To celebrate the stories of 25 women through first-person mini-narratives.
Flowers from weeds...
When working with Tell Tell to publish her debut collection, Jerrilyn Black didn’t get mired in the weeds of the process—instead, she characterizes it as “being immersed in the flowers.”
That’s an apt metaphor for her book as a whole, which embodies the restorative power of women’s storytelling to survive the thorns of trauma, heartache, and loss. Jerrilyn came to our team after 3 years of shaping her lovingly-crafted poems, and we provided interior and exterior design, customized editing suggestions, and distribution assistance.
I was on the verge of becoming overwhelmed by the expansiveness of all I'd taken on. It was a welcome relief to have Tell Tell step in and help me gain a larger perspective about my work.”
By the look of things...
Developing the book’s look was an organic process of inspiration and experimentation. Jerrilyn knew she wanted a colorful cover, as well as illustration that reflected her focus on feminine strength. After sharing a Pinterest link and color palette with our designers, we went to work preparing a rare and precious offering in the publishing world: custom illustration and cover options.
Multiple mock-ups appealed to Jerrilyn, but loved ones’ feedback aided her final selection: intertwined faces that echo the poems’ emphasis on collective healing. She says that “Since it’s been published, I’ve received the most amazing feedback about the cover. People have said it makes them want to open and read it. How powerful!”
Our team and Jerrilyn coordinated font choices, too. Over time, they tweaked the cover’s lettering, as well as internal text. By ensuring authors’ agency in the design process, the final product better reflects their creative vision—without leaving them to figure it out alone.
If there is something in you waiting to be written, waiting to get out into the world - no matter how big or small that world is - say yes to that something that's growing inside of you. If doubt or fear are lurking in your mind telling you to ignore that something, thank them for trying to protect you and then let them know that you got this.
Out into the world...
We navigated the book’s internal content and formatting as collaboratively as the cover. Notes between our editors and Jerrilyn—addressing everything from punctuation to poem sequence—tell the story of mutual investment in the quality of the book and its subsequent circulation. Changing a few dots, dashes, or lines may seem small, but every writer deserves those crucial finishes.
After discussing publication methods, Jerrilyn opted for KDP, a digital format that maximizes royalties for authors—but should she want to sell I See Her… in bookstores someday, she’s armed with information to make it happen.
Jerrilyn says she appreciates the expertise and responsiveness of Tell Tell editors, especially “how thorough you all are in explaining next steps and processes.” She’s already planning her next collection with us, but that’s not all she has to look forward to. Having recently been featured on a podcast about her book and healing, and working to expand her psychotherapy practice, Jerrilyn continues to plant flowers of creativity and empathy—on and off the page.