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8 APA Book Reference Examples

Do you want to know how to reference a book in an APA paper? Creating APA book reference citations for a print or e-book in your reference list is simple once you understand the format. APA 7 uses the author-date system, which means the author’s last name, first initial, the date of publication, title, and publisher are essential elements of the book citation. Learn how to create APA book reference citations for books with authors, books with editors, multiple chapter books, and volumes.

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How to Cite a Book in APA

When it comes to creating an APA book reference citation, there are different ways you can do it depending on the number of authors in the source.

APA book citation labeled diagram

Basic Book Reference Format – One Author

When it comes to formatting for one author, you use the last name of the author, initial first name, initial middle name (if available). (Year of publication in parentheses). Book title in italics. Publisher.

Author, A. A. (Date). Title of work. Publisher.

Note: The title of the book is in italics with the first word capitalized only.


Example Citation One Author

Cunningham, J. B. (1997). The stress management sourcebook. Lowell House.

Note: Books that have subtitles should be formatted like this: Book title: Subtitle of this book.


Multiple Author Book Citation

When you have more than one author, you need to write out up to 20 of them. This was a change that APA made in its 7th edition of its manual. Creating source citations for books with two or more authors is simple.

format book citations multiple authors APA
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Example Book Citation for 2 to 19 Authors

Diamond, H., & Diamond, M. (1987). Fit for life. Warner Book.

Example Book Citation 20 or More Authors

Beetle, F. H., Choi, M. J., Bard, L. L., Harland, A. A., Stanley, J.A., Tipman, S.T., Jones, G., Morse, K., Johnson, T. M., Smith P., Rubin, L., Williams, L., van Hern, N. J., Brown, N., Lopez, T. J., Taylor, L., Jackson. I. O., Moore, R. R., Wilson, A. T.,…Rubin, L.H. (2017). Technical documentation for software engineers. Neal-Schuman Publishers.

APA Book Reference for Whole Edited Books

Do you need to create an APA citation for an edited book without an author? Then you need to add (Ed.) in parentheses after their name like:

Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (Date). Title of book: Subtitle of book. Publisher.

Example Citation Edited Books with One Editor

Brown, J. A. (Ed.). (2010). How to buy a house: A real estate guide. Smith & Brown.

APA Book Reference for 2 or More Editors

With multiple editors, the format is similar to multiple authors, except you add (Eds.) after their names.

Editor, A. A., & Editor, B. B. (Eds.). (2002). Title of book: Subtitle of book. Publisher.

Example Citation Edited Books with 2 or More Editors

Steinberg, M., & Embruy, S. H. (Eds.). (1994). Sickle cell disease: Basic principles and clinical practice. Raven Press.

APA Reference for a Chapter in an Edited Book

In APA format, you find yourself citing all types of sources, even the chapter of an edited book. If you are only citing one chapter in an edited book, then you’ll include the page numbers.

Example Format for Chapter in Edited Book One Editor

Author, A. A. (2002). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (pp. chapter pages). Publisher.

Example Format for Chapter in Edited Book Two Editors

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. chapter pages). Publisher.

Example Book Citation for Chapter in Edited Book

Haybron, D. M. (2008). Philosophy and the science of subjective well-being. In M. Eid & R.J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective well-being (pp. 17-43). Guilford Press.

In-Text Citation for Chapter in Edited Book

(Haybron, 2008, p. 40)

Book References for Multi-Volume Works in APA

In cases where you are referencing work in multiple volumes, you should include the volume numbers in the citation.

Format for Multi-Volume Works One Editor

Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (2006). Title of volumes (Vols. x-x). Publisher.

Format for Multi-Volume Works Two Editors

Editor, A. A., & Editor, B. B. (Eds.). Title of volumes. (Vols. x-x). Publisher.

Example Citation for Multi-Volume Works

Thomson, A. W., & Lotze, M. T. (Eds.). (2003). The cytokine handbook (Vols. 1-2). Academic Press.

APA Book References for Translations

In cases where you are referencing a work that’s translated, you should include who translated the book.

Author, A. A. (Publication Year). Title of the work: Subtitle (T. Translator, Trans.). Publisher. (Original work published Year)

Example Book Citation for Translated Work

Janson, R. (1989). Symposium (A. Woodruff, Trans.). New York Company. (Original work published ca. 480-500 BCE)

Book References For Editions Beyond First in APA

If you have a book beyond the first edition when you create an APA book reference citation, include the edition.

Author, A. A. (Publication Year). Title of the work: Subtitle (# edition). Publisher.

Example Book Citation Beyond First Edition

Bath, R. (2019). Becoming a successful writer (3rd ed.). University of Chicago Press.

APA Book Reference for E-Books

Everything is online, even books; therefore, you need to know how to create a citation for e-books. In the 7th edition of APA, they took out the need to include the retrieved from and the platform or device like [Kindle]. Now you include the publisher before the download site.

Author, A. A. (Date). Work title. Publisher. Downloadsite.com

Example Citation Online Book

Keynes, R. (2017). Fossils, finches and fuegians: Charles Darwin’s adventures and discoveries on the Beagle. Oxford Press. https://www.amazon.com

example APA E-book citation

Where to Find the Information for an APA Book Reference

It’s all fine and dandy to know what information to include, but it’s just as important to know where to find the information for your book citation. Thankfully, most of the information is easy to locate on the first few pages of the book. In these first few pages, you can quickly find your author, title, publisher, and year of publication, along with the editors and volumes.

where to find citation information from book

APA Book Reference Examples

APA book reference examples offer you a great peek into APA citation methods. And if you need an easy citation tool, you can use the citation generator.

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8 APA Book Reference Examples

How do you reference a book in APA?

To create a reference citation for a book in APA, you need the author, date, title, and publisher. Some books will require additional elements like editions and volumes but these are the basic components. An example of a basic book citation includes:
Gareven, J. R. (2015). Investigating the stars. New York Publishing.

How do you reference a book in APA 6th edition?

When citing a book in the 6th edition of APA format, you include the location of the publisher in the citation. An example of an APA 6 book citation looks like:
Author, A. (Year). Title of the book. Location. Publisher.

What does APA format look like?

The look of APA format style is unique to the American Psychological Association and includes several guidelines. However, the basic guidelines for APA style include 1-inch margins all around, running headers, running date, paragraph indents, and double spacing throughout. The citations are unique to each different source but include author, date, title, and source location.

How do you cite a reference from a book?

A book citation on your references page in APA includes the author, date, title, and publisher.
Author's Surname, First Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the work in sentence case. Publisher of the book.

How do you reference a textbook?

When it comes to creating a reference citation for a textbook, you're typically dealing with multi-volume books. Therefore, you would need to include the volumes of the book as well. This would follow the format:
Editor Surname, A. A. (Ed.). (Year of Publication). Title of volumes (Vols. x-x). Publisher.

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