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Arts & Entertainment

There's self-published authors, and then there's Andrew Dolan

William Howard Taft as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court
William Howard Taft as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court
US Army Signal Corps

In my inbox this morning was a pitch for an intriguing—if a bit dated—self-published book called Where to Find a Husband. According to the press release, the new book:

...uses Census Statistics To Pinpoint Cities And Counties Where Single Men Outnumber 
Single Women, Includes Census Tables With Age Breakdowns For Major Cities And Map 
Of Counties Where Men Outnumber Women

A weird premise, of course. It's hard to imagine anyone reading this book and immediately packing their bags for the most bachelor-prone state (Spoiler alert: It's Alaska), but we get plenty of odd pitches.

After a couple minutes of internetting around, I find out this isn't Andrew Dolan's first book. The author's Amazon page features helpful tomes like How to Get Food Stamps, damning exposés like The Sudden Death of Michael Jackson,  smart and forward thinking life manuals like How to Date Older Women, and the be all, end all weight loss guide: The Taft Diet: How President Taft Lost 76 Pounds.  

The Taft Diet, by the way, has eighteen chapters—some titled "Taft was a Politician," and "Why Taft Avoided Crash Diets" and "What if Taft had Lived in Our Century?"

They say not to judge a book by it's cover, but I think it's safe to say that Andrew Dolan's bright, novel approach to non-fiction jackets is nothing if not refreshing. Here's the cover for The Taft Diet:

Bold and bright, it's easy to read and impossible to ignore. It makes its case before your very eyes. No American president has been ridiculed more for his weight than William Howard Taft. Take a look at him now. For How to Date Older Women, Dolan takes a different approach: 

Again: bold and hard to miss, of course--but the black background and stark, rainbow colored text recalls a brand new neon sign. Maybe it's hanging over a Burbank cocktail lounge on a warm Thursday night. Have a chardonnay and see where the night leads you.

Dolan's books are exactly why the publishing industry can be so boring. No publisher would today would even conside printing these books--despite them being unique, offbeat and presumably well researched. Yet they'll happily send us eight copies of the same novel, without us even asking.

Here's to you, Andrew Dolan. Keep it up.