For several years, I have managed a five-chapter book in InDesign as 12 separate files organized into a Book (five 20- to 30-page chapters, plus all the front and end matter). It just seemed to make sense at the time.
However, after years of the mistake-ridden process of syncing, and syncing, and syncing, I'm beginning to wonder if I wouldn't be better off just combining everything into one big, happy document. (I suppose I wouldn't be thinking this if InDesign used the concept of a centralized stylesheet for styles, masters, settings, lists, formats, variables, presets, and swatches).
The only downside that I see to combining all the documents into one is the risk of file corruption causing a catastrophic loss of everything (as opposed to a catastrophic loss of just one chapter). I believe I can mitigate this by good use of version control software and by taking routine backups of my work.
What are the downsides to combining everything into one large document? What are the upsides to organizing a 130-page book into an InDesign Book?