Most writers don't even come close to making a living with their writing. Almost all of them have a day job or a husband or wife who supports them. Many write for the joy of seeing their work in print. Or they write because it feels wonderful to create something. These people often don't mind giving away free books or to entertain an audience for free. I envy them, but alas I am the other kind of novelist. I depend entirely on selling books for my income. When my family moved from Zimbabwe to the United States, we were only allowed to take $500 with us. While we were very happy to be in the U.S., it meant several years of frightening poverty. This ended when I began to sell books.
Yet we have never become rich. We are like the people who run the mom-and-pop store on the corner. Expenses are high and one bad year can ruin the business. I am trying to explain why I don't give away free books. Many people have written to me for them, expecting me to pay the postage as well. I can't do this any more than a grocer can give away free hamburger. So please don't think I am being heartless turning you down. It's simply how the business works.