Over on the freelance writing blog, I've just posted "Freelance writing: stop complaining, it’s all about sales".
Apropos of which, publishers do it tough. Read "Bookstore chain puts the screws on small publishers":
Traditionally, when a publishing house is acquired by some big conglomerate, the bean counters take a look at the accounts, turn pale, and have a talk with the publisher. It has come to their attention, they say, that many books lose money, and most of the others make a small profit at most. Almost all the publisher’s profits come from a small number of bestselling titles. “True,” says the publisher. In that case, the beancounters reply, would it not make more sense to only publish the bestsellers?
The more you know about how publishing works, the better you can protect yourself as a writer. Don't be a woolly lamb... or Little Red Writing Hood confronted with grandma's big teeth. :-)