The Impact of Grammatical Errors on an Epic Fantasy Novel's Success

May 02, 2024 by S. R. Watts

As an author of epic fantasy novels, I know about the many intricacies that go into writing such a multifaceted work of fiction. Their grandiose settings, complex characters, and multi-layered plots transport readers into richly imagined worlds where anything seems possible. But what happens when such a book contains a lot of grammatical errors? How would this ultimately affect its critical and commercial success? Let's dive in and explore some of these potential consequences, shall we?

1. Reader immersion and enjoyment

One of the main goals of an epic fantasy novel is to immerse the reader in its world. Grammatical errors can jar the reader, interrupting this immersion and pulling them out of the story as they stumble over awkward phrasings or confusing sentences. Such distractions can hinder the reader's enjoyment, thus reducing their willingness to finish the book or continue with the series.

2. Credibility and author's reputation

Without careful consideration of good editing practices, grammatical errors can reflect poorly on the author and the publishers they work with. Readers often perceive them as signs of a lack of attention to detail, which can damage the credibility of everyone involved in the book’s publication. This can significantly impact a self-published author’s reputation, making it harder to build a loyal readership. Even established authors are not immune, as readers expect high-quality work, especially from those with a track record of success.

3. Critical reception

Whether they be amateurs or professional critics, book reviewers are likely to point out the book’s many grammatical errors in their critiques. If reviewers find frequent mistakes, they might rate the book poorly, which will likely discourage any new readers from giving it a chance. It would only take a few negative reviews for this to have a domino effect, as prospective readers tend to shy away from books with low ratings.

4. Sales and market reach

As the literary market becomes more competitive, grammatical errors can and will have a significant effect on the sales figure of your book. A novel with numerous misspellings and awkward phrases might be less likely to be recommended by word-of-mouth or find its way into influential book clubs and reading lists. The reduced reach can lead to lower sales and diminished market presence, impacting the author's ability to earn a living through their writing.

5. Plot, clarity, and worldbuilding

Fantasy novels, especially those within the epic subgenre, will almost always incorporate complex plots and extensive world-building into their narratives as part of their appeal to fans of the genre. Grammatical errors can obscure crucial details, leading to misunderstandings and confusion about the story's events or the rules that govern the world it’s set in. And if readers cannot follow the plot or understand the world, they are less likely to be invested in the characters or their journeys, which will lead them to turn away from the book altogether.

6. Publishing opportunities

For aspiring authors seeking traditional publishing deals, grammatical errors in a manuscript can result in one rejection letter, followed by another, and so on. Publishers expect well-polished submissions from authors who wish to be picked up by them, and a manuscript riddled with errors can make an otherwise promising story seem unready for publication. This can turn off the acquisition editors who read them, thus closing doors to any potential opportunities that could have otherwise launched a successful writing career.


While a gripping story, compelling characters, and vivid world-building are essential for an epic fantasy novel's success, grammatical errors can and will significantly diminish its impact on the publishing market. Authors need to strive to ensure their work is as polished as possible, either through self-editing or by seeking professional editing services. In the end, investing in quality writing ensures that the readers' focus remains on the story's magic and adventure, not on its technical flaws.