BookExpo America is expanding its offering for indie authors, introducing Author Hub. The new effort is part of an attempt to attract self-published and independent authors to the trade show, which has long catered to traditional authors and publishers. Author Hub will run in conjunction with BEA's 2012-launched conference for self-published authors, uPublishU.

Speaking to the effort, BEA said its goal with Author Hub is "to further integrate the self-publishing community into the publishing mainstream by providing platforms where entrepreneurial authors may interact and share the spotlight at North America’s leading book industry event." Author Hub will be located on the BEA floor and, the show said, "conceived as a venue where authors will put into action all the practices, perspective and know-how presented to them by leading industry figures at the uPublishU at BEA Conference." (This year's uPublishU day-long conference is set for Saturday, May 31.)

At the Author Hub, BEA said that there will be opportunities for networking as well as Premium members' tables which will be hosting various authors. Set to appear are well known indie (or, at least, once indie and now hybrid) authors Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, Hugh Howey, CJ Lyons and H.M. Ward.

For BEA, uPublishU has, it said, been growing steadily, and had 350 attendees last year. This year's uPublishU event will be divided into two basic tracks, one for authors who are working on their first book and bringing it to market, and another for authors with more experience self-publishing. BEA show manager Steve Rosato remarked: "The addition of the Author Hub to our program will connect this community to mainstream publishing, providing access to promotion and discovery that was previously unavailable to this universe."