Fabulous post by steampunkish author Gail Carriger on seeing her first book on store shelves.
And over at Writer Beware a listing of people who have done research on first publications and novel advances in different genres. Particularly fabulous was the survey and analysis done by Jim C. Hines; Hines set out to debunk as many myths and "pieces of good advice" as he could. I love people who analyze "good advice" rather than take it blindly. Stubborn, reticent, free thinking people of the world unite! ... then again I don't really know Jim C. Hines all that well so maybe I'm just talking about me.
Of course, none of this data is as good as it could be ... but as good as it could be would mean large houses releasing their payscales to the public and that ain't gonna happen any time soon honey. We'll have to deal with second best until then.