The Fake Press - an online publisher giving a voice to unknown writers The Fake Press - an online publisher giving a voice to unknown writers

Ben Emmens with his business plans in the CareerCentral building



T: @thefakepress

Name: Ben Emmens

Course: English Literature

The Fake Press is an online publisher that privileges the unknown and unpublished writers of raw and uncompromising fiction. Our aim is to create a community of writers that, like us, enjoy reading and discussing works of literature whatever their origin or source. We provide a platform for young and aspiring writers to have their work read and responded to by a much larger audience.

What motivated you to set up your business?

I started The Fake Press with my two friends, Dan Bloom and Tom Ah-Thew because I have a great passion for creative writing and didn't feel there was an adequate outlet for my writing and I wished to change that. I have found self-publishing on a personal blog such as Tumblr to be frustrating and unrewarding as it is difficult to generate awareness and traffic outside of your friends and family. I decided to build a website in an effort to provide young writers with an active readership that will inspire them to develop their writing skills further and assist them in a fiercely competitive publishing industry.

How did UEA Student Enterprise help you?

When we sat down to talk with Finbarr about our project we soon realised our idea lacked planning and forethought and so, his feedback significantly helped the development of The Fake Press in terms of acquiring the funding we needed and motivating us to improve our application. The funding we received along with the award was hugely helpful as it provided us a sense of security and ease as we started the business while still studying at the university and without a steady income.

What worries did you have while setting up your business, and how did you overcome them?

We were unsure how many people would want to send their writing to us for publishing however we posted a questionnaire on various UEA society Facebook pages and found there was a considerable demand for a more accessible and rewarding method of publishing creative writing. There are many difficulties when starting a business and it is a fairly daunting experience but you'd be surprised what's possible when you put everything into what you're doing.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Probably being in the position to choose the winner of our writing competition from such an excellent wealth of creative writing.

What piece of advice would you give to university students who want to become entrepreneurs?

Make sure you're doing it for the right reasons because if not, you'll soon lose interest and wonder why you made so much work for yourself!