OREGON WORDWORKS was established in the little ocean-front community of Manzanita, Oregon, in 1989, by Skip Thomsen and Cathleen Freshwater. Skip was ready to publish his first book, More Power To You!, and Skip and Cathleen were also publishing Elixir!, an arts and entertainment newspaper for the North Oregon Coast. Since it appeared this was to be only the beginning, they decided to create their small-publishing company.
In 1993, the couple moved to rural Hawai'i and left Oregon Wordworks in able hands back in Oregon. At this point, the main function of the Oregon office was to take care of wholesale and mail-order distribution. They ran ads for More Power To You! in several magazines and sales were about evenly divided between book stores and mail-order.
1993 was also the time Skip and Cathleen published their second book, The Modern Homestead Manual. Since their new home was now in another state, they thought they'd start writing under a new name and make Oregon Wordworks into the marketing and distribution service for the new publishing company, Pandanus Publishing. The Modern Homestead Manual was published under the new name, and then for various business reasons, Thomsen and Freshwater decided to abandon Pandanus Publishing and just continue writing and publishing under their original company name.
In 1994, Cathleen decided to pursue some other life dreams and she moved back to the Mainland. The couple is no longer a couple, but Oregon Wordworks is alive and well, has recently moved to a new location in Portland, Oregon and is a growing business, marketing books all over the planet to individuals, book stores and wholesale distributors.
Affordable Paradise started coming to life several years ago in response to many questions like, "How can you afford to live in Hawai'i?" Skip and his new bride, Camille operate some vacation rentals and were constantly getting these same kinds of inquiries and many more from their rental guests, friends, relatives, and visitors. Since the Thomsens had never considered their own life in Hawai'i as anything extravagant, they started collecting their thoughts on the subject and Affordable Paradise was on its way to becoming a reality. The publishing date for the first printing was October, 2001. The expanded and updated Second Edition was published in the first part of 2003. The new info is mostly in response to suggestions and comments from the enthusiastic readers of the original book.
The rapid rise in real estate prices due to the unprecedented number of people relocating to the Islands created an urgent need for the Third Edition, which first shipped in June, '05. This new Fourth Edition, published in September of 2009, includes some focus on the impact all these new arrivals are making in every facet of life in Hawai'i. Real Estate values peaked in late '05 and are now back pretty much in line with the values listed in the Third Edition. There are exceptions, of course, and the Affordable Paradise Update Pages (accessible from the Web site) keep readers up to speed with those and other developments. As of January 2013, real estate prices are just now beginning to slowly pick up again from 2009 values, but mostly just on premium properties. The values quoted in the Fourth Edition are then still valid.
In 2014, in response to requests for an eBook Edition, the whole book was once again updated and then published to Amazon's Kindle Edition and Barnes & Noble's Nook edition. Both are available from their respective Web sites, or from the order page on this site.
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