Rejected Book Cover Photo

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 148

Dvorak Cover 003

When it came time to submit everything for the book, I decided to give the designers over at University Press of Kentucky a variety of photos to choose from for the cover. I was not surprised with the image they chose, which screams “pre-Code” and is more than likely to turn a few heads, and hopefully sell a few books. While I am thrilled with how the cover turned out, I actually think the photo is very un-Ann-like. She usually did not look this sultry in photos and did not play overtly sexual characters too often, the obvious exception being Scarface.

Since I am not a graphic designer or a publisher, and did not have strong feelings about what image should go on the cover, I was more than happy to let them decide. But – if I did have to say which photo I was secretly rooting for, it would be this one. It’s not a super glamorous or sexy shot of Ann, but I really think it reflects her more than the one that was chosen. She looks elegant but simple as well as confident and intelligent. As great as the sultry photo is, I think the person in this photo is the one that will be found on the pages of the book.


  1. Daniel Nauman May 28, 2013

    As a latent graphic designer, I find her hand placement awkward (artificial), but otherwise I totally agree with you. She is what she is: Intelligent yet approachable—and needless to say, beautiful. A book cover, however, must grab—and head-on shots and suggestive poses do that, let alone good design. It would be interesting to see all the shots you sent for cover suggestions.

  2. admin May 28, 2013

    I submitted 7 photos, and would be more than happy to spend the next 5 days posting the rest!

  3. Scott May 28, 2013

    Do you know when the photo, above, was taken? Was it still a pre-Code Ann, but just reflecting a different mood?

  4. admin May 28, 2013

    This is from early 1932 and was taken before the sultry book cover photo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *