I don't participate in the manuscript cattle calls that happen on Twitter, so I hadn't heard about this problem until a colleague mentioned it.
Writer A, in whom she was interested, had participated in one of the many Twitter #Pitch events, gotten some bites from editors, and then sent the manuscript being considered by my colleague to the editors.
All of us at the bar listening to this groaned simultaneously.
Once you've sent your manuscript to an editor, that's mostly game, set, match for the editor and the publisher.
In other words, you may pick the wrong editor to send to (cause you have no way of knowing) and instead of getting interest or an offer from the right editor, you get a pass from the wrong editor.
If you send the entire manuscript that needs work, instead of a strategic submission of a partial 100 pages, you get a pass from an editor who sees only the problems, not an offer from the editor who sees possibilities.
In other words, the reason you query agents first, is our job is to strategize submissions, not just shotgun the manuscript all over town.
I understand how enticing it can be to get interest in your work is, particularly if you've been laboring on it for years, alone in your attic.
Don't shoot yourself in the foot by jumping the gun.
Always always always query agents first: at conferences, and now with #PitchFests.