The Price We Pay Named Finalist for IBPA’s 2024 Benjamin Franklin Awards

2024 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards Finalist: The Price We Pay

Out of more than 1,800 entries across 57 categories, the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards have narrowed it down to three books in each category. PTP Press, the traditional publishing imprint of Path To Publishing, and author Nikki T. Anthony are thrilled to announce that The Price We Pay has been named a finalist for the Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book: Fiction!

“IBPA has a long history of promoting excellence in independent publishing,” said IBPA CEO Andrea Fleck-Nisbet. “No program better showcases the quality of books that indie publishers produce than the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award. We are proud of this award’s enduring and prestigious legacy and congratulate all of the finalists.”

The Price We Pay is a page-turner that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The
Price We Pay is a coming-of-age story that will resonate with a wide audience, a timely
Young Adult novel filled with moments of fear and love, heartbreak and humor.

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PTP Press is thrilled to become part of this legacy with our first release. It’s a testament to the hard work and the passion of the author and the publishing team, as well as how powerful its message of diversity and the need for understanding each other in this world is.

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TikTok Introducing 8th Note Press

The Social Media Company Is Looking To Give Amazon, and Traditional Publishing, A Run for Its Money…But Is That What’s Best for Authors?

TikTok, a social media app produced by Chinese-owned company ByteDance, is the sixth most popular social media outlet to date. Its 1.67 billion active users are located across 160 countries.

Almost half of America’s three hundred million citizens are on TikTok at any given time, making it a powerful tool for influence. In first quarter of 2023, it generated almost half-a-billion dollars in revenue for merchants.

It’s not surprising that book lovers carved out their own special niche on TikTok, known as BookTok. BookTok offers the largest social community for book lovers and generates nearly 30 billion views a day. Books that are featured on BookTok end up becoming such hot sellers that even big box retailers like Barnes & Nobles now watch their trending list to see what titles to stock.

Competing With The Giants

On April 20th, 2023, ByteDance filed a trademark for 8th Note Press. In addition to ebook, audio, and print book publishing, it also covered downloadable software designed to connect registered users to a virtual community offering discussions, book reviews, and social networking.

This could be a game changer for the publishing industry. Amazon offers the widest selection of books but people leave the moment the purchase is done. TikTok offers a social environment and a retail capability but doesn’t help authors publish their works. Good Reads, which Amazon bought, was supposed to help Amazon cross that bridge but it didn’t work out that way. Combining BookTok’s momentum with a full-scale publishing house could tip the scales in TikTok’s favor.

This, though, presents a problem. If TikTok controls the publishing, will they stop allowing books that aren’t published through 8th Note Press to be promoted? Will they skew the algorithm in favor of their books and bury the alternatives?

The Temptations Of Publishing Success

It’s hard to tell authors who are looking for their books to become a household name to avoid getting involved with something that could make their dreams come true with a single promotion. It’s easy to get caught up in the promise and not think through the potential consequences of what could happen.

Imagine, though, a scenario where there is only one publishing option and only one platform with the real power to promote an author. That is something that could happen if 8th Note Press gains power. Right now, BookTok is helping authors get past the normal gatekeepers. But imagine a future where 8th Note Press is the only gatekeeper, and authors must dance to their tune if they want their books to see the light of day.

That might sound like an unlikely, gloom-and-doom scenario, but the truth is that most publishing houses these days do not ever make more than they pay out in advances on royalties for 70% of the titles they produce. They rely on a few heavy hitters to keep them in the black. This is why we’ve gone from 20 big publishing houses prior to the 1980’s to just five major players.

Small and medium-sized publishing houses often face even thinner profit margins. They could never compete with a heavyweight like 8th Note Press in terms of capital and clout. Trying to might shutter their doors for good, leaving authors no option but 8th Note Press and no hope of getting published without them.

Tackling Minority Mental Health Issues

When we talk about mental health, we’re talking about something that includes our psychological, emotional, and social well-being. We’re talking about something that affects how we feel, how we think, and how we act.

These things are part of what determines how we make choices, relate to others, and handle stress. According to the CDC, one in five people live with mental illness. That’s why talking about and taking care of our mental health is so important.

However, racial and ethnic minorities can find more obstacles in finding and receiving care and accommodations for these conditions and difficulties.

This can be due to discrimination, cultural stigma around mental health care, cost and a lack of health insurance, or a lack of access to quality mental health care services. These groups can also face environmental challenges that negatively impact their emotional wellness, such as racial discrimination and racial violence leading to racial trauma.

That’s why July is Minority Mental Health Awareness month.

Both the CDC and the Department of Health & Human Services Office of Minority Health encourage everyone–individuals, public health organizations, educators, health care systems, and communities–to educate themselves on mental health and the specific impacts and challenges for racial and ethnic minority communities.

This is a topic close to our hearts at Path To Publishing, and it’s also a topic examined through the lens of a teenaged Black girl in the first release on our traditional publishing imprint, PTP PressThe Price We Pay by Nikki T. Anthony. The author recently had a chance to discuss this matter, as well as her experiences and book, on WLNS Channel 6 in Lansing, MI.

Please visit the websites for the CDC and HHS to find more resources about minority mental health awareness, and watch for the release of The Price We Pay by Nikki T. Anthony in September of 2023. You can preorder it now by clicking here.

Let’s start a conversation about mental health in minority communities, and #JoinTheConversation about race relations and well-being in the US by visiting our crowdfunding page.

Let’s Try Civil Discourse Rather Than Civil War

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the early 1850’s. It was published in book form in 1852 to highlight the plight of slaves and bring attention to the mistreatment they received. That book wove its way into the tapestry of American public opinion and in less than 12 years, Stowe’s book was being read all over the nation.

Inspiring Others to See the World Through Different Eyes

Stowe’s deft ability to pour her heart out on the page and forge an emotional connection through her characters with her audience led many who might otherwise have been content to remain silent about slavery, uncertain about their right or need to take a stand, to rise up and decide it was time to do something about the situation.

The characters, all based on real people and real events, served the purpose of humanizing the plight of slaves and causing readers to feel it as if it were happening to them. Their conscience would no longer let them remain quiet.

Legislation That Divided a Nation

Stowe took an active hand in this, encouraging her growing followers to use their influence to collect petitions against slavery, spread information, and give lectures about it. Anti-slavery sentiment began to rise, inspired by her words and by the growing popularity of the movement to abolish it, but the result was a nation divided by Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln, upon greeting Stowe, is said to have joked, “You’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

Less than 80 years after the Civil War began, Stowe achieved a part of her desired outcome: slavery is no longer legal. However, what remains in its wake is a nation that is racially divided. Attempts to pass laws to force the races to unify have only resulted in resentment and further divisions.

Growing Racial Divisions and Tensions

Like a dysfunctional family, the various races talk about one another rather than to one another. Tensions are mounting and there are threats on all sides being tossed out of another civil war.

The last Civil War cost America 620,000 lives, or nearly 2% of the population. If it were to take place in this day and age, that would be the equivalent of more than 6 million lives.  Moreover, it would solve nothing. Rather than closing the gap between the races, it would only serve to widen it.

There’s a price we pay for every action we take, and for our choices in how to handle the challenges of racial division. A book brought the issue of slavery to the forefront of the American mind and led people to take action. We know that a book can do that same thing again, but what we propose to do that Stowe did not do is equip our followers with tools for civil discourse.

Changing Hearts and Minds Rather Than Laws

Legislation will not change the human heart. Feelings or sentiments can’t be outlawed. It is impossible to mandate a change of perspective or viewpoint in a manner that respects freedom of speech. With the right tools, the right leadership, and the right conversations, though, people can be persuaded to change their minds. They can be shown a different perspective or viewpoint and be invited to explore it.

That’s why, at Path To Publishing, we are crowdfunding a movement that will leverage our upcoming novel, The Price We Pay, to help change the conversation around race relations. By allowing them to look at the world through the eyes of Zenetta Henchman, we hope to give them a taste of what life looks like from a different point of view and so expand their perspective.

Equipping People with the Training to Lead Conversations

We know that people will need training in how to lead the difficult conversations the novel will inspire, so we’re also providing the Magnetic Thought Leadership Training required. We know that these conversations will require navigating sensitive racial topics, so we’re preparing a Study Guide to help those who are bold enough to try get the guidance they need to be successful. And, finally, as Stowe herself did, we’re working to build a LEADERS community where those who participate can find the guidance and support they need to overcome the inevitable challenges.

A civil war won’t help our nation heal. It won’t end the racial divisions. But a novel approach to race relations just might. Discover more about our crowdfunding campaign by visiting the pre-launch page and sign up to #JoinTheConversation at