Google is joining bookseller Barnes & Noble to provide a book-delivery service and it appears to be a direct shot at Amazon, which has long been a dominant force in online book sales. 

Barnes & Noble and Google plan to offer same-day delivery, just as Amazon does, according to a report, via Google's Shopping Express service in a select few locations. The list includes San Francisco, West Los Angeles and Manhattan. The service began Thursday.

The partnership with Google is being called a test by Barnes & Noble CEO Michael P. Huseby. His company's digital Nook business has been in decline, facing stiff competition from Amazon. It most recent earnings report showed a 22 percent drop in sales from a year earlier.

"It's our attempt to link the digital and physical," Huseby said

Google Shopping has already set up ordering options for customer's purchasing digitally through stores like Costco, Walgreens, Staples and Target. Google's shopping and shipping effort rolled out about one year ago. The company has its own couriers, according to a report. Google has almost 20 retail partners in its shopping and shipping network.

Amazon's same-day delivery effort will soon expand to 10 cities from the previous four it already had. The company also released an all-you-can-downloade eBook service for Kindle users called Kindle Unlimited.

Barnes & Noble has closed more than 60 of its brick-and-mortar locations, some even in major cities like Manhattan. It has about 660 retail stores left, as well as about 700 college campus bookstores. In February, the company announced both a color Nook release and plans to lay off employees, as a Tech Times story reported. 

Walmart and eBay have also introduced same day delivery service to its customers. Amazon's next plans involve using drones for product deliveries. That effort has been on the back burner until the government decides how the drones should be regulated for commercial use.

Prices are comparable between Amazon and the Google-Barnes & Noble venture:

Amazon costs $5.99 for Prime members and $9.98 for everyone else.

Google Shopping Express costs $4.99 per delivery, per store, and offers free delivery to their subscribers. Subscription membership is free for the first six months. Google has never set a membership fee.

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