But you're describing problems - version control, joint editing access across multiple physically-distant users, etc. - that are known issues in a lot of disciplines; mine's one of them. And for a lot of these disciplines, free solutions exist! Even something like LaTeX-plus-version-control will handle most of the issues you're describing; it'll track pagerefs across multiple files, accounting for image placement and multiple citations, and so on. If for-reals not-free software like InDesign doesn't - which again, I stress that I don't have personal experience with, and I've heard people say conflicting things on this subject - that just moves my bafflement from "Why on earth isn't this part of their process?" to "Why on earth isn't this part of design software?"
Like, this is a piece of the behind-the-curtain I'm really interested in, if you're willing to expound. The October draft had weirdly many words split by spaces at syllable breaks; what does that? What is it that makes this a problem you guys have to correct for?