January the 1st is always a special day in the ebook world, because hundreds of titles are available in the public domain. This means any publisher or author can sell the book or build upon it. Today, books from 1925 are in the public domain. These works include F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, and Franz Kafka’s The Trial.
The public domain enables access to cultural materials that might otherwise be lost to history. 1925 was a long time ago. The vast majority of works from 1925 are out of circulation. Now that they have entered the public domain, anyone can make them available online, where we can discover, enjoy, and breathe new life into them. Empirical studies have shown that public domain books are less expensive, available in more editions and formats, and more likely to be in print.
Here are all of the new books that hit the public domain.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
- Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
- Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time
- Franz Kafka, The Trial (in German)
- Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy
- John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer
- Alain Locke, The New Negro (collecting works from writers including W.E.B. du Bois, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, and Eric Walrond)
- Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith
- Agatha Christie, The Secret of Chimneys
- Aldous Huxley, Those Barren Leaves
- W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil
- Dorothy Scarborough, On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs
- Edith Wharton, The Writing of Fiction
- Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto, A Daughter of the Samurai
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.