Phil’s been hinting at it on Google+ for months, but today we’re making it official: Gnome Stew’s own Phil Vecchione (DNAphil) has written a book for GMs, and as the publisher I’m thrilled to be able to announce it here.

The book is Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep. To the best of my knowledge, it’s the first gaming book devoted entirely to preparing for your game.

100% Prep Advice You Can Use

Prep usually gets a few pages in larger works, or the occasional article online, but it’s a huge topic and one that deserves a book all to itself. It’s a book I would have loved to have when I was learning to GM, and one I’m just as excited to have now despite having been a GM for over 20 years.

Why? Because it’s jam-packed with things I can use right now. And because Phil is a veteran GM, and an excellent author, who has thought deeply about prep, experimented with a wide range of techniques, and developed a flexible approach that is practical, accessible, and useful to other GMs.

Never Unprepared will include material Phil developed over the course of his Prep-Lite article series here on the Stew (parts one, two, three, four, five), but there’s a lot more in the book on prepping light and all aspects of prep in general.

I’m going to use the hell out of this book myself, and I think you will too.

About the Book

Never Unprepared is illustrated by Matt Morrow and Christopher Reach and art directed by our own John Arcadian, with graphic design and layout by Darren Hardy. I’m doing the editing, Phil and I will be working together on the index, and Daniel Milne and our own Bob Everson will be doing the proofreading. I’ve worked with everyone on the creative team before, and they all rock.

Like Gnome Stew’s first two books, 2010’s Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots and 2011’s Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs, Never Unprepared will be published by Engine Publishing. And like Masks and Eureka, I’m publishing it because I wished it existed and it didn’t, and now that Phil’s written it I and many, many other GMs will get to use it.

It will be digest-sized (6×9), softcover, packed with artwork, and 100+ pages. Print copies will come with a free PDF version; there will also be a standalone PDF edition, which will include alternate formats (text, epub, mobi) as soon as we can create them. The manuscript is complete, artwork is nearly complete, and editing is well underway. We’re aiming to open preorders this June, with books going out to preorder customers in July and available at GenCon 2012, online, and in retail stores worldwide thereafter.

Phil and I will be happy to answer questions (limited only by the publishing process — there are things we won’t know until the book’s in layout, for example) in the comments — and today is Phil’s birthday, so go easy on him (and happy birthday, Phil!).