.org / 0207 700 9961
I joined Icon in the dog days of the 20th century 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, 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 three other editors, ensuring that we produce the very best books we can. My favourite book is As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee, with Animal Farm a close second. Having said that, in my free time I’m most likely to be reading P.G. Wodehouse or Hollywood biographies.
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 commission across genres and also look after Icon’s biggest two series: the comic-book style Introducing Graphic Guides, a recent highlight of which are our large-format books Queer: A Graphic History and American Politics: A Graphic History; and the self-help and business Practical Guides. I’m interested in social histories, essay collections, anything to do with pop culture, language, memoir, practical self-help and business. Some of my favourite works of non-fiction are Olivia Laing’s To the River, Irvin Yalom’s Love’s Executioner & Other Tales of Psychotherapy, and Masha Gessen’s Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot. My favourite comic books include Love and Rockets, Calvin and Hobbes, and everything by Alison Bechdel.
Tom Webber, Commissioning Editor
I joined Icon in 2015 as a commissioning editor, and am looking to acquire strong narratives across a range of genres: including but not limited to memoirs, histories, popular science and biographies. I like stories that seamlessly blend styles, genres and ideas, and that open up many different directions of investigation and analysis at once. In my non-working life I tend to spend more time with fiction, and I love Gogol, Hrabal, Patrick Hamilton and Houellebecq. Currently I am an Elena Ferrante nut. I also frequently re-read the greatest work of non-fiction of all time: God’s Fifth Column: A biography of the age 1890-1940 by William Gerhardie. Or, on other days, Roger’s Profanisaurus.
Michael Sells, Sports Editor
I have been at Icon since July 2013 and split my time between sales and sports editorial. I also manage our partnership with the brilliant Football Beyond Borders. Away from the world of books I am a shareholder in Leeds Fans United, a volunteer for CALM and Paolo Maldini’s biggest fan. My favourite books include Ian Hawkey’s Feet of the Chameleon, A Life Too Short by Ronald Reng and Erbstein by Dominic Bliss. I am a dependable right back but operate equally well as a holding midfielder.
Victoria Reed, Press Officer
Ellen Conlon, Editor
Lydia Wilson, Senior Sales and Foreign Rights Executive
Lucy Cooper, Marketing Executive