OK, after many hours and a few days of work, I now have a solid working relationship with this app, and I can recommend it enthusiastically to any working players with a modicum of techno-chops. I now have 41 active indexes with 40 books present (waiting on 41 to arrive) and in working order, and it's clear to me that this is going to change my gig workflow forever.
My advice to anyone starting to work with this app is to read the Quick Start Guide, and all the "7 Steps" info and every link from that page before beginning (which I did), although not every feature, technique, and behavior is fully documented there.
For example, I did read the bit about not hitting the sync button "continually" as "as there are measures in place that will lock you out from syncing if excessive sync activity is detected on the server", but as a newbie, I had no idea what would constitute "excessive". So, I went along adding and deleting available books on my list willy-nilly all one day, and syncing whenever I made a change to the active book list, as opposed to doing changes to the list in a batch, which is obviously the preferred method. As a result, I got the "excessive" message and was shut down in mid-sync. I have now theoretically been awarded the permanent badge of RTFM shame, and am probably limited to two syncs a day forever, but now I realize that it is only necessary to sync once in a great while anyway. Doubly shamed as a working sax player for 44 years, and IT professional for 35+, but I've made worse mistakes in my life; I'll get over it.
So: figure out what books you have and want active up front, get your online list in order, and sync it only then.
A couple other things I would suggest to others beginning the process:
Load and code ONE book at a time to get it right. Unless you created the PDFs yourself from your own scans, most of what's been floating around out there for years is crap, with missing and out-of-order pages, and it's up to you to make sure the book matches the index, not the other way around. This is what took up the bulk of the hours I put in getting this right, there were no issues with the program or indexes, they all worked fine once I had the offset, page count and order correct, inserting blank pages and moving things around where necessary. I actually did all the work right on the iPad, using the PDF Expert app (highly recommend this app for lots of purposes), making my corrections then using "Open in iGigbook" to add and test them. Never used iTunes once in the process, as I already had all of my books loaded in Goodreader a year or so ago, and have been using that on gigs up to now.
Make sure you have correctly identified the book you have acquired. With so many similarly-named books out there, different editions of those books, and unbelievably crap scans of them to boot, it's pretty easy to choose the wrong code. Fortunately, once you have a book index loaded, you can look at the title count and preview tune titles themselves before you've loaded the actual book to help determine if you have the right one.
Although there is a good deal of up-front work to do, it's no actual fault of the program, but the integrity of the data it's designed to manage. It's an amazing app and going forward will provide excellent service to working players who are willing to invest the time.
Many thanks to Phil, I am sure that this app will just keep getting better! Looking forward to seeing how well it works on a live gig, will post results in the appropriate area.
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