Kobo Writing Life is the Kobo self publishing platform. Available through smashwords or Direct via http://www.kobobooks.com/kobowritinglife KWL is akin to Amazon's KDP.
This week KWL announced a new royalty rate of 80% from September 1st to November 30th.
This 80% rate applies (with no deduction for delivery) for all titles from $1.99 to $12.99 which is a bit more flexible than other retailers (in particular for novellas etc).
Now Kobo don't offer the buying experience Amazon do so this rather generous rate may not actually amount to much for most of us. The major problem with Kobo is getting noticed.
Categories have huge numbers of titles (e.g. 28,663 in mystery and suspense) and the ability to 'sort' is by bestselling, best rated, price, alphabetical or reverse alphabetical. So unless you've written the 1c book called "AAAAAAAAAAAH this is a murder mystery" and have great reviews and sales from the off, there's not much chance of being randomly found.
Kobo does offer 'You might like' suggestions but again this is rather self-fulfilling. Books that sell well get pushed more making it easier to stay noticeable but hard to get that initial visibility.
What I really hope will happen is that this competition will spur Amazon into action. Losing the delivery and matching the 80% would do all authors a world of good. No one really wants to see one company corner the market (and I'd be the first to admit Amazon have been very good to us so far).
Hopefully this competition can drive rates up going forward for authors and possibly even entice Amazon away from proprietary DRM. In an ideal system books should be open to be read on any device rather than just the device of the retailer, and ePub is much more open than .mobi.