Writing is a business and like any other business there are seasons of plenty and seasons of famine. Of course life goes on whether the market is a boom or a bust, so there will always be writers selling their work to publishers. However, when times are slow a writer will need to do more research, sharpen ideas, and make sure his article pitches and book proposals address the current interests of a publisher–which by the way will be listed on the publisher’s web site.
When an editor is facing a cut back in publishing, only the most appropriate and most marketable proposals will survive. This means that on top of researching the market for your book and the needs of prospective publishers, you’ll also have to keep an eye on publishing news to see which companies are in the best financial shape. If you really want to go with a publisher who is making cuts, just be sure your work is an attractive choice.
The first place to start when seeking news about a publisher is Publisher’s Weekly, though most markets will have blogs and press release sites that track the news specific to your field of expertise.