Kodansha Comics is answering fan questions on their Tumblr, and I applaud them for being one of the most open and communicative manga publishers around today. In addition to taking queries on particular titles — the answer to most of which, as you’d expect, is something along the lines of “we don’t think that long-running obscure manga title would sell well over here” — they’re educating fans on the kinds of factors companies need to consider to be successful.
For instance, this post lays out how they decide to license properties, including the state of the market, the quality of the manga title, and fan support. Oh, and the book needs to be a Kodansha title, since Kodansha Comics is a branch of Kodansha Japan.
They also don’t think print-on-demand suits their goals due to the small profits and lack of product visibility.
This is a wonderful opportunity to interact directly with a publisher, so please, you few out there who need to be told this, don’t screw it up. Be polite, don’t be abusive, value the opportunity, and realize that your opinion may be disagreed with.