Icon Books is a small independent British publisher specialising in thought-provoking books. The company was founded in 1991 by three partners, Richard Appignanesi, the original editor of the Beginners series and author of Introducing Freud, Introducing Postmodernism and Introducing Existentialism, Jeremy Cox, a former marketing director of Hutchinson, and Peter Pugh, an author of books on business.
Icon’s very first Beginners books were launched at Colletts bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London in March 1992 Einstein, Freud, Darwin and Ecology. During the 1990s the series grew dramatically from the original four, and was relaunched to great acclaim at the start of 1999 with the new title Introducing. By the end of 2001 there will be 71 Introducing titles.
In 1994 Icon Books signed an agreement with Penguin Books, and Penguin sold and distributed Icon’s titles in every market of the world except the USA (where Icon trades as Totem Books) and Australasia.
In October 2000 Icon switched its sales representation and since January 2001 has been sold by Faber and Faber, or their agents, and distributed by Macmillan Distribution Ltd in all markets of the world excluding Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
On 1 June 2003, Icon changed distributor (in all markets of the world excluding Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand) to TBS Ltd.
In the USA Icon's distributor is National Books Network (NBN), in Australasia Allen & Unwin and in Canada Penguin Canada.
Icon now publishes a wide variety of books in non-fiction. Having tended to publish in series, such as the lists of Postmodern Encounters, Ideas in Psychoanalysis and Revolutions in Science, Icon is now publishing more and more individual titles, such as our bestselling guide to the Internet, The Internet from A to Z and the critically acclaimed The Euro: Should Britain Join - Yes or No?
2002 was a very exciting year for Icon Books, a decade since the first Beginners books went on sale. Six brand new Introducing titles, two fascinating Postmodern Encounters, new books in the Revolutions in Science and Ideas in Psychoanalysis lists, whole new series, special events, offers and more. 2003 promises to be even better!