The Great Gatsby eBook is Free – Don’t Waste Money Buying It!

The Great Gatsby eBook

It irritates me to no end when I see big companies trying to capitalize off of a book being turned into a movie so they can rake in every little cent that they can squeeze out of consumers.

Unfortunately that is the case with The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Ever since it has been turned into a movie, ebookstores everywhere are trying to make as much money as possible off of what is a public domain ebook that is freely available (in most countries except the U.S.) to anyone who knows where to get it.

At Amazon, The Great Gatsby is currently the #1 bestseller in the Kindle store. That shows just how popular the ebook is right now. Amazon is charging $4.99, which isn’t half as bad as B&N who is selling it for a ridiculous $10.93. Sony has it for $9.62 and Kobo has it for $7.99. In my opinion that is way too much to pay for an ebook, much less one that was published in 1925 and is now in the public domain.

None of those ebookstores want you to know that you can simply go to and download The Great Gatsby for free in ePub, Mobi (for Kindle), and PDF formats. What I like about Feedbooks is their ebooks are nicely formatted, so there’s no reason to go spend $5-$10 elsewhere.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that everyone is trying to cash in on the success of the movie, but I still don’t like it. The same thing happened to George Martin’s A Game of Thrones, which used to sell for $6.99 in ebook form until HBO started airing the Game of Thrones TV series. Then it shot up to $9.99 and has remained there ever since.

Update: As some commenters below have pointed out, this book is in fact not in the public domain in the United States because it was published two years after 1923 where the cutoff changes from 70 years to 95 years. So ebookstores can still milk it for all it’s worth until the year 2021, despite the fact Francis Scott Fitzgerald died way back in 1940. Copyright laws are created under the guise of helping authors when in reality it seems they are designed for big companies to continue to profit off of someone else’s hard work for nearly 100 years after publication.

16 Responses to “The Great Gatsby eBook is Free – Don’t Waste Money Buying It!”

  1. says The Great Gatsby is in the public domain, but is it?

    The Great Gatsby was published 88 years ago today but won’t enter the public domain until 2021

    • It’s in the public domain in most countries, but you’re right it’s not in the U.S. I thought it was published in 1922 but it was 1925 instead. I updated the post to reflect that.

  2. This is the second Gatsby movie that I am aware of. The other starred Mia Farrow and Bradford Dillman(?) in the early 70s I believe. I’m sure there was a resurgence in the sale of the book back then too as each decade brings a whole new generation of folks that might read this book. Amazing as it may seem, some people prefer to read the story rather than have it portrayed on the screen. Or, like me, to read the book before seeing a movie to see where the movie has gone awry. And they almost always do.

  3. MarylandBill May 7, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I agree that the book is not in the Public Domain in the United States (Though I believe it might be in Canada and Austrailia). I do think it is ridiculous that a book should still be under copyright more than 50 years after the author has died. Even more outrageous is that copyrights should be extended after publication (or in this case after the death of the author).

  4. Actually, the copyright extension isn’t due to companies – it’s due to one company, and one property: Disney, and the d*mn Mouse. Virtually all the HUGE amount of money and lobbying comes from that one conglomerate.

  5. The copyright extension act was basically a mickey mouse law, pushed by Disney and their stooge, Congressman Sonny Bono, to protect Mickey’s money-making image. I took a copyright class, and there’s a lot of ridiculous aspects of it–such as taking a photo of a building built after 1990 can be infringement, but anything older is okay–that’s why movie makers will deliberately shoot only older buildings, or shoot in Canada or on a set.

    Another way to get around US copyright law for public domain ebooks is to go through the Australian site for Project Gutenberg, which I did for some translations of Proust, which aren’t available on the US site.

  6. Get it from your local eLibrary. It’s free for up-to 3 weeks. I recommend supporting your local libraries.

  7. I just downloaded a copy of the Great Gatsby from the University of Australia and added it to my library in my Pandigital Novel 6 e-reader. The full book.

  8. P.S. I forgot to mention that I live in the U.S. and the e-book was free.

  9. thanks for prviding the link 🙂

  10. I am confused! I can’t download the PDF file on feedbooks, when I download the MOBI file, it doesn’t open on my amazon kindle. I need me some help.