George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series
George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series that is the basis of the television series "Game of Thrones", gestures during his masterclass at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) in Neuchatel July 10, 2014. Reuters/Denis Balibouse

A publisher of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series has justified the delay in the release of “Winds of Winter.” The publishers, however, are not exactly aware how long the author will take to complete the book, but are keen to bring to the market for the eager fans as soon as the first draft is complete.

Speaking with NewsWeek, publisher Johnson joked that she is like Jon Snow when it comes to the progress of the book, which means she knows nothing – a popular phrase associated with the character. She did, however, say that Martin is “working very hard” in order to complete the book. The publisher promised that they will release the book as soon as they can, after it is delivered to them.

Johnson teased that Martin has written “the best part of two million words of this series in the past 20 years.” Talking about the length of “Winds of Winter,” the report notes that this could be the longest book in the series so far. The report points out that each successive novel from the author has been longer than the previous one.

Books in “A Song of Ice and Fire” are known for their length. Johnson pointed out that the average length of a novel in the series is 100,000 words, which is equivalent to about 20 novels of some other authors.

The report explains that the combined words of the five novels in the series released so far are 3.7 times longer than the three “Lord of the Rings” novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, which are also known to be lengthy.

Fans have been eagerly waiting for the release of “Winds of Winter.” It has been five years since the launch of the fifth book in the series titled “A Dance with Dragons.” The next book in the series is of particular importance at this point of time because the TV series adaptation of Martin’s work, which has already revealed some elements of the next book, is on the verge of spoiling the ending.