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Waterstones founder to help launch new e-singles subscription site, Read Petite

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Tim Waterstone, founder of the U.K.’s Waterstones bookstore chain, is involved in a new venture: Read Petite, a subscription site for long-form fiction and nonfiction. The site will be announced at the London Book Fair next week and will launch to the public in the fall.

Waterstone is chairman. Read Petite was founded by literary agent Peter Cox and consultant Martyn Daniels. Neill Denny, a former editor of book trade magazine The Bookseller, is COO.

Cox tells The Bookseller, “We are genuinely trying to expand the reading market, and bring publishers together under our aegis to do something new. Up until now short-form writing has not really been economic to produce, but we think we can unleash it.”

Monthly subscription prices haven’t been set yet, but Waterstone tells the Guardian that they will likely be “a few pounds,” giving readers unlimited access to a library of long-form journalism and short stories. The stories will be submitted by publishers.

Read Petite sounds similar to U.S. e-singles sites Byliner and the Atavist, both of which are experimenting with subscriptions that give readers access to all their titles for a monthly fee.