“WHAT about an audiobook?” Pharrell Williams asked, sitting at the head of a conference table at the Park Avenue South offices of Rizzoli as he looked at the nearly finished galleys for an October release called “Pharrell: Places and Spaces I’ve Been.”

Here was a lavish coffee-table book filled with images of the many products he has designed in collaboration with other artists and fashion designers, and interviews between Mr. Williams and the likes of Jay-Z, Anna Wintour and Zaha Hadid, which do not exactly lend themselves to the narrative treatment. But why not?