Cover Story: CARIBBEE

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CARIBBEE packshot_200I know I’m privileged to be consulted at every stage of the conceiving of and production of a Kydd Series book cover; this isn’t the case for all authors. Thank you, Hodder & Stoughton!

While some might argue that it’s the inside that counts, the cover is the billboard for the book. As any one title is competing with many thousands of others it’s very important to draw a potential reader to your book with an eye-catching jacket.

So, how did the splendid cover of CARIBBEE come to be?

Once my editor Oliver Johnson had read the manuscript he emailed to invite any thoughts I had – and of course spoke with his colleagues in the Marketing, Sales and Publicity Departments.

In CARIBBEE, while there’s plenty of action and engagement with the enemy, it’s somewhat lighter in tone than BETRAYAL so I suggested a cover that was a change from its darker hues. And as the location is the Caribbean, exotic sunny colours, please!

Oliver decided to go with a layout similar to the previous two books with eighteenth-century naval weapons against an appropriate flag at the top, frigates in combat at the bottom of the page and a hint of the locale in some form.

Various images were sourced – a boarding pistol, a sea service cutlass and a flag of the Batavian Republic (Curacao reference).

These were then sent, along with a design brief, to Larry Rostant, who’s an incredible digital artist. (He’s done cover art for Stephen King, George RR Martin etc.)

While I knew in a broad sense what the cover would look like by this time seeing Larry’s fabulous creation was a real buzz. Some books have a ‘shout line’ – perhaps a quote or some reference to the story but as one Hodder employee remarked – ‘The cover is gorgeous, it says it all!’ I must say I had to agree.

– Do you have a favourite Kydd Series cover? I’d love to hear your thoughts –

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17 Comments on “Cover Story: CARIBBEE”

  1. Pingback: Caribbee: A return to turquoise seas | Julian Stockwin

  2. My favourite cover is the first Kydd novel I ever read – I had never even heard of Kydd and wanted something to read on a fairly long flight. It is the superb Geoff Hunt cover for ‘Seaflower’.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you I have just finished Caribbee and once again brilliant. The prose took me back to 1978 on board HMS/m Oracle when we visited Curacao , St Lucia and Antigua especially English Harbour. The smells of tarred rope and memories of the careening jetty came flooding back. Can’t wait again for my annual Kydd fix. Again thank you Julian.

  4. Carribbee didn’t last 24hours-great story- plot had twists and turns.
    If I time it right I can I can start a series re-read and ration myself to one a month until the next one comes out !

  5. My own favourite cover art has to be “ARTEMIS”! The full sail frigate rolling along on Pacific swells is magic to me, it speaks volumes to me, it’s so alive. Followed closely by “SEAFLOWER” and “COMMAND”. The art work on your dustjackets has been second to none, and those done by Geoff Hunt take the prize, in my humble opinion. Great reading, and keep up the good work. Bob Squarebriggs, Miramichi, NB, Canada

  6. Julian
    I have just finished “Caribbee”. Many thanks for another great tale of Kydd and Renzi. A real page turner only another year to wait.
    Once again, Many thanks
    Dave Lambert

  7. Have really been enjoying your blogs since you started. As a Canadian, when can I hope to see a copy of “Caribee” on our local Chapters, here in Montreal? Really enjoyed the cover art of “Victory”; not to mention the great story therein. A visit to Portsmouth is on my bucket list.

  8. Frustration here, someone has bought Caribee for a Christmas pressie- the strain is just too much to bear. My favourite cover is for ‘ The Admirals Daughter’. It shows Kydd with his gold epaulette – I would like to see a cover Kydd with his epaulette(s) and his medal(s). When will get his Trafalgar gong?

    Technical question as I am confused about epaulettes for commanders and post Captains

    Would Kydd once made post be able to transfer the epaulette from shoulder to the other (I forget which side) and then after 3 years seniority be able to wear his other epaulette. I read something about this in the Ramage novels – so if anyone can help!?

    One final comment, I have just watched ‘The Cruel Sea’ and the series ‘Das Boot’ one after the other for the umpteenth time and I think myself lucky I wasn’t there – my dad was on the convoys to Russia etc. though
    I am not ashamed to admit that it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch the above film (s)

  9. Julian, I love them all. Has anyone thought about a series of posters chronicle the Kydd adventures. High could be framed….bottom end rolled. Just thinking about my bare walls.

    • I second the comment above. I would love to hang a 11×17 copy of a Kydd book cover on my man cave wall.

  10. Dear Julian, although I have all your books in hard back, and soft back as well as on my phone. All hard back books are first editions, but only the last four or five are signed editions. I would line to build the whole set into signed editions. Is it possible that I could get any of the earlier signed editions from you or your publisher ,Julian. Best wishes, Mike Bigley.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Mike – I have a very limited number of Signed First Editions of earlier titles available – TREACHERY, CONQUEST, COMMAND, INVASION, VICTORY and QUARTERDECK. They are £25 each plus p&p (£3 for UK; £7 for Europe; £13 rest of world). As you’re a KYDD CLUB member you’re eligible for 1o% discount! Payment is via Paypal to but I suggest you get in touch to check availability first.

  11. Yeah, I really like the new cover art for the books! Incidently, I was able to return to Halifax, Nova Scotia this past September and I was able to buy a paperback copy of Betrayal from Chapters!

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