Walking slowly around a boxing ring set up for the event, Ali, 61, posed for photographers and waved to several hundred fans chanting his name before signing a copy of the 800-page book.
Printed on top-quality paper, the volume — titled "G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time), A Tribute to Muhammad Ali" — weighs a massive 75 pounds, according to its publisher.
"It is wonderful to experience the love that people have for this man, all around the world," said his wife, Lonnie. "It's just astounding."
Ali, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, did not address reporters or the crowd.
The mammoth book is being published simultaneously in German and English by Cologne, Germany-based publisher Taschen and sells for $3,545.
Containing more than 3,000 photographs by Howard Bingham and hundreds of essays and reflections by his coaches, family and friends, as well as by Ali himself, it chronicles the boxer's life as a sports hero and icon.
"You never get to go back in life," Ali's former trainer Angelo Dundee told reporters. "But this book brings back everything in Muhammad Ali's life."