"Chronicle Books plans to unveil what it says is a pioneering "mutual referral" deal with the Silicon Valley self-publisher Blurb, known for its print-on-demand online bookstore and glossy photography books. Chronicle will refer unwanted authors to Blurb, who will return an undisclosed cut of the earnings generated from the new accounts. Blurb says that while it's not uncommon for self-publishers to sell promising manuscripts up the chain to larger publishers, this is the first deal to send submissions in the other direction: from the discard pile of a traditional publishing house to an online bookstore where authors pay to have their books printed and sent off into the real world.
It looks to be a win-win arrangement."
...Much like 'journalists' writing stories based on new releases without making any attempt at a serious analysis. If a writer submits to a traditional press, they should get a yes or a no, period. If and when they decide to self-publish they should choose the best printer and distributor for their purpose. A traditional press taking kick-backs for referrals to a self-publishing service is not a win-win situations. It is, in fact, a win-win-lose situation for Chronicle, Blurb and the writer, respectively.