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24 hours with...Peter Murray, Bringing Books Back to Life

What time do you get to work? How many coffees have you had by 3pm? Welcome to '24 hours', where you'll learn how successful you can be if you listen to classic rock in the workplace and whether the boss cooks their own dinner.

Peter Murray is the CEO of Murray Books and TOOTS (Think Out of The Square) – a Gift Book publisher who has enjoyed international success over the past 10 years selling over a million books. “I became aware of the coming changes in technology in 2005 and decided to do something about trying to keep our publishing industry alive by creating books that couldn’t be downloaded” he says. The range of books has resulted in immediate public appeal especially in France and the USA. Murray opened their first retail shop in Adelaide in 2011 with ambitions of creating concept shops throughout the world over the coming years as well as exploring the world of ecommerce. "Right now, we are seeking partners who love the world of publishing and having fun. You CAN judge a book by its cover!" he says. We take 24 with the man bringing fun back into publishing.

What time do you wake up in the morning?
10am! That’s because I am always working late talking with clients in the US and Europe as well as keeping up to date with the latest sports news. I need to know exactly what is going on in each sport that we publish so that our books are always up to date. I usually hit the pillow at 2am or later.

Newspaper, radio or iPad before work?
Still newspapers but I am slowly converting to the ipad. Can’t wait until plastic technology gets here so I can still hold a “newspaper” but it is in fact an eReader.

How do you usually spend your first hour at work?
Answering and dealing with the many emails that have come in overnight. Questions from Europe or problems with my printer in China or retailers wanting stock. It’s always fun to start up each morning. Of course I always check emails as soon as I wake on my mobile.

Does your business vary from day to day or do you often repeat the same processes. Why/why not?
Each day is vastly different. For example, I may receive an enquiry from Canada or Germany overnight and I need to address their questions such as freight costs and timing. Then its over to our freight agent and printer to answer my queries and while waiting, I may be designing a new book. In a given day, I could be speaking with 8-10 countries at the same time as well as designing new titles and creating new ideas.

Lunch; at your desk or out of the office?
I always take a break and have lunch. Being a diabetic, its important to eat well and often so health always comes first.

Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?
Well I used to be a DJ in the '70s and grew up with soul music so I still like to listen to all the greats of that time – Barry White, Stevie Wonder to name a few. I tune into web radio to catch up with the latest soul from the UK and the States.

Tell us something that you have to do every day that most people wouldn’t know about?
Learn about new trends. I am nearly 60 so its important to keep in tune with the latest gadgets, products, trends and business. I study retail trends and have strong beliefs that within a few years, shopping malls will be deserted as we all go online.

It’s 3:30pm. How many cups of coffee have you had?
Just 2. I tend to have just 4 cups a day and cutting down. I think tea will be on the menu in the not so distant future.

How much work do you get done after 5pm, or do you use that to allocate tasks for the next day?
Most of my work gets done between 6pm and midnight. It's a perfect time to write or edit or to consider new concepts and projects. I like to be on top of my day and finish each days projects so I have a clean start to the next day.

Does your work come home with you?
I work 24/7 and I believe that everyone in small business working for themselves does the same.

Who’s cooking/buying dinner tonight?
My wife and I like to eat out at least once a week and I have aspirations to start cooking soon – I love preparing meals. But its my beautiful wife who has faithfully cooked for me since she retired from work 8 years ago.

[Small Business owners, how do you go about your day? If you do things a bit differently and would like to be featured in this segment, 
get in touch with us. We'd love to hear from you.]
  • Having always been on the scout for gifts with difference, and I stumbled upon Toots on a recent trip to Hahndorf. I’m officially hooked. A fine example of true innovation! … Who ever said a book can’t be fun? Report this

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