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How a Fiction Book Helps Affect Social Change

As we acknowledged and celebrated Juneteenth this past year, PTP Press—the traditional publishing imprint of Path To Publishing—was gearing up for the release of The Price We Pay by Nikki T. Anthony. This novel has been said to be the To Kill a Mockingbird of the 21st century from a Black perspective. It is what we know will be a true literary classic.

This story embodies not just the heart of growing up as a Black, teenage girl in Alabama but also the moral dilemmas of situations that are not always as clear as black and white, and when we need to speak up or stay quiet about those situations. It’s a story about learning that every act has a reaction—even if that act is inaction.

From this story, the PTP Press team knew that it had not just a fantastic book and classic storytelling, but a chance to take a novelapproach to opening up conversations about race relations in this country.

A recent Gallup poll has revealed that 70% of the population of the United States reports being worried about race relations, and 68% report being dissatisfied with the state of it. That makes The Price We Pay and the conversations it can lead to timely.

How can a fiction book help affect social change?

Humans are creatures that live off stories.

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review by author Christine Seifert entitled "The Case for Reading Fiction," fiction reading increases empathy, theory of mind, and critical thinking skills. She writes, “One reason fiction works so well in the workplace is that characters, plots, and settings in foreign locales help anchor difficult discussions. The narrative allows participants to work through sensitive and nuanced issues in an open and honest manner.”

It gives people a common language to use in discussing the issues they face and, by stepping into the shoes of a character that isn’t like them, it can help them bypass the brain’s natural tendency to assume that everyone sees the world the way they do. It shows their brain a different way of looking at the same picture.

The Price We Pay releases September 2023, and your help can support both its release and the movement that it can create. Join the conversation by becoming a sponsor for our crowdfunding campaign with options and rewards starting at just $10.

Although Black individuals make up more than 12% of the U.S. population, they make up just 6% of published authors. Your support will in turn help us amplify Black voices like Nikki T. Anthony and her character, Zenetta Henchman. Through their stories, we can learn to see the world differently.

Sign up to pledge to our campaign: PTP PRESS

You can also visit to learn more about Path To Publishing's traditional publishing imprint.

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