FAQ: Shift Happens: A book about keyboards
For the most up-to-date information about the status of our project, check our project updates on Kickstarter!

Is this book only about American/English keyboards?

I’m originally from Poland, and it was important for me to talk about other countries and cultures, despite the story of commercial typewriters and the QWERTY layout being intrinsically U.S.-oriented. There are two chapters dedicated to worldwide keyboards exclusively, with stories and photos of typewriters and keyboards supporting Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Thai, French, Polish, and a few other languages and scripts. And many other chapters mention non-English and non-American keyboards, too.

Last updated: February 09, 2023 14:05

I’m interested in a digital/PDF edition. Will you add one?

I gave a lot of thought to offering an ebook edition, but decided against it at this point because of my focus on making sure the print edition is as good as possible. Making a digital edition that’s up to the quality standards I want would be an extra significant amount of work.

I understand the cost of the book, particularly with shipping outside the U.S. and VAT in some countries, makes it relatively expensive. I worked hard to set the price at the lowest level that ensures I can fulfill the campaign without hitting any financial bumps, however. I do offer a tier with a 32-page booklet that is a separate piece of writing, but printed in the same way (same paper, press, and screening process).

Last updated: February 16, 2023 19:17

What is the book’s page count, dimensions, weight, and ISBN?

Volume 1 Hard cover, full-color Page count: 608 Size: about 7×10×1.5 inches (17×24×4cm) Weight: 4lbs (1.8kg)

Volume 2 identical to volume 1

Volume 3 (The extra “making of” volume) Soft cover, full-color Page count: 160 Size: about 7×10×0.6 inches (17×24×1.5cm) Weight: 0.75lbs (0.3kg)

ISBN: 979-8-9858739-0-0

Last updated: March 09, 2023 06:17

I have a question about shipping costs.

Please make sure to check out a section called “Shipping and taxes” on the main campaign page. If you don’t see your question answered, please comment or message me!

Last updated: February 15, 2023 18:48

How will the book be shipped, precisely?

Within the United States, I expect all items to ship using the United States Postal Service Media Mail rate, which provides tracking. I don’t plan to require a signature for delivery, but we will offer that as an option in the project survey.

For shipments outside the U.S., I will work with one or more fulfillment services that contract with FedEx and DHL to find the most-reliable pathway. A signature may be required. Both FedEx and DHL have partnerships with post offices in many countries, so it may happen that your items wind up delivered by a local letter carrier even when we use a package shipper. I’ll provide space in the project survey for you to add notes if you’ve had problems in the past.

Last updated: February 13, 2023 18:15

I’m worried my book will be damaged in shipping. How are you protecting them?

This is important to me, too. I have contracted the printer to shrinkwrap the slipcase, and work with a cardboard box firm to make a custom, double-walled cardboard box that precisely fits the slipcase. This is considered the best way to protect something in transit against extreme bumps and drops.

We are going one step further. Instead of shipping shrinkwrapped sets to warehouses, the printer will directly pack and ship all deliveries to U.S. addresses. This reduces handling. For international shipments, we’re having the printer prepack and seal the sets in those custom boxes we’re having made, so the fulfillment warehouses we work with won’t handle the slipcases at all – they’ll just put shipping labels and postage on.

If you ordered a booklet and a book, the printer will separately package the booklet and wrap it with the shrinkwrapped slipcase to reduce the chance of damage. (The booklet will fit inside the slipcase.)

We will also run some packaging tests on dummy books and boxes before we start our mass shipments.

Last updated: February 15, 2023 18:48

What happens if my book does arrive damaged?

If a book or other item is lost or damaged in shipping, I’ll make sure it’s either replaced at my expense or you receive a full refund.

We’ll provide more information before shipping, but we would ask you to immediately take pictures – and if the delivery person is still there, to get their name or other information, and to save the box and all materials. We will replace any damaged books at our cost. That’s figured into our cost of fulfillment and, in some cases, with insurance with the carriers delivering the books.

Last updated: February 13, 2023 17:50

How can I order more than two books?

Please message me or visit shifthappens.site/store for more information.

Last updated: March 09, 2023 06:18

I watched the video – do you really know how type in both QWERTY and Dvorak?

No, not at all. I am not even an excellent QWERTY touch typist – I touch type better with my left hand than with the right one.

I memorized those Dvorak sequences for the video, even including the intentional typo. But that, in a way, also has a historical precedent: in the early days of typewriting, salespeople memorized one or two sentences to be able to type them swiftly and error-free on the spot for potential customers. Ask them to type something else, however, and they would do much worse. And so do I. Fortunately, that’s after the video ends.

Last updated: February 13, 2023 17:50

Shipping Updates
For the most up-to-date information about the status of our project, check our project updates on Kickstarter!
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