How to create an APA book citation

A standard APA book citation has the following structure: Author surname, Initials. (Year). Book title: Subtitle (Edition). City of publication, State: Publisher. This information can be found on the cover or copyright page of a book.

Extra information is added to the APA reference when citing a book chapter, a translated book, an e-book, or a multi-volume book.

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Chapter of a book vs. book as a whole

In most cases you cite the book as a whole instead of a specific chapter, even if you only used information from one chapter. Only cite a chapter of a book when each chapter is written by a different author and the whole book is compiled by an editor.

When citing a chapter of a book in APA, include both the chapter and book title. You also include the author of the chapter as well as the editor who compiled the book.

Foreign and translated books

Translated books are cited differently than untranslated foreign books. The differences in APA format are explained below.

Foreign book

The reference of a foreign-language book (not an English translation) follows same APA guidelines as a standard book. The only difference is that you should include an English translation of the title within brackets (e.g. La psychologie de l’enfant [The psychology of the child]).

Translated book

The reference of translated books begins with the author who originally wrote the book, followed by the year of publication of the translation.

Next, list the title of the translated work (which should be in English). You don’t have to include the title of the original book. After the title you include the name of the translator in brackets. Don’t forget to indicate the translator’s role (Trans.). The reference ends with the location and name of the publisher of the translated book.


When citing an e-book, you take the APA format for a regular book and replace the publisher location and name with a link to the e-book.

Use “Retrieved from: https://www…” if the e-book is publicly available and “Available from: https://www…” if you need to purchase the e-book in order to view it.

E-reader book types

The e-reader book type is included in brackets after the book title. Common e-reader types are EPub, Kindle and Adobe Digital Editions. Don’t include an e-reader book type if the book was read through an online library such as Google Books or NetLibrary.

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How to create an APA book citation
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Raimo Streefkerk

Raimo is an expert in explaining plagiarism and citing sources. He has been writing helpful articles since 2017 and is continuously improving Scribbr's Citation Generators.

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