The mythical phoenix crashes and burns, only to rise from the ashes and be reborn. The origin of Mith Books is based on a such a story. In 2013, Dipa Sanatani headed to New York to publish her debut novel. She quickly realised that she–and other aspiring authors–knew nothing about how traditional publishing worked as a business.
“It’s a fragmented industry where nothing is opaque. I collected over 200 rejection letters from literary agents that I imprinted into my broken heart.
“I experienced my first bitter taste of failure. But giving up is not in my DNA.”
The Early Beginnings
The Founder of Mith Books, Dipa Sanatani, spent the first 20 years of her life working in her family’s textile business on Arab Street in Singapore’s historic Kampong Glam area.
“We did both wholesale and retail. Our suppliers and customers came from all over the world. I was enchanted by the stories of their homelands and longed to visit the places they came from.
“My great-grandfather groomed me to be a businesswoman from kindergarten. I would help out in the business after school and during the holidays. I’m an accountant by training.
“But at night–when everyone was asleep–I would secretly sit in my bed with the torch on and read. Books fired my imagination and inspired my curiosity about life, the world and our place in it.
“I’ve wanted to be a travelling storyteller for as long as I can remember.”
“In 1901, we came to Singapore as textile merchants. We built our home and business from scratch – brick by brick. I will be proud the day one of my descendants decides to chart uncharted terrains and do the same.
“That, is the real family tradition.”
-My great-grandfather Mancharram Nagindas
The Journey to Publication
In 2007, Dipa left her roots to discover her wings. Since then, she’s lived, studied and worked in Australia, Israel, Japan and China – gaining international experience in the humanitarian, tech and education sectors.
“No matter where I go, I meet people with the same hopes, the same fears and the same needs for joy, companionship, and adventure. The human experience is a universal one.
“In 2018, I completed writing The Little Light. I swiftly made the decision to attend the London Book Fair: a trade fair which features booksellers, publishers and distributors from all over the world.
“I’d attended numerous textile trade fairs growing up and the moment I set foot in the exhibition hall, I was in my element.
“I decided to self-publish. The rest, as they say, is history.”
Dipa Sanatani began offering author consulting services after numerous authors approached her for her expertise on the publication process.
“Some of my clients had traditionally published and weren’t satisfied with the results they had. Others had hired self-publishing houses and were concerned with the considerable costs that were required right at the onset. As an author myself, I personally knew how demoralising it is to be surrounded by people who simply couldn’t care less about my novel or my dream.
“It is one thing to start a business. Another thing to spend your life doing what you love and helping others do the same. I’ve learnt it all the hard way so others won’t have to. None of this came to me easy.
“I had to start from scratch – and build my writing career brick-by-brick.”
This story is reflected in the Mith Books logo, which is grounded in the spirit of resilience – the phoenix rising from the flames. A symbol of life, death and rebirth.
Resolute in growing its wings to soar even higher, Mith Books is on a journey bring to you unforgettable tales from storytellers across the seven seas.