Described by Evans as a “children’s book for adults”, Beasts of New York represents a shift for Evans, who is known for international thrillers, in terms of content and style:
It’s an urban fantasy about the wildlife of New York City, starring a squirrel protagonist who has to find his way from exile in Staten Island back to his home in Central Park
Evans will be posting a chapter a day – he is currently on the 17th – ultimately publishing 60 chapters, or 2 months worth of content. In his FAQ (which is a must read), Evans gives ample insight into why he chose to use a CC-license for Beasts of New York, citing the success of authors such as Cory Doctorow and others who have successfully implemented CC-licensing for their online publishing while maintaining commercial viability in print-form.
Essentially, Evans wanted to write and release a novel his publishers found unmarketable. As he puts it, “try to imagine telling people with a financial interest in your writing success that you want to write a whole book about a squirrel”. Evans saw CC-licences and online publishing as a means to allow his work be read freely, while at the same time retaining potential commercial avenues for the book (Evans “cautiously expect[s] [Beasts of New York] to eventually find a publisher”). This is yet another phenomenal example of the power of CC-licences in a hybrid economy.