January 22, 2022

Waterstones Founder Plans to Launch a Flat-Rate (Netflix-Like) Service For Short Stories, Serializations

From The Telegraph:

The project, Read Petite, will specialise in short stories and serialisations, following in the tradition of 19th Century novelists like Dickens, creator of Oliver Twist, and Anthony Trollope, who used to publish their novels chapter by chapter in newspapers and magazines.

Short stories have traditionally been very difficult to sell in paper form, but Mr Waterstone said they would be suited to commuters and other time-pressed bibliophiles.


Read Petite will only publish works by authors who have already been picked up by traditional publishing house, although the material itself might be unpublished. Mr Waterstone said it has already unearthed little-known works by Brighton Rock author Graham Greene and Aldous Huxley, best known for his portrayal of a dystopian future in Brave New World.

From The Guardian:

But this is no literary Spotify, offering hundreds of thousands of items with little quality control: Waterstone is insistent the service will be “curated” to ensure a high standard. Authors will have appeared in traditional print, and have been brought to Read Petite by a publisher. “The individual short story, or whatever it is, may not have been published, but the author will be an established, published writer,” he says, drumming his fingers on the table to emphasis those last three words. “The whole point is to avoid a slush-pile of material. What we’ll guarantee is quality writing.”

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.