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).
  • 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. (2005). Working in aged care and disability services: An introduction. Croydon, VIC: Tertiary Press.


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


"It is self-identification..." (Fuller, 2011, pp. 34-35).
Fuller (2011, pp. 34-35) suggests that self identification...

Add page numbers for direct quotes.

Fuller, C. F. (2011). Sociology, gender and educational aspirations: Girls and their ambitions. Albany, NY: Continuum International.

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

Book: 2 Authors and Edition


According to Weinberg and Gould (2011) ...
... this is evident (Weinberg & Gould, 2011).

Cite both authors each time the reference occurs.

Weinberg, R. S., & Gould, D. (2011). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology (6th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

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

Book: 3, 4 or 5 Authors



... in festival organisation (Allen, O'Toole, & Donnell, 2011).
Allen, O'Toole, and Donnell (2011) have found ...

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, e.g.

... events are a celebration (Allen et al., 2011).
Allen et al. (2011) have stated ...

Allen, J. E., O'Toole, W., & Donnell, J.-B. (2011). Festival and special event management (5th ed.). Milton, QLD: John Wiley & Sons.

Provide the names of all authors in the reference list.

If an author's first name is hyphenated, retain the hyphen and include a full stop after each initial as in Jean-Baptiste Donnell above.


Book: 6 or more Authors


Mussen et al. (1995) have found ... 
... for all learning (Mussen et al., 1995).

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

Mussen, P., Rozenweig, M. R., Aronson, E., Elkind, D., Feshbach, S. T., & Geiwitz, P. J. (1995). Psychology: An introduction (7th ed.). Albany, NY: Thompson Delmar Learning.

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

Book: 8 or more Authors

Leggat et al. (2009) have found ...

... play a crucial role (Leggat et al., 2009).

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

Leggat, I. K., Hutchings, D., Poliness, S., Nemeth, T., West, A., Ngo, A., . . . Mascilongo, J. (2009). How to maximise the use of libraries in educational institutions. St Albans, VIC: Victoria University Press.

Include the first six authors' names, followed by three dots, 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)

... for future learning (Ashwin, 2006).
As described in Ashwin (2006) ...


... health care is described (Lemone et al., 2011).
Lemone et al. (2011) describe health care... 

Ashwin, P. (Ed.). (2006). Changing higher education: The development of learning and teaching. London, England: Routledge.

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

Lemone, P., Burke, K. M., Dwyer, T., Levett-Jones, T., Moxham, L., Reid-Searl, K., . . .  Raymond, D. (Eds.). (2011). Medical-surgical nursing: Critical thinking in client care. (1st Australian ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

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 

Boud (2006, p. 23) states that self-directed learning...
"Self-directed learning is..." (Boud, 2006, p. 23).

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

Boud, D. (2006). Aren't we all learner-centred now?: The bittersweet flavour of success. In P. Ashwin (Ed.), Changing higher education: The development of learning and teaching (pp. 19–32). London, England: Routledge.


 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, 2011)

(Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008)



(Department of Health and Family Services [DHFS], 2007)

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.
(DHFS, 2007)



Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). 2011 Census dictionary (No. 2901.0). Canberra, ACT: Author.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). 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.

Department of Health and Family Services. (2007). Youth suicide in Australia: The National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy. Canberra, ACT: AGPS.

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

E-book: No DOI assigned

(More information about DOIs)

(Rosen, 2011)
Rosen (2011) regards...



Rosen, L . (2011). The culture of Islam: Changing aspects of contemporary Muslim life. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://www.eblib.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)

... in all communities (Hill, 2001).
Hill (2001)  regards ...



Hill, C. E. (Ed.). (2001). The helping skills: The empirical foundation. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/10412-000

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

"Marketing requires matching your customers' needs" (McDonald & Payne, 1996, p. 13, 2006, pp. 16-17).
McDonald and Payne (1996, p. 13, 2006, pp. 16-17) state "Marketing requires matching your customers' needs".

McDonald, M. D., & Payne, A. (1996). Marketing planning for services. Oxford, England: Butterworth-Heinemann.

McDonald, M. D., & Payne, A. (2006). Marketing plans for service businesses: A complete guide (2nd ed.). Oxford, England: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

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

Book: Multiple works in the same citation

(Haddon, 1999; Larsen & Harris, 1991) ...
Haddon (1999) and Larsen and Harris (1991) demonstrated that ...


Haddon, P. F. (1999). Mastering personal and
        interpersonal skills. London, England:

Larsen, R. W., & Harris, T. (1991). New horizons 
        in personal theory and practice. San
        Francisco, CA:

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'.



"...optimistic, independent yet good at collaboration" (Tapscott as cited in El-Shamy, 2004, p. 25).
Tapscott (as cited in El-Shamy, 2004) argues ...


El-Shamy, S. (2004). How to design and deliver training for the new and emerging generations. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

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)