Is it worth it for writers to shell out the chas to attend the Book Expo?
Don't even think about it.
First, editors don't go to BEA. SALES people go to BEA, and booksellers. I can't tell you how much sales people hate being accosted by writers stalking a big break particularly if the sales guys are stalking wary bookbuyers coming down the aisle.
Second, BEA will break your heart. This is a show that covers a gazillion square feet and almost every publisher in the known universe brings a fair proportion of everything they've published to display. It's like being a decent looking girl and going to the Miss America pageant...what looked ok at home suddenly isn't quite so fun.
Third, any stray agents at BEA are REALLY not there to meet you. They are there to talk to (amazingly) the SALES guys, the foreign rights people, and bookstore people. The last thing I want to do is be accosted in the aisle by someone who just knows I'm the right person for the 195,000 word novel he has in his backpack.
There are places agents and editors go to meet writers. They are called writing conferences. BEA is a trade show.
BEA is next week in DC. Miss Snark is attending so the blog will be on hiatus then, but don't worry quite yet...there's a week of nitwittery yet to come.