Trasvin Jittidecharak is from Chiang Mai, Thailand. She began learning the art of the book trade from a very young age when her parents founded the Suriwong Book Center, the first bookstore in Thailand outside of Bangkok.
She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in publication design from Parsons School of Design in New York, and has since attended the Stanford Publishing Course for Professionals as well as a publishing training course offered by the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Trasvin was active in promoting reading among children between 1986–1991. She supported the Mobile Library project. She started a children’s magazine, Dinosarn, but later left the partnership, and the magazine was discontinued in 1993.
In 1991 Trasvin founded Silkworm Books, a general, independent publisher of English-language books on Thailand and Southeast Asia. Silkworm Books has a reputation for editorial quality. It is the only Thai publisher that distributes its publications in North America and the UK, through an agreement with the University of Washington Press. It is also collaborating with the prestigious École Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) on a new series that brings French research on Asia to an English-language readership. Silkworm has published work by many high-profile authors, among them Prof. Grant Evans, Prof. Pasuk Phongpaichit, Dr. Chris Baker, Dr. Dhiravat na Pombej, and Dr. Prapod Assavavirulhakarn. In 2010 it published its magnum opus, The Tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen, the translation of a famous Thai classical folk tale of 1,500 pages.
In 2005, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, Trasvin founded Mekong Press, later Mekong Press Foundation, in 2008, in order to support publishing activities in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and to establish a network of publishers in the region. Besides publishing works by local writers, Trasvin has organized workshops on copyediting in Laos and Cambodia, on copyrights for state-owned publishers in Vietnam, and on the process of publishing for Vietnamese underground publishers.
Trasvin has served as a resource person in book design and publishing at both national and regional levels for organizations such as the Frankfurt Book Fair, UNESCO (Regional Office in Karachi), and the British Council (Bangkok office). She has served as a judge for a number of national publication design competitions, and since 1989 has been actively supporting adherence to copyright law in Thailand. In 2008 she became a member of the International Publishers Association’s Freedom to Publish Committee and has become one of its most active members.
Trasvin has served as an advisor to the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT) since 2009. In 2011, as PUBAT representative, Trasvin, joined Bangkok Read for Life Group and successfully campaigned for Bangkok’s designation as UNESCO World Book Capital 2013. The City of Bangkok subsequently appointed her to serve on the Bangkok World Book Capital steering committee as the international focal person for the Bangkok World Book Capital 2013. She was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the International Publishers Association (IPA) for 2012–14 and 2015–17. Trasvin is the chair of the organising committee for 2015 IPA Congress.