There have been several articles and blog posts about how the subprime crisis is going to make it near-impossible for new writers to sell, blah blah blah, and I'm sure many of you have read them already. They do look pretty gloomy, the end-of-your-dream-as-a-wannabe-pro kind. And some aspiring writers are feeling so discouraged that they don't even want to bother querying until the economy improves.
This is what I think about the entire situation:
It's never been easy to get published. I can't think of a time when someone squealed, "OMG! It's sooooo easy to get published."
It's always been difficult to get published and build a career. What changes is the factors that make it hard to do so.
But one thing you know for sure is that people will continue to buy great books. Everyone's looking for a fabulous story, the kind that makes them lightheaded with excitement. And that's what you the writer can control. So write something that leaves agents and editors panting for more, and no matter how bad the economy is (or whatever), they'll publish it and readers will buy it.