And you are, like, totally awesome good friends with them.
Or you went to high school with them.
Or they used to babysit you as a kid.
OH OH OH!! – They’re family.
They should give you a free signed copy of their book, right???
Sure, you and all the other fifty people (or more) who are thinking this same exact thing.
Do I give out free copies occasionally? Sure. For special reasons, like someone’s birthday, or a particular book had some meaning in my relationship with someone. Or just because I want to. And sometimes I feel bad that I can’t give a “free” book to every single person I know. And I bet other writers feel the same way – probably that writer friend of yours does. But you know what? Those free books? They’re not actually free. Your writer friend had to pay for them one way or another. If they are self-published, they paid for the book, including shipping, out of their own pocket.
Let’s say the list price of a book is $10, and the cost to the author is $6. If the author gives away 20 books, that’s $120 out of their pocket, plus the $4 revenue that the author should be making from the sale of those books. That’s a $200 loss to the author. For 50 friends, it’s a $500 loss to the author.
So yes, your author friend might give away the occasional book for some reason or another.
But you should never expect it.
Instead, support your friends and family who are writers! I am so thankful for friends and family who are supportive of my efforts and works! I guarantee your writer friends and family will appreciate it too!