To the seasoned game artist, some of the structure of this book may be unexpected. Once you know the basic fundamentals of game character development, all the different stages tend to blur into just a few. When you know what to look out for early onwhere polygons should be placed so the character deforms correctly, and so forthyou can preempt what would normally be done further down the line. I have tried to separate each step of the character development process into its own chapter, to help you, the reader, learn and understand each individual stage. Once you've worked through the book and gained some experience, you'll find the boundaries of each section merging into a continuous process.
You may also wonder about the scope of the book; it covers a great deal. Those actually employed in the games industry tend to work in one specialized area, such as modeling, texturing, rigging, or animation. To date I have worked for five companies, and at each I have been called upon to perform a number of tasks. It's sometimes just not economical to employ five people to cover five separate areas, when one or two can cover them all just as easily. From my experience, you are less likely to be offered a position if you are not flexible in your skills. Yes, specialize in one area if you like, such as character or game world development, but learn what you can about every stage. You will no doubt be called upon at some time to perform a task that's not in your job description, so it's helpful to have at least some of the relevant knowledge.
All that said, if you already have a development studio in your sights, it's best to check out how they work so that you can focus your skills accordingly.