I think that MS has very good tools for XML generation and editing. Isn't there a utility for going between Word and XML? XML has the depth of the book organization but allows for the easy manipulation by Perl and many other tools.
in reply to A copyeditor needs help to get started with a Perl project
I'm talking off the top of my head here, and would be hard put to give a demonstration, but this is something I would investigate if I were to do another book or more book scale editing.
What is STM books?
I found this commercial suite of products for doing the conversions between Word and XML.