How to Cite an eBook in APA

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In this guide, you will go through the basic steps of citing an e-book according to the 7th edition of the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020a), Chapter 10.2. The association is not affiliated with this guide. This guide will also point out changes to e-book referencing guidelines between the 6th and 7th edition of the Publication Manual.

Guide Overview


6th Edition vs. 7th Edition

Before we begin, it might be helpful to explain the key changes in e-book citation structure that happened with the publication of the APA’s 7th edition.

In the new edition, an e-book citation looks more similar to a print book citation in the ways that they are referenced. The biggest difference now is that an e-book reference includes the URL or DOI if available.

Here are the two specific changes:

  • The platform, device, or format no longer needs to be included. (e.g., [Kindle version])
  • The publisher name is included as it would be in a printed book citation.

Basic E-Book Citation Structures

Reference Page Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of e-book in sentence case. Publisher Name. DOI or URL

The example above is not only appropriate for e-books, but is also the basic structure used for any authored print book that has a DOI.

In-text citation structure:

  • Parenthetical citation: (Author Last Name, Year Published)
  • Narrative citation: Author Last Name (Year Published)

E-Book Citation Examples

Citing an Authored E-book With a DOI or URL

Reference Page Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of e-book in sentence case. Publisher Name. DOI or URL

Example:

Clark, M. & Phelan, J. (2020). Debating rhetorical narratology: On the synthetic, mimetic, and thematic aspects of narrative. The Ohio University Press. https://doi.org/10.26818/9780814214282

In-text citation examples:

  • Parenthetical citation: (Clark & Phelan, 2020)
  • Narrative citation: Clark & Phelan (2020)

Citing an E-book Without a DOI or URL

If you are trying to reference an electronic book that does not have a known DOI or URL, then you may end the reference after the publisher name. This is also the case for e-books that are sourced from academic research databases.

Reference Page Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of e-book in sentence case. Publisher Name.

Example:

Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. Harper Collins E-books.

In-text citation examples:

  • Parenthetical citation: (Cialdini, 2009)
  • Narrative citation: Cialdini (2009)

Citing a Republished E-book

Reference Page Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of e-book in sentence case. Publisher Name. DOI or URL (Original work Published Year)

Example:

Wells, H.G. (1992). The war of the worlds. Project Gutenberg. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/36/36-h/36-h.htm (Original work published 1898)

In-text citation examples:

Notice how the in-text citations include both the original publication date and the e-book publication date, separated by a slash with no spaces.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Wells, 1898/1992)
  • Narrative citation: Wells (1898/1992)

Citing a Translated E-book

If the e-book has been translated from its original version, provide the name of the translator(s) in parenthesis after the work’s title.

Reference Page Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of e-book in sentence case (First Initial Last Name of Translator, Trans.). Publisher Name. DOI or URL

Example:

Yoshimoto, B. (2015). Kitchen (M. Backus, Trans.). Grove Atlantic. https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/kitchen-15

In-text citation examples:

  • Parenthetical citation: (Yoshimoto, 2015)
  • Narrative citation: Yoshimoto (2015)

Citing an E-Book: Reference Overview

E-book Type Structure Example
Authored e-book with a DOI or URL Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of e-book in sentence case. Publisher Name. DOI or URL Clark, M. & Phelan, J. (2020). Debating rhetorical narratology: On the synthetic, mimetic, and thematic aspects of narrative. The Ohio University Press. https://doi.org/10.26818/9780814214282
Authored e-book without a DOI or URL Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of e-book in sentence case. Publisher Name. Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. Harper Collins E-books.
Republished e-book Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of e-book in sentence case. Publisher Name. DOI or URL (Original work published year) Wells, H.G. (1992). The war of the worlds. Project Gutenberg. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/36/36-h/36-h.htm (Original work published 1898)
Translated e-book Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of e-book in sentence case (First Initial Last Name of Translator, Trans.). Publisher Name. DOI or URL Yoshimoto, B. (2015). Kitchen (M. Backus, Trans.). Grove Atlantic. https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/kitchen-15

For more citation examples for different types of books (e.g., 2 authors, found on a database, multi-work volumes, etc.), visit the EasyBib guide on creating an APA book citation.


What You Need

To create an e-book citation, you will need the following information on your source:

  1. First Name Initial and Last Name of the author(s)
  2. Year Published
  3. Title of the e-book
  4. Translator name (if applicable)
  5. Publisher name
  6. DOI or URL (if applicable)
  7. For republished books ONLY: Year the original work was published

References

American Psychological Association. (2020a). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

American Psychological Association. (2020b). Style-Grammar-Guidelines. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/basic-principles/parenthetical-versus-narrative


Published July 29, 2014. Updated March 24, 2020.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.


 

 

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How do I cite an ebook in APA citation style?

To cite an ebook in APA style, you need to have basic information including the book’s author or editor, publication year, title, publisher, and URL. The templates for in-text citation and reference list entry of an ebook along with examples are given below for one author:

In-text citation template and example:

Narrative

Author Surname (Publication Year).

Freeman (2021)

Parenthetical

(Author Surname, Publication Year)

(Freeman, 2021)

Reference list entry template and example:

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Book title. Publisher. URL

Freeman, B. (2021). Infinite. Thomas & Mercer. https://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Brian-Freeman-ebook/dp/B081Z5VNJH/ref=reads_cwrtbar_5/146-1368705-3384623?pd_rd_w=3QM8k&pf_rd_p=0285128d-50e0-4388-acba-48a4a1f64720&pf_rd_r=V8G7YR82TF8VXMHVT4KX&pd_rd_r=7090822f-473a-4259-99e1-914b53cfd458&pd_rd_wg=tNYqu&pd_rd_i=B081Z5VNJH&psc=1&asin=B081Z5VNJH&revisionId=e9fb30e6&format=1&depth=1

The book title should be in sentence case and italics. It is not necessary to mention the format, platform, or device of the ebook in the reference.

How do I cite a book chapter in APA when the book includes an editor and/or translator?

To cite a book chapter with an editor and/or a translator in APA style, you need to have basic information including the authors, publication year, chapter title, editors and/or translators, book title, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for in-text citation and reference list entry of a book chapter with an editor and/or a translator along with examples are given below:

In-text citation template and example:

Narrative

Author Surname (Original Publication Year/Republished Year)

Badiou (2003/2013)

Parenthetical

(Author Surname, Original Publication Year/Republished Year)

(Badiou, 2003/2013)

Reference list entry template and example:

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Chapter title: Subtitle. (F. Translator, Trans.). In F. Editor (Ed.), Book title (pp. #–#). Publisher. (Original work published year).

Badiou, A. (2013). The writing of the generic. (B. Bosteels, Trans.). In N. Power& A. Toscano (Eds.), On Beckett (pp. 1–36). Clinamen. (Original work published 2003).

The chapter title is in sentence case. The translator’s name is set in parenthesis along with the word “Trans.” Follow initial followed by the surname for the translator. The word “In” is used before the editor’s name. Note that the style for setting the editor’s name is the initial of the first name followed by the surname. Use “(Ed.)” after the editor’s name. The book title is set in italics. Include page numbers in parenthesis after the book title with “pp.” before the page range. Include the publication year of the original work in parenthesis.

How do I cite a source that has two authors with the same last name but different first initials?

To cite sources that have authors with the same last name (surname) but different first initials, you need to follow the guidelines below.

In-text citation examples:

Sources with one author

Include the first author’s first initial in all in-text citations, even if the sources have different publication years.

Narrative:

J. Chen (2011), T. Chen (2012), and X. Chen (2007)

Parenthetical:

(J. Chen, 2011; T. Chen, 2012; X. Chen, 2007)

Note that in parenthetical citations, in-text citations are arranged alphabetically according to the initial.

Sources with two authors

Include the first initials only for the first authors with the same surnames in all in-text citations. Even if the second authors are different people with different initials, do not include the initials of the second author.

Narrative:

J. Chen and Lung (2012), T. Chen and Lung (2011), and X. Chen and Lung (2007)

Parenthetical:

(J. Chen & Lung, 2012; T. Chen & Lung, 2011; X. Chen & Lung, 2007)

Note that in parenthetical citations, in-text citations are arranged according to the initials of the first author.

Sources with multiple authors

Use only the first author’s name followed by et al. If two or more sources have the same last name for the first author, differentiate them by including the first initials for the first authors.

Narrative:

J. Chen et al. (2012), T. Chen et al. (2011), and X. Chen et al. (2007)

Parenthetical:

(J. Chen et al., 2012; T. Chen et al., 2011; X. Chen et al., 2007)

Note that in parenthetical citations, in-text citations are arranged according to the initials of the first author.

Reference list entry example for alphabetization:

Arrange works by first authors with the same surname and different initials alphabetically by first initial(s), without considering the number of authors.

Chen, J. (2011).

Chen, J., & Lung, M. (2011).

Chen, J., Lung, M., & Xia, L. (2011).

Chen, T. (2012).

Chen, T., & Lung, N. (2012).

Chen, T., Lung, N., & Xia, P. (2012).

Chen, X. (2007).

Chen, X., & Lung, O. (2007).

Chen, X., Lung, O., & Xia, A. (2007).