When I write a report / technical manual / user guide for a consultancy client I will generally use 10 point Arial font, single line spacing, 'normal' length paragraphs, and 2-2.5cm margins (depending upon intended binding). This ensures that I get as much information as possible onto a page, and doesn't end up putting people off "because at 100 pages it's too long to read".
In complete contrast, the vast majority of ebooks that I have read seem to use 12pt or 14pt font, either 1.5 or even double line spacing, frequent paragraph breaks to create very (even unnaturally?) short paragraphs (as in a webpage sales letter), and wider margins. The effect of course is that when printed out, the same number of words cover around 3 times as many sheets of paper.
My question therefore is why this is done?
Is it because the author considers it easier for the reader, assuming that they perhaps lack the reading skills/ability/concentration to read something that is more normally formatted? Or is it because it gives the perception that the ebook is about 3 times the size (and subconsciously therefore has 3 times the content/value, if number of pages is mentoned in the marketing) than is really the case?
In my own case, my ebook is likely to be around 45 pages of close-packed quality content (well, I would say that!!!) in my normal style when finished, but by reformatting to what appears to be the de-facto IM ebook delivery standard I can probably make it appear like 120-150 pages! It won't have any more content though!!!
Are there any experienced ebook authors here who have actually tested publishing in the different formats/structures, and can explain the differences between, and results of, that testing to me (in terms of customer feedback / satisfaction / refunds / future purchases etc.), please.