David Murray linked to this video the other week ahead of Thomas Nelson publishing his new book Jesus on Every Page (see forthcoming Messenger for review, interview and chance to win a copy).
Interestingly, Thomas Nelson was brought up in the RPCS. Here are a few quotes from the Oxford DNB:
“Thomas Nelson (1780–1861) was born Thomas Neilson in the village of Throsk near Stirling in Scotland, the son of William Neilson, a farmer, and his wife, Lilias Gibson. He was baptized on 1 October 1780 at St Ninian’s, Stirling, and was brought up with the strict religious outlook of the Reformed Presbyterian church (covenanters)…
“At some point Nelson realized the existence of a market for cheap editions of standard, non-copyright works which he initially attempted to satisfy by publishing in monthly parts well-known religious texts such as Pilgrim’s Progress and Scots Worthies, then by issuing what became the Nelson hallmark, reprints of classics such as Robinson Crusoe, The Vicar of Wakefield, and Goldsmith’s Essays. From these beginnings the emphasis was on price—he produced inexpensive books accessible to a new reading public of the skilled working classes…
“The religious nature of many of Nelson’s early publications reflected the strict religious outlook of his family. John A. H. Dempster suggests that the early history of Thomas Nelson & Sons conforms to a common early nineteenth-century model. The founder of the publishing house, actuated by zeal to spread the word of God, commences general, secular publishing as an adjunct to this. Succeeding generations inherit the prosperous business but none, or only a diluted form, of the religious motivation. The religious output decreases in proportion to the whole but often remains a steady income generator on the back list. This categorization perhaps ignores the evangelism of the educator: the urge to spread knowledge through good, cheap books across a wide section of the population, a mission which lay, however implicitly, behind the story of Thomas Nelson & Sons until its last years.”
Apparently, Thomas Nelson were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first publishers.
That’s all I have on him, maybe someone wants to do some more research into it!