As long-time readers here might remember, I have a picture book about a remarkable journey coming out later this year. It’s called A Race Around the World: The True Story of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland. In 1889, a journalist named Nellie Bly set out on a round-the-world trip that she hoped to complete in less than 80 days. Unbeknownst to Nellie (and unbeknownst to me when I first started researching her story), another lady journalist named Elizabeth Bisland embarked on a competing journey that very same day!
From first idea to finishing edits, this book has been an adventure to write. I’ve loved delving into the lives of two very different women who nevertheless shared an experience no one else in the world could claim. Nellie and Elizabeth “girdled the globe” faster than anyone who’d tried before, even beating the fictional record of Jules Verne’s storybook character, Phileas Fogg. I’ve been excited every time I’ve returned to this project. The story is compelling because it’s real. I love knowing young readers can have a Nellie book on their shelves just as I did as a child.
Here’s the beautiful cover for A Race Around the World, illustrated by Alexandra Bye. That’s our westward traveler, Elizabeth, on the left, with her pen in hand, and eastbound Nellie on the right, with the only dress, coat, and bag she brought with her. The steam train and steam ship were Nellie and Elizabeth’s primary means of travel. The inclusion of the compass and watch show this race was a journey of distance and time. Isn’t it just lovely?
Once a cover goes live, readers are able to place pre-orders, which signal to publishers interest in a book. The more early interest, the more orders retail and online bookstores make, which in turn influences the number of books a publishing house prints. Did you know pre-orders typically account for 3-30% of a book’s total sales? Readers hold tremendous power in welcoming a book into the world!
If you’d like to read of Nellie and Elizabeth’s one-of-a-kind journey, please consider placing an order through, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local independent bookseller. Thank you, friends, for your ongoing support. It means so very much.