Writing is a Profession
... so don't ask an author for a free book.
Would you ask someone in any other profession to give away their product or time for free? Sure there are philanthropists who may do this, but they can afford to do so. Most authors struggle to make a decent wage, especially self-published ones. So, unless the author offers you a free book, usually in exchange for an honest review, then don't ask.
Libraries are great for reading a book for free. If you borrow a book from your local library then chances are the author will receive a royalty every time their book is borrowed. This is a great way to support authors and you save money whilst being entertained. Just don't forget to return the book on time to avoid late fees. If you forget to return books often, you may as well buy books and help authors in this way.
Libraries are a great way to support authors.
I have given some of my books away, especially on Amazon when I run a FREE promotion. My science fiction short story, Xenure Station: A Billion Light Years has been popular with the free promotions I have run.
Authors don't usually write books to be giveaways. Books are a form of entertainment and like music or movies, you should pay to enjoy them. Authors don't sit for hours, days, and sometimes years writing so readers can read for free. They need to make a living too.
When people ask me what I do for a living, they are all smiles and complimentary about my work. Some comment, "Oh wow, I've never met an author before" or "I've met an author, how good is that?" This is great for my ego, but if they go and buy my book I will feel even better.
They say writing is a solitary profession, and it is to a point. But there are people we collaborate with during the process including; beta readers, graphic designers, agents, editors, and publishers. This team of experts helps authors perfect their stories and keeps the task from being completely solitary.
Books are a form of entertainment and it is the author who works to bring this entertainment to you. It is a job with momentary rewards just like any other, so giving books away for free is not an option when it's your job. For $20 or $30 per book you are entertained for hours, days, or even months. Reading is an affordable hobby.
There are pitfalls and perks in all professions. For authors, the struggle to have their work recognised can be a long road with extended periods of waiting to be published and many rejections. But, if you enjoy writing, then this is what you're meant to be doing. This is the reason I keep writing, it brings me as much joy as it does for the readers of my stories.
Maria P Frino