This is one of the prettiest web-design books that you'll find, and I wish I could say a lot of positive things about it, but unfortunately it falls amazingly short in its claim to teach "efficient image preparation for the world wide web." You'll be stunned when you get it - and probably be left feeling as though you were greatly mislead by its description - because it's more like a coffee table picture book, something you'd use to entertain friends and family in your living room.
The approach of this book is to tell the reader that there IS such a thing as "image slicing," that there IS such a thing as "image compression," that there IS such a thing as "vector graphics," but beyond being told what these things are, you won't learn much.
Here's one example taken directly from the book (and I promise you that I am not exaggerating what I'm describing here). The section on "image compression" is two pages long. Nearly 3/4 of that space is made up of 6 graphics they generated from photographs, and this entire presentation is used to make two beginner level points: The first point was that image quality is affected when saving jpeg's with high compression. The other point was that complex images will create larger file sizes than simpler images. The remaining 1/4 of the space was a column of text that described - are you ready for this? - storage limitations and recommendations for DIGITAL CAMERAS. Seriously - I'm not kidding (see pages 88-89).
Now, with that warning made clear, I can tell you that the section at the end of the book called "Showcase" will certainly give you some inspiring design ideas, as it "showcases" some of the most beautifully-designed websites I've seen. It's a 44-page section.
I rely a lot on the helpful input from customers who take the time to write up honest reviews of these books, but unfortunately there were no reviews when I purchased this book. I figured I'd take a chance on this one. In the end, I wish I hadn't.
By the way, I'll help you to determine my level of credibility so that you know whether or not to give any weight to my review. I've been designing webpages for 4 years. I prefer coding by hand with a text editor, but rely on FrontPage at times to get things out in a hurry, and though I've dabbled in Photoshop, I do most of my graphics work in Microsoft Image Composer. I have a strong understanding of PHP and dynamic page generation, and currently am transitioning to Macromedia's MX Studio web development package. (As an extra bonus, I've never been institutionalized and never type email messages in all lowercase letters). Hope that helps!