There are two primary ways of publishing these days. The first is to go through a book publishing company and the second is through self-publishing. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
If you go the traditional route, typically how it works is they give you an agreed upon amount of money to write the book. Then once it goes on sale you make a low percentage until an agreed upon amount then it goes a little higher. The advantage to this style for tech authors is they handle all the sales, marketing, editing, book cover, etc. So you write the book and get paid.
The downside is the amount you get paid is low. You will, by far, make more money going the self-publishing route. However, everything is up to you. You need a following; you need to understand a little business, how to market, how to hire out contractors for the various parts and on and on. It’s a lot to undertake especially if you have a full-time job, a family, or other responsibilities.
What I’d love to see is an entirely new digital alternative where everything is more favorable to all parties involved. In my opinion, a writer should be able to pitch their book idea to a publisher, and if accepted the writer writes the book, the publisher handles all the mundane tasks like a cover image, editing, and sales & marketing. Then both parties split the revenue 50/50, 60/40, 40/60, just some split that seems fairer than what is currently the industry average.
I do believe something like this should work, but I’ve yet to see anyone come in and try to disrupt the industry. Maybe there is a reason, and I fail to see it?