Pre-ordering hasn't taken hold of the ebook industry in the same way it has video games, but that may be about to change, as Google announced on Wednesday that pre-orders for digital books are now available in the Google Play store.
Users who pre-order ebooks on the Google Play store won't have to pay up front, but rather will be charged automatically once the books are available, a Google spokesperson confirmed to TechRadar via email.
Upon release, a pre-ordered book will appear immediately in users' online libraries.
New and available
Google added a "New and Available for Pre-Order" section to the Google Play store on Wednesday, indicating that the shift to ebook pre-orders took effect immediately.
No doubt the selection of ebooks available for pre-order will constantly rotate, though a forthcoming Tom Clancy book sat at the top Wednesday.
Notably, if a book's pricing or release date changes, pre-orders for that title will be cancelled and must be re-purchased.
What's the point?
Incredibly popular books like new titles in the Harry Potter series must occasionally be pre-ordered in physical form to ensure receipt upon release, as supplies can be limited.
But it's unclear what the purpose of pre-ordering a digital book might be, unless Google plans to allow publishers and authors to begin offering pre-order incentives like advance chapters or digital special features - something that isn't unheard of.
Google informed TechRadar that it has nothing to announce at this time regarding the possibility of ebook pre-order incentives, but a spokesperson did clarify that pre-orders are now available in all countries that have Google Play books, not just in the U.S.