The Metro-Detroit Book and Author Society Board Represents:
- The Henry Ford
- The Detroit News
- Ann Arbor District Library
- The Library Network
- Suburban Library Cooperative
- Detroit Public Library
- Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation
- Detroit Suburban Librarians Roundtable
- Detroit Working Writers
- Authors Guild of America
- Friends of Michigan Libraries
- Oakland University Kresge Library
- University of Michigan Dearborn Mardigian Library
- Oakland Literacy Council
- Washtenaw Literacy
- Wayne State University Press
- Birmingham A.A.U.W.
History of the Metro-Detroit Book and Author Society
The Metro-Detroit Book & Author Society was created for the sole purpose of presenting a luncheon featuring major national authors. With the Detroit News as their sponsor, a group of book aficionados representing various Detroit organizations met on April 20, 1972 in the Detroit News building on Layfayette Boulevard to formulate plans for this new undertaking.
The organizations represented at this initial meeting were The Detroit Public Library, The Book Club of Detroit, The Great Lakes Booksellers, The Women’s National Book Association, The Federation of Women’s Clubs of Metro-Detroit, and The Detroit News. The group’s first President was Robert C. McGee of The Great Lakes Booksellers.
By 1976 the board had expanded to also include The American Association of University Women, The Arts Council Triangle, The Cranbrook Writers Guild, Detroit Adventure, Detroit Women Writers, The Friends of the Detroit Public Library, The Michigan Council for the Arts, and the Gale Research Company.
The first luncheon was held on September 13, 1972 in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton-Cadillac Hotel in Detroit. The cost of a ticket was $5.95, and the author line-up consisted of Richard Bach, author of the blockbuster “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, Helen Hayes and Anita Loos, who had co-written a book called “Twice Over Lightly: New York Then and Now”, and Marjorie Holmes, who had written an extraordinary bestseller called “Two From Galilee”.
By 1973, the society was presenting two luncheons a year, in the spring and the fall. Board membership continued to expand and change, and the Society became a non-profit organization in 1989. The group also began to award monetary grants to libraries, Friends groups and literacy organizations. In the spring of 2014 the Society took another leap forward by introducing on-line ticketing, and by accepting credit cards for tickets and purchases.
In 2001 the Detroit News ended its sponsorship of the The Metro-Detroit Book & Author luncheons. The Board continued to present the luncheons uninterrupted, and in 2013 the Board was pleased to welcome the Detroit News back as a Metro-Detroit Book & Author Society participating organization, along with another major Detroit institution, The Henry Ford. The Society has also found generous partners in The Library Network Cooperative, The Brodart Corporation, and The Detroit Public Library.
The Metro-Detroit Book & Author Society strives to present top national authors in a comfortable, casual setting, with an opportunity to buy signed books and meet the authors. Guest authors have included Steven King, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, Scott Turow, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Michael Connelly and Debbie Macomber. Celebrity authors have included Cokie Roberts, Jane Seymour, Gladys Knight, Lee Iococca, Tim Russert and Dan Rather.
The Metro-Detroit Book & Author luncheons are considered one of the largest and best one-day author events in the country.