Re: What makes a work commercial?
As far as I'm concerned, Tolkienesque fantasy needs lots of point-of-view characters, different races (Elves and Dwarves are obvious examples), wizards (of either sex), a sweeping story with many sub-plots and the classic Tolkien tropes. Robert Jordan is Tolkienesque. Tad Williams' DRAGONBONE CHAIR and its sequels are. Less so are the new bestsellers of he last decade, who have moved away from those tropes.