A few answers to your top questions
Product & General
Decentred is spelt incorrectly! What's up with that?
Well, not quite. Decentred is spelt using the British spelling which is more commonly used in the Caribbean. The product was designed with the region in mind and the spelling is a deliberate effort to challenge the American spelling.
How did you get your name?
All credit goes to Akilah White (@ifthisisparadise). Kaymara told her about the vision she had for the business and where she hoped it would go and true to form this genius-in-residence came up with our business name. Akilah says that’s not quite how the story goes but we’re not accepting this humility. We love the name and the message it sends. We’re very attached to it.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS YOUR VISION?
Our vision is to decentralise the current publishing framework and make it more inclusive.
ARE YOU A BOOKSTORE?
We are not. At the moment, we use a subscription/pre-order based model and consequently do not maintain a set inventory beyond our merch store.
As a member of the Decentred Lit community, you’ll receive (sometimes) early access to the very best books by authors of colour. Each book is read ahead of its publication date and reviewed for potentially triggering material.
SO, WHAT'S INSIDE THEN?
The contents of each quarter will vary; but you can expect to see one exclusively designed tote, as well as a new (released within 1-2 months of shipment) book written by an author of colour. The book may be hardcover or paperback, depending on publication format; however, priority will be given to hardcovers.
In addition to the tote and book, subscribers to the full package will receive 3-4 literary accoutrements; items may be full sized while others may be smaller. Each item will tie into the themes explored in the Book of the Quarter. Some of the goodies that we may include: custom artwork, pencils, tea or coffee, bath goods, and journals.
Totes? Why would I want a tote?
The question you’re really looking for is “why wouldn’t I want a tote?”
What is a Content Warning?
A content warning is a statement that warns of a negative emotional response to potentially distressing stimuli. These warnings are often placed on movies or books and are intended for readers/viewers living with post-traumatic stress disorder or who wish to avoid content which they may find heavy or emotionally draining.
We want subscribers to enjoy the books we choose while having the flexibility to opt-out of reading material that can be harmful. Content Warnings are announced in tandem with the theme of the quarter to let readers know what to expect and by extension, inform their purchase.
Pricing & Fees
HOW MUCH DOES DECENTRED LIT COST?
For customers purchasing online, the cost of a Book-Only package is US$28.00 plus shipping.
For Subscriptions, there are two different plans to choose from. Quarterly plans are US$40.00 plus shipping, and you are billed each quarter. Annual plans are US$34.00 plus shipping per quarter, and you pay for all four quarters upfront. Annual subscriptions may not be paired with discount codes.
For Jamaican customers paying by bank transfer, the Jamaican Dollar rates are as follows:
• One-Time/Gift: J$7,700
• Quarterly: J$7,700
• Annual: J$28,000
• One-Time/Gift: J$4,000
• Quarterly: J$4,000
• Annual: J$15,000
All prices include standard shipping within Jamaica. Express shipping outside of the KMA attracts an additional cost of J$1,300 per package and is handled by Tara Courier Services.
WHAT ARE YOUR PAYMENT OPTIONS?
We currently accept US dollar payments via PayPal and Jamaican dollar bank transfers or direct deposits if you are a Jamaican resident.
How do auto-renewals work?
When you sign up you will be charged immediately for the subscription model you have chosen (one-time purchase/gift, quarterly or annual). Once your subscription cycle is over, you will be re-billed for the same cycle until you decide to switch to a different plan or cancel your subscription.
One Time: No auto-renewal. You will be charged for one quarter, unless you have changed your plan.
Quarterly plans: Renewals take place on the 1st of each quarter, after you have received 1 package you will be charged again for another quarter, unless you have changed your plan.
Annual plans (4 packages): Renewals take place at the end of subscription cycle after you have received 4 packages. You will be charged again for another year, unless you have changed your plan.
HOW DO I CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION?
The subscription status “Pending Cancellation” means that your subscription will NOT renew again – it will be fully cancelled on its next renewal day.
What is your refund & return policy?
If one of your items or book is damaged you can contact us to file a claim and we will ask you to provide photos of the damaged item.
Please keep in mind that the criteria listed is for guidance purposes and each claim will be reviewed manually on a case by case basis. Please note that blemishes to packaging or damaged packaging for the items will not be considered part of a damaged item if the item itself is okay.
We can only accept exchange/replacement claims within 14 days from the date you received your order. All exchanges/replacements will be at the discretion of our customer support team.
SHIPPING & LOGISTICS
Does Decentred Lit ship to my country?
We ship across Jamaica using Sent Courier (Kingston and Portmore only), Tara Courier Services and Jamaica Post Zipmail.
We currently ship to Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Bahamas via Jamaica Post Airmail and DHL Express. Customs duties may apply.
We currently ship to every single country in Africa via Jamaica Post Airmail and DHL Express.
Regular airmail services have currently been suspended due to COVID-19 however we anticipate a resumption soon.
We currently ship to the United States of America and Canada via Jamaica Post Airmail and DHL Express. Customs duties may apply.
We currently ship to the United Kingdom and Germany via Jamaica Post Airmail and DHL Express. Customs duties may apply.
Given the prevailing border closures across the U.K., all shipments are being held until we have permission to ship.
What shipping options do you offer?
We ship from Jamaica via Jamaica Post, using the following options:
• ZipMail (within Jamaica) – 1 business day
• Airmail (international) – shipping times vary
• Express (available to customers based in Antigua, Canada, The United Kingdom and The United States) – 3-5 business days
When can I order and when do you ship?
We are a quarterly subscription, so we do four packages per year:
• March Package – Ordering opens on February 1st and closes on February 28th, or earlier if we are sold out. These packages are shipped in batches during March and April.
• June Package – Ordering opens on May 1st and closes on May 31st, or earlier if we are sold out. These packages are shipped in batches within the last two weeks of June.
• September Package – Ordering opens on August 1st and closes on August 31st, or earlier if we are sold out. These packages are shipped in batches during September and October.
• December Package – Ordering opens on November 1st and closes on November 30th, or earlier if we are sold out. These packages are shipped in batches during December and January.
Given the current pandemic we have made amendments which we believe gives more realistic expectations. Mail delays are anticipated, and we ask for your patience.
Once we ship your packages, you will receive a shipping confirmation along with a tracking number, so you can know exactly when your packages will arrive!
how long will it take to get my package?
International Airmail takes 15-21 business days to ship to your country, not including any possible customs delays. This option typically includes tracking, but it is not uncommon for a country to not scan the package for tracking upon its arrival.
Delivery times are based on shipping with the assumption of no delays, if there are delays packages may take a few additional weeks. Customs clearance can take anywhere from a day to thirty days in our experience, but for the most part it is typically very fast.
What about customs duties & fees?
Customs charges are separate from your shipping charge, and will be billed directly to you by your local customs office. We cannot be held responsible or accountable for any taxes, duties, tariffs, quarantine fees, or package warehousing fees assessed by your local customs office. No refunds will be given for items that are seized at your local customs office or not delivered unless returned to us.
Is shipping tracked?
Yes! You will receive a tracking number once your package is in the mail.
I AM SUBSCRIBED, CAN I CHANGE MY DELIVERY ADDRESS?
You can change your address in your Account Page. Please make sure that your shipping address is always up to date! If you have moved or made any changes to your address, you will need to update this in the address tab on your Account Page.
I'm an author and would like to have my work featured. Can I send you a copy?
Unfortunately, we aren’t accepting unsolicited books at this point in time.
CAN YOU HELP ME LOCATE A PARTICULAR BOOK?
Our deepest apologies. That service is not offered at this time.