APA Book Citation – Format and Examples

10.01.23 Commonly used citations Time to read: 4min

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APA book citation is a citation format used in academic and professional papers. It is a standardized way of citing the sources used in a research document.

APA book citation is outlined in the official APA manual, which defines the rules of citing books and other documented sources.

APA Book Citation – In a Nutshell

  • APA book citation stipulates the rules for citing different sources used in research.
  • We use APA book citation to create a replicable format that gives credit to several research sources.
  • Failure to cite your sources often leads to plagiarism flags, as your readers assume that any works not cited are your own.
  • The APA book citation outlined in the APA handbook shows how to cite e-books, multi-volume books, and books with several authors.

Definition: APA book citation

APA book citation is the citation style that researchers use in the APA style of writing. There are different specifications for citing different types of sources, such as books, journals, videos, and other sources.

The citation style includes:

  • Author’s name
  • Book title
  • Year of publication
  • Publisher’s name
APA book citation basic format
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Basic APA book citation format

The citation follows the following format:

  • Last name, Initials. (Year). Book title (Editor/translator initials, Last name, Ed. or Trans.) (Edition). Publisher.

For example, if you are citing a source with the following specifications:

  • Author: Brian Adams
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Title: The Story of Bees
  • Chapter: Communication of Bees, pg. 67
  • Publisher: Jason
In-text citation Adams, 2019, pg. 67
Reference list citation Adams, B. (2019). The Story of Bees: Communication of Bees. Jason.1

APA book citation – E-books and online books

E-books and online books have changed the way we interact with information. Their digital formats make them easy to access and store on several devices, making them valuable research tools.

APA book citation of digital literature usually includes Digital Object Identifiers (DOI). These unique string identifiers are used to search and retrieve online documents.

The APA citation style of e-books is structured as follows:

  • Last name, Initials. (Year). Book title. Publisher. URL or DOI

For example, if you are citing an e-book with the following details:

  • Author name: Cassie Drew
  • Year: 2020
  • Title: World Sites
  • Publisher: Thames & Kye
  • DOI: https://witley.to/2ObKrVf
In-text citation (Drew, 2020, para. 7)
Reference page citation Drew, C. (2020). World Sites. Thames & Kye. https://witley.to/2ObKrVf2

APA book citation – Chapter of an edited book

When citing a book with multiple contributors, such as a collection of works by different authors, you should start with the author of the chapter. Mention other contributors later on the reference page.


Format Last name, Initials. (Year). Chapter Title. Editor initials. Last name (Ed. or Eds.), Title (pp). Publisher. DOI.
Reference page citation Warren, P. (2007). Neocolonialism. In H. Parker & J. Willz (Eds.), Back To Our Roots (pp. 87–91). Routledge. https://wiltley.to/2ObKrVf
In-text citation (Warren, 2007, p. 87).

APA book citation – Multi-volume books

Many publications have several volumes. If you cite a single volume, cite the specific volume. In cases where you have used multiple volumes, you should cite the whole book.

If the title is missing, write the volume number in parentheses without italics.

Volumes with specific titles

James, P. H. (2014). The essays of P. H. James: Vol. 2. The Works of Yesterday (W. Ross & F. Wardell, Eds.). Thames & Kye.

Volumes without titles

Fischer, B. (2004). Chronicles (Vol. 2). Thames & Kye.

Citing the whole multi-volume book in APA

Cite the whole book when you use several volumes for your research. The APA guide stipulates the format as follows:

James, P. G. (2015). The Essays of P G. James (Vols. 6–9) (P. Ross & D. Hall, Eds.). Thames & Kye.3

Finding the information for an APA book citation

The details to include in the APA book citation, including the title of the book, year of publishing, and the author, can be found on the title and copyright pages at the beginning of the book.

More information is available on the back of the book should you require it.4

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Always mention:

  • Author’s name(s)
  • Title of the book (or chapter)
  • Year of publication
  • Publisher

Use the standard format, i.e. the author’s last name and initials, as well as parenthesis for volumes without titles.5

An in-text citation is used throughout the body of the text. APA guidelines recommend the author-date format.

For example:

  • We see a strong correlation in the data set in recent years (Barnes, 2019).

In addition to in-text citations distributed in the body of your research paper, you should include a reference page. This is the last page before submitting your paper.

It outlines the sources used in your research from different books and publications. List your references in a numbered list in the order that they appear in the text.

The American Psychological Association developed the APA style guide to create a uniform format for research papers.

This citation style is used to prevent plagiarism, which is one of the biggest problems in research.


1 Library Guides. “APA 7th Referencing: Books.” Victoria University Melbourne Australia. December 13, 2022. https://libraryguides.vu.edu.au/apa-referencing/7Books.

2 Kirschenbaum, Michele and Elise Barbeau. “How to Cite an eBook in APA.” EasyBib. March 24, 2020. https://www.easybib.com/guides/citation-guides/apa-format/e-book/.

3 EckerdCollege. “How do I cite a book with multiple volumes in APA style?” Accessed January 2, 2023. https://libanswers.eckerd.edu/faq/206184.

4 McKenzie, Janis. “What information do I need for citation information?” Simon Fraser University. October 27, 2020. https://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/cite-write/citation-elements-book.

5 Royal Roads University. “What is an in-text citation in APA Style?” Accessed January 2, 2023. https://writeanswers.royalroads.ca/faq/199108.