Removal of the Confederate flag from large companies such as Walmart, Sears, eBay, and Amazon has become a focus of the reevaluation of the public display of and the ethical use of such symbols that have roots in racism and terrible historic events. In response to the church tragedy that ended with 9 people dead, the large companies have removed Confederate flag merchandise in a show of respect for those injured and to show that they will not partake in the support of racism and hatred toward others. However, some authors feel as though the removal of all merchandise with depictions of the Confederate flag from Amazon’s website may hurt them in the long run, and force the expenditure of unnecessary funds to revamp the covers to their books — money that many indie authors simply do not have to spare.
CNN shared that sales of Confederate flag merchandise rose over 2,305 percent on Amazon for some items within a 24 hour period. However, a spokesperson stated that Confederate flag merchandise would be removed despite the increase in sales. For major vendors and manufacturers, finding another outlet to sell their Confederate merchandise may not be so difficult. However, for the writing community, a new means of selling their novels, novellas, and anthologies may not be as easy. The authors would be left with two choices: either pay someone to recreate the book covers, or simply give in to the removal of the book.
Although Amazon did not specifically state that books would be removed from their online store if the cover depicted a Confederate flag, the Huffington Post reported that Amazon “plans to remove all flags and related merchandise.” If the books are not removed, it is safe to assume that the covers would be removed from the listing, thus making the book much harder to sell in an already-saturated market.
Many authors have written about the Confederacy and included flags on the covers of their books. Unfortunately, those same authors may be required to spend unnecessary money to revamp their covers to meet the new Amazon standards. Other book retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, have not publicly announced the removal of Confederate flags. The lack of a standard vision toward symbols that are considered racist or unethical could cause further confusion among book retailers and cover artists.
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