A Story and a Song by Meenakshi Yarlagadda.

by Meenakshi Yarlagadda

Combining autobiographical snapshots with imagined tales, A Story and a Song invites readers into a haven of lush imagery, twilight musings, and melodic rhyme. This debut, though written by a young author, conjures wistful nostalgia far beyond her lived years.

What she wanted:

Guidance in revising her work while preserving her vivid, musical style.

What she had:

A series of poems arranged in the order she wrote them.

What we did:

Arrangement suggestions
Critique letter
Deep line edits
ISBN acquisition
Publishing support
E-book formatting

Sometimes it rains
a downpour of lyrical poems
and the islands flood with stanzas of storms…

Covering all bases…

Meenakshi started her Tell Tell collaboration without firm ideas about cover design—which was fine because our designers are always ready to serve up inspiration! She liked the idea of subdued colors, illustrations, and traditional text styles.

Designers pulled key phrases from Meenakshi’s work to guide our cover offerings, knitting poetic images into visible reality. She opted for simple line-style illustration and a monochrome palette: classic, mature, and a perfect echo of her unpretentious writing style.

An inside job…

Meenakshi also wanted assistance structuring her collection, editing the poems, and revising them while maintaining her unique voice. The journey we embarked on with her included deep line edits, suggestions for rhyme and rhythm, and multiple choices for the interior layout.

Our editors gave thoughtful suggestions about the arrangement, offering detailed rationale for a new structure. Because Meenakshi’s original sequence was in the order she composed them, we helped her clarify themes and stories she wanted to highlight most: fable-like narrative, explorations of nature and awe, then closing with love, heartbreak, and resilience.

Personalized attention and respect for authors’ choices are baked into Tell Tell’s editing ethos. Meenakshi loved our suggestions, we moved forward—and the final result is true alchemy between publisher and poet.

The extra mile…

Relationships with our authors don’t end when the final book is in the world (in Meenakshi’s case, via Amazon’s KDP format). In addition to marketing support and cheerleading, we get giddy peppering our authors with treats.

For Meenakshi’s birthday, we sent a framed copy of her book cover, as well as t-shirts to celebrate our collaboration.

Bringing poets’ visions to life is not something we take lightly—and we wouldn’t trade that privilege for all the moons and stars.

Stop making excuses. Make it happen.