This was a challenging assignment for me as well. I had some difficulty with the page numbering since my initial page numbers were created as two separate styles, and the book’s page numbering was one style. Once that was resolved, the synchronizing was pretty smooth.
One issue I had that I never figured out was how to make the text box the same size on all of the pages in the book. Although the instructions said to not have “Master Pages” checked when synchronizing, I even tried synchronizing with “Master Pages” checked, and it still did not work. I ended up manually shortening each page’s text box to be above the page numbering. Hmm, maybe I should have tried a text wrap on the footer.
Anyway, the book panel is indeed handy for creating a long document! I do not see myself using it right now since I do not create long documents, but it would be helpful for collaborating with others working on individual pieces. I was really impressed with how quickly everything synchronized (and how easy it was to synchronize multiple times). I love the Table of Contents creation in InDesign. So much better than Microsoft Word!