In 1969, "model-turned-author" Jeanne Rejaunier published her first novel "The Beauty Trap" which became a bestseller and sold over one million copies (via). The LIFE photo essay "What it takes to be a lady author anymore" showed Rejaunier posing for photographs that capture "how a woman should promote her literary work". The essay contributed her success to her beauty rather than her literary talents: "Just possibly because she smiles so prettily on the book jacket (the back and the front of the book) The Beauty Trap is now in its fourth printing." (via)
Caption from LIFE (above):
"Jeanne Rejaunier is a lady author, as you can plainly see - the new sort of lady author is always photographed in bed."
More captions from LIFE (below):
- "A lady author must swim a little. Jeanne appreciates the water. She lives in a Hollywood apartment and doesn't have a pool of her own yet, but she uses one belonging to a friend whenever she wants."
- "A lady author must commune with nature. There isn't an awful lot of nature to commune with in Hollywood, but Jeanne does her best with a rake and leaves, both borrowed from her apartement house. The Victorian dress is brand-new."
- "A lady author must have her own billboard. There is a special thrill, Jeanne admits, to seeing yourself on a Hollywood billboard. Now that her face is well-known, she often visits bookstores and boosts her novel's sales."
- "A lady author must exercise in a bikini. Writing a minor bestseller is sedentary work, but when promoting one a lithe figure is very useful. This contraption strengthens the stomach muscles and fitures of speech."
photographs via and via and via and via