Our latest podcast episode with Cheryl Akle from Better Reading is a gem! Filled with a behind the scenes look at how books find their places on shelves, what’s hot in publishing trends, and the role of book clubs. This chat between Vanessa and Cheryl is a true celebration of the magic and wonder of books with a woman who has worked in the world of books and publishing for her entire working life.
Cheryl Akle has been a book lover since she first read Where the Wild Things Are at the age of five. Years later, Cheryl got her first job working with books at Marrickville Library in Sydney, where she learned first-hand the difference books can make to children’s and even adults’ lives. Cheryl has never looked back and has worked among books ever since. Cheryl has been a store manager and senior buyer for Dymocks, Edels, Dillons in London and Myer book department. She has also owned her own bookshop, The Idle Tank in Sydney’s Bondi. Providing an integrated environment of books, music and internet access, The Idle Tank was one of the city’s first multi-media retail outlets.
In 2002 Cheryl moved from book retail to book publishing when she took the position of marketing manager at Random House Australia. There Cheryl worked with some wonderful Australian and international authors, including Nigella Lawson, Judy Nunn, John Grisham, Robbie Williams, Peter Carey and Danielle Steele. She also promoted some fabulous books, including The Da Vinci Code and Almost French.
Cheryl managed Get Reading! for 7 years, a government funded initiative, Australia’s largest annual promotion of books and reading. Two years ago, she launched Better Reading, a book recommendation website that has a reading community of 90K and an average weekly reach of 300K. In her spare time she reads, cooks and entertains at her home in Petersham, Sydney, where she lives with George and John Brown, her two fluffy white dogs.