APA Referencing: Books & e-books

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APA Referencing: books and e-books

Basic format to reference a book

A basic reference list entry for a book (print version) in APA must include:

  • Author or authors. The surname is followed by first initials.
  • Year of publication of the book (in round brackets).
  • Book title (in italics).
  • Edition (in round brackets), if other than first.
  • Place of publication.
  • Publisher.
  • The first line of each citation is left adjusted. Every subsequent line is indented 5-7 spaces.

Example: Arnott, G. D. (2017). The disability support worker (2nd ed.). South Yarra, VIC: Cengage Learning.

For books with multiple authors, edited books, E-books and chapters in books see examples below.

Referencing a book: Examples

Material Type In-Text Example Reference List Example

Book: Single Author


“Experience is the only perceived indicator of capability” (Fletcher, 2018, p. 107).
Fletcher (2018, p. 107) notes that “experience is the only perceived indicator of capability”.

Add page numbers for direct quotes.

Fletcher, D. P. (2018). Disrupters: Success

strategies from women who break the mold. Irvine, CA: Entrepreneur Press.


For location use the U.S. state (postal) abbreviation. This is also acceptable for Australian states and territories. For all other countries, spell out the country name in full.

Book: 2 Authors and Edition


According to Moran and Toner (2017)…
… this is evident (Moran & Toner, 2017).

Cite both authors each time the reference occurs.

Moran, A., & Toner, J. (2017). A critical introduction to sport psychology (3rd ed.). Milton Park, England: Routledge.

The edition number is included after the title of the work (not necessary for first editions).

Book: 3, 4 or 5 Authors



The “challenge for destinations is to become robust" (Innerhofer, Fontanari & Pechlaner, 2018, p. 67).
Innerhofer, Fontanari, and Pechlaner (2018, p. 67) suggest that the “challenge for destinations is to become robust”.

Cite all of the authors the first time the reference occurs. In subsequent citations include only the surname of the first author followed by et al., and the year (as well as page numbers for a direct quote), e.g.

Innerhofer et al. (2018) note that coping strategies differ…
…disturbance may exceed absorptive coping (Innerhofer et al., 2018).

Innerhofer, E., Fontanari, M., & Pechlaner, H. (2018). Destination resilience: Challenges and opportunities for destination management and governance. Milton Park, England: Routledge.

Provide the names of all authors in the reference list.



Book: 6 or 7 Authors


Wiggins et al. (2016) note that ethics protects both the researcher and the participants.
…research practiced within the broader society (Wiggins et al., 2016).

Cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al., and the year, for the first and subsequent citations.

Wiggins, M. W., Stevens, C., Chidester, T. R., Hayward, B. J., Johnston, N., & Dismukes, R. K. (2016). Aviation social science: Research methods in practice. Abingdon, England: Routledge.

Provide the names of all authors in the reference list up to and including seven authors.

Book: 8 or more Authors

Moniz-Cook et al. (2016, p. 113) highlight the “importance of playfulness, laughter, joking and amusement”.

“…playfulness, laughter, joking and amusement” (Moniz-Cook et al., 2016, p. 113).

Cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al., and the year, for the first and subsequent citations.

Moniz-Cook, E., Woods, B., Killick, J., Nolan, M., Ryan, T., Quinn, C.,... Wolverson, E. (2016). Positive psychology approaches to dementia. London, England: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Include the first six authors' names, followed by three dots (ellipsis), then add the last author's name.

Book: No Author

As defined in the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (2002) reference lists should be double-spaced.

... should be double-spaced (Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers, 2002).

Capitalise the major words in titles of books and articles when used within the body of your essay.

Style manual for authors, editors and printers. (2002). (6th ed.). Canberra, ACT: AGPS. 

If no author or editor, the title is used as the first element of the reference.

Book: Editor(s)


… open access data is of great value to researchers (Perry, 2018).
Perry (2018) promotes the use of...


First Use

Big data is giving insight into collective human behaviour (Lauro, Amaturo, Grassia, Aragona, & Marino, 2017). 

Subsequent Uses
According to Lauro et al. (2017)…

Perry, S. M. (Ed.). (2018). Maximizing social science research through publicly accessible data sets. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.


With more than one editor use multiple author format as above and use (Eds.).

Lauro, N. C., Amaturo, E., Grassia, M. G., Aragona, B., & Marino, M. (Eds.). (2017). Data science and social research: Epistemology, methods, technology and applications. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Book: With Author and Editor

"A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" (Austen, 1814/2005, p. 195)

Include the original publication date in the citation.

 Austen, J. (1814/2005). Mansfield Park (J. Wiltshire, Ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.


Chapter or part of a Book to which a number of authors have contributed 

Shah (2018, p. 38) advocates “the use of analytics to make informed decisions at the executive leadership level”.
There is value in “the use of analytics to make informed decisions at the executive leadership level” (Shah, 2018, p. 38).

In the in-text reference name the author of the chapter.

Shah, T. H. (2018). Big data analytics in higher education. In S. M. Perry (Ed.), Maximizing social science research through publicly accessible data sets (pp. 38-61). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Note that the editor's name appears with

initials first and surname following.


 Book: With volume numbers

... as this complex theory is dealt with in detail by Russell (2003, vol. 2, p. 23; vol. 3, pp. 17-36). 

If more than one volume is given, separate with a semi-colon.

Russell, B. (2003). The autobiography of Bertrand Russell (Vols. 1-3). London, England: Allen & Unwin.



Book: Translator & Author (Marklund, 2011)

Marklund, L. (2011). Exposed (N. Smith, Trans.).  Montreal, Canada: Random House.

Book: Organisation as Author

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


…population growth (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016).



According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017) …



Print Book

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2016). Census of population and housing: Census dictionary, 2016 (No. 2901.0). Canberra, ACT: Author.

Online Book

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Childhood education and care (No. 4402.0). Canberra, ACT: Author. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au

Add the ABS report's Catalogue Number after the title. 'Author' is used in place of the publisher name if they are the same body.

Book: Organisation as Author

Use of abbreviations


…laws relating to children (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], 2018).

If you want to cite from the report more than once, in the first citation provide the full name of the organisation, as above. In subsequent citations use the abbreviated organisational title. e.g.
…administered by the States and Territories (AIHW, 2018).

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018). Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia 2018. Canberra, ACT: Author.

Provide the full name of the organisation in the reference list.

E-book: No DOI assigned

(More information about DOIs)

Lecomte-Tilouine (2017, p. 88) notes a “post-modern fancy for shamanism”.
“…due to the post-modern fancy for shamanism” (Lecomte-Tilouine, 2017, p. 88).

Lecomte-Tilouine, M. (2017). Nature, culture and religion at the crossroads of Asia. London: Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.routledge.com/

If a DOI is not available, provide the home page URL of the book publisher. No retrieval date is required.

E-book: With DOI assigned

(More information about DOIs)

“…children with ADHD are likely to have negative experiences more frequently” (Young & Smith, 2017, p. 248).
Young and Smith (2017, p. 248) note that “children with ADHD are likely to have negative experiences more frequently.”

Young, S. & Smith, J. (2017). Helping children with ADHD: A CBT guide for practitioners, parents and teachers. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781118903155

If a DOI is available include it at the end of the citation. The database name, URL or date of retrieval are not required.

Book: Anonymous author

(Anonymous, 2000)

When a work's author is designated as Anonymous include the word 'Anonymous' followed by a comma and year.


Anonymous. (2000). Maximum Security (3rd ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Prentice Hall.

In your reference list, include such titles in your alphabetical listing as if 'Anonymous' were a true name.

Book on a Kindle

... in all outcomes (Gladwell, 2008).
Gladwell (2008) remarks ...

For direct quotations of online material without pagination, name the major sections, chapter, section, and paragraph number e.g.

One of the author’s main points is that “people don’t rise from nothing” (Gladwell, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 2, para. 5).

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com

Include the type of e-book version you read e.g. Kindle DX version. In lieu of publisher information, include the book’s DOI or where you downloaded the e-book from if there is no DOI.

(More information about DOIs)


Book: Multiple works same author

Perceptions of an event have more impact than the event itself, so accurate perceptions are key (Fujishin, 2016, 2018).

Fujishin (2016, 2018) tells us gesture is critical to creating genuine interpersonal connections.

Fujishin, R. (2016). Natural bridges: A guide to interpersonal communication. Abbingdon, England: Routledge.

Fujishin, R. (2018). The natural speaker (9th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Order multiple works by the same authors by year of publication, earliest first.

Book: Multiple works in the same citation

…complementary therapies and the complexities of critical care (Lindquist, Tracy & Snyder, 2018; Morton & Fontaine, 2018).


 Lindquist, Tracy and Snyder (2018) offer an alternative view to Morton and Fontaine (2018)…

Lindquist, R., Tracy, M. F., & Snyder, M. (2018). Complementary and alternative therapies in nursing (8th ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

Morton, P. G., & Fontaine, D. K. (2018). Critical care nursing: A holistic approach (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.

Book: Classical or Religious text


(Aristotle, trans. 1911, p. 34-35)
(Aristotle, 1934 version, p. 178)

1 Cor. 13:1 (Revised Standard Version)

(Qur'an 5:3-4)

Where the parts of classic or religious texts are numbered consistently across all editions, use these numbers rather than page numbers.

You do not need to include an entry in the reference list.

Secondary sources: When you are referring to the ideas or words of an author who has been cited in another author's work. Also called 'secondary citation'. 

Only recommended where the original work cannot be obtained.

Intuition is defined as ”knowledge or knowledge structures that predispose individuals to think and act in particular ways without much conscious reflection” (Torff & Sternberg as cited in Hernandez-Romero, 2017, p. 134).


Torff and Sternberg (as cited in Hernandez-Romero, 2017, p.134) define intuition as “knowledge or knowledge structures…”.

Hernández-Romero, L. (2017). Re-evaluating creativity: The individual, society, and education. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Provide the full reference for the book that you actually read.




Video Transcript

This introductory video will demonstrate how to reference a book and e-book using the APA Referencing style 6th edition.

The essential elements you require to create a book reference include: Author or authors including Surname and first initial, Year of publication, Title of book, Edition, Place of publication, Publisher. The use of correct Punctuation is another important element of the APA style. And notice the title of the book is also in italics

The front cover, title page and the verso of the book will provide you with the key information you require to create a full reference. Taking the key information from the book, this is the full reference for Human Anatomy and Physiology (Click mouse six times). In addition to the reference list entry, you are required to include in- text references in the main body of your work.

This is an example of the in text reference when paraphrased and as a direct quote. 

Now you know how to reference a book, let’s look at creating a reference for an e-book.

Referencing an e-book is similar to a print book. However, instead of the publisher information you must include the: The DOI OR If there is no DOI then you include the URL of the e-book provider.

For an e-book, there are a number of ways to obtain the key information you require to create a reference. The best way is by opening up the e-book and locating the verso. If a DOI is available, it can usually be found on either the verso page of the e-book or on the e-book content provider’s database information page. If NO DOI is available, you will need to search for the e-book providers URL. We now have all of the information required to complete the reference. In this instance, there is no DOI so we use Retrieved from and the URL for the e-book content provider. Also see the example of an e-book with a DOI, drop the ‘retrieved from’ and just add the DOI.

The in text reference format for an e-book is the same as a print book. Remember all in text references should be listed in the reference list at the end of the document.

For further assistance, refer to the APA guide for more information and examples of other reference formats OR Contact the library, Through: ‘Ask a Librarian’ chat and email or ask for help at any Library service desk.

(video ends)