EasyBib Guide to Citing an E-book in APA

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Learning how to cite an e-book is a lot less complicated than most people think, and with the new changes made to the 7th Edition of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, it has become even easier. In this educational guide, you will go through the basic steps of citing an e-book, as well as dive into similarities between referencing print books, e-books, audiobooks, and more.

Along the way we will also point out changes to e-book referencing guidelines between the 6th and 7th edition of the Publication manual. The information used to make this guide came directly from the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020a), Chapter 10.2. The association is not affiliated with this guide.

Are you looking for information on how to cite a different kind of material, or a different style altogether? There are also EasyBib guides on MLA format and Chicago style citations.


6th Edition vs. 7th Edition

Before we begin, it might be helpful to explain the key change 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, APA 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.

 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

E-Book Reference 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 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

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.

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

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.

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

Example APA e-book citations

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.

Are you also looking for e-book and book citations in MLA? Here is an MLA works cited example for a book. 


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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