I don’t think it’s anything as defined as percentages.
Generally, new license decisions are based on what we think will work in this market. We look at a variety of factors that in the past have determined success/failure of certain titles (“What worked with this one? What was the reason this one didn’t work as well?”). I’ve listed some of the most common warning signs when it comes to new licenses in our FAQ. It makes me sad, because a lot of series I would be interested in fall into those categories, but at the same time— I want my company to stay in business. To do that, we need to publish series that will bring home the bacon, so to speak.
(Not to say that a title having one or two of those qualities puts it out of the running entirely— it just means that we need to maybe go about publishing it in a different way. I know I keep mentioning Vinland Saga, but that’s because it’s important to us— here is a title where we’re trying something different. If this pays off, we’ll have a world of cool options to follow.)
We also consider if a title is, you know, good. Strong characters and a compelling story will ensure readers stick around after volume 1. In a way, we’re in the pretty nice situation of having our pick of all that Kodansha Japan has to offer. Of course this also means that a lot of stuff unfortunately will never make its way over here— but it also means that the stuff that gets here is more often than not the cream of the crop!
Fans are important to the process because we couldn’t do it without you! You are the people we sell our books to, after all! ;) Strong fan support can get us looking at a title we’ve passed over before, wondering if we can make it work (and has already had an influence in this way— but I’m not allowed to talk about that yet!). I also love going through the license requests— even though a lot of them are for series we can’t publish for one reason or another, y’all have tipped us off to some good stuff! There are simply a lot of series out there, so every now and then it helps to have someone point out “This one! This one is quality!”
I think I mentioned this back when we announced the licenses for My Little Monster and Say I Love You, but— fan support was very important to those titles. They are unlike anything we’ve ever published before, and demonstrable strong fan demand for them was the tipping point, so to speak. I guess we’ll see if that pays off this spring!
So please don’t think “we’re not even 50%”, because that’s just a little silly. ;) Fans are important, but I’ve never tried to present this as a popular vote. We need to worry about a lot of things that the fans will never see (much more than what I’ve talked about here), and that’s perfectly alright. We’ll just keep doing our jobs making manga and you just keep buying it, okay? ;) And please do keep sending in suggestions— they’re very valuable to me!