I subscribe to Publishers Weekly online to receive updates about what's going on in and around publishing. Being a published author, I've found that reading PW has come in handy over the years. The online version certainly speeds the spread of bad tidings.
For a while now, publishing has been looking like the banking industry before it imploded. Where do authors fit in this metaphor? Are we bank tellers? More significant? Less? Find out by taking Publishers Weekly's Annual Publishing Industry Salary/Job Satisfaction Survey. It opens up to Q1 right away. Click on "freelance writer/author" and then click on "next."