iTunes is still very confusing to me, and today I tried to upload a book on an iPad.
After adding one pdf file to the iBooks library on OS X, I tried to sync the iPad. Unfortunately, iTunes insist on erasing everything before synchronising the content, because it's not using the same iTunes library. Apparently, iTunes refuse to simply upload a file to the iPad.
At that point, I thought I could just transfer back the selection of books (not bought through any store, really just PDF files that happen to be on that iPad) and manually add them together with the new file I wanted originally. I have never been able to get the files back. It looks like Transfer purchases from ignore those files. (ITunes / Files / Devices / Transfer purchases from )
So I ended erasing the content of iBooks on the iPad to put a new file. Am I missing something, or is iTunes just developed with frustration in mind ?