Right now, Book Expo America 2013 (aka BEA) seems a ways away. However, I guarantee that very shortly that time will be upon us again. I've been lucky enough to be able to attend Book Expo America the past two years and while I definitely don't consider myself an expert on the subject I thought I'd take some time to share a few things that I've learned from my experiences.
Plan early! Book Expo America is an expensive trip if you don't live in NYC or the surrounding area. If you are flying in from out of state, plan your trip early. Hotels fill up fast for Book Expo America and flights are not cheap if you wait until the last minute. Well, they aren't really cheap if you buy them early either but they are cheaper!
Find some roomies! Paying for a hotel room all on your own is not fun, especially in NYC. Find some fellow bloggers/readers/authors that are going to Book Expo America and ask them to room with you. It's best if you know your roomies, even if only through email and chat. Also, 4 people in a hotel room is best if you're looking to pay less. It might be a little crowded but honestly, the only time you're in your room is to sleep and shower. Trust me.
Get a hotel close to the Javitz! My first year at Book Expo America I stayed in Brooklyn and took the subway to the Javitz every morning. It was not fun. My second year at Book Expo America I stayed at a hotel that was located right across from the Javitz center. It was so nice! I didn't have to get up super early every morning and I could take books back to my room throughout the day. The best part though was that it was very centrally located so I could walk pretty much anywhere I needed to go which saved a lot of money.
Register early! If you know, for certain, that you will be attending Book Expo America and you have the money handy, register. Prices do go up as it gets closer to the show so it's good to have this booked in advance. Also, if you want to attend any of the paid events, they do sell out sometimes.
Book Expo America registration does get a little confusing sometimes so bloggers, here's a great post with some information about what category you fit into.
Create a budget! Plane tickets, hotel rooms, and registration can be paid for early but you don't want to run out of money for other things while you are in NYC. Remember that you will have to mail books home. I'd recommend setting aside about $85 dollars for this. That also includes money for packaging. Personally, I shipped priority mail from the post office and it was about $85 total but my books actually made it home before I did. It was worth it because media mail tends to get lost and beat up. Other than postage just remember that you will need to eat (if you eat at the Javitz, it's expensive), there will be things you want to buy (souvenirs, etc.), and there might be events where you want to buy something (such as book signings.) To be honest, I probably spent $500 (including postage) while I was in NYC.
Like I said, I'm certainly no expert on this topic but if you have questions feel free to leave them in the comments or email me!