About Icon

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.

Check out our latest catalogue:

July – December 2023

We love to hear what our readers – and our customers – think of our books and how we publish them. Get in touch via info@iconbooks.net or on social media – you’ll see the links in the menu bar at the top of the site.

Who’s Who at Icon

Nick Hayward, Amberley c.e.o

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.

Emily Cary-Elwes, Head of Publicity

I started at Icon in 2022. Prior to that I was at Hurst, where I was head of publicity. Before that, I was UK head of publicity at Norton for nine years, working with authors including Paul Krugman, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, E O Wilson, Frans De Waal, Emily Wilson, and Jill Lapore. During my nearly two decades in publishing, I have also worked at Virgin, Hodder, Octopus and Carlton Books across a variety of genres, including non-fiction, children’s, celebrity authored titles, horror, memoir, cookery, and fiction. I have a five-year-old and nearly eight-year-old, so I spend my spare time ferrying them around to their various engagements. If I had more time I would travel more, go to more music festivals and gigs, see more art exhibitions and theatre.

Matt Boxell, Head of Sales

I’ve been at Icon since September 2022, and before that worked at Thames & Hudson, Abrams & Chronicle, and Quarto. Working in publishing obviously means that I love to read, and normally read a lot of contemporary literature alongside science and nature writing. Outside of books my passion is food, I used to be a chef so love spending my evenings in the kitchen!

Ellen Conlon, Senior Commissioning Editor (currently on maternity leave, contact Sophie Lazar in Ellen’s absence. Sophie can be reached on: sophie.lazar@iconbooks.net)


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 Marmalade Diaries 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.

Clare Bullock, Senior 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.

James Lilford, Desk Editor

I joined Icon at the start of 2022 after working as an editor at another independent. One of the best things about my job is that I get to help bring a diverse selection of stories into the world, from popular science to history and true crime to memoir. I look after a number of the sports books at Icon, in addition to other general books on our list. When not working on Icon’s books I will usually be reading something about the Cold War.

Thea Al-Hirsi, Senior Editorial and Production 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.