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How to Cite a Book in APA Format

To cite a book in APA format in a list of references for a research paper or other piece of academic writing, you’ll need to include certain information. For a standard book citation, include the author’s (or authors’) last name(s) and first initial(s), the publication date, the title of the book in sentence case, and the publisher’s name. 

If the work has a URL or Digital Object Identifier (DOI), this should also be included in the citation. A DOI is a unique alphanumeric series that’s assigned to a particular work. It’s typically associated with ebooks, but it might also be available for newer books. 

Common exceptions to the conventional APA book citation format arise in classical and religious works where there is no known publication date.

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How to cite a book in APA format

Works cited page format

Below is an example of how an authored book would be accurately cited in APA format on a reference page:

Cialdini, R. (2021). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. Harper Business. 

The citation begins with the author’s last name, a comma separates the initial of the author’s first name, and a period follows. Parentheses surround the publication date, which is followed by a period. Then comes the book title, which is italicized, written in sentence case, and followed by a period. Finally, the publisher’s name is included, and the APA book citation concludes with a period

In-text parenthetical citation format

When referencing a book as an in-text parenthetical citation, include the author’s last name and the publication date, separated by a comma. These details should be enclosed in parentheses. Below is an example of a parenthetical citation using the authored book mentioned above: 

(Cialdini, 2021)

In-text narrative citation format

When citing a book in APA format as part of the in-text narrative, use the author’s last name followed by the publication date in parentheses:

Cialdini (2021)

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How to cite an e-book in APA format

The APA citation for an e-book that has a URL or DOI follows a similar format as a standard book citation. The main distinction is the inclusion of its DOI or URL, which is formatted as an active link. This is placed after the publisher’s name. 

Ebbinghaus, H. (1908). Psychology: An elementary text-book (Meyer, M. F., trans.). D. C. Heath. EPUB.

How to cite a textbook in APA format

A textbook citation in APA format may look a bit different compared to a standard book citation because a textbook is more likely to have multiple authors or book editors. Below is an example of how to cite a textbook on your reference page:

Marieb, E., & Keller, S. (2018). Essentials of human anatomy & physiology (12th ed.). Pearson.

When citing multiple authors for a textbook, follow the order of the authors shown in the textbook. For each author, include the same author format as a standard book citation, but use a comma to separate each name. Include an ampersand before the surname of the last author. Follow the author(s) with the publication date and italicized book title in sentence case. If the text you’re citing is a particular edition, note it in italics after the title and enclosed in parentheses. Finish the APA-format textbook citation with the publisher’s name.

In-text citations

Below are examples of how to cite textbooks with multiple authors in APA format as a parenthetical citation and a narrative citation. 


For two authors, use the last names of both authors, separated by an ampersand. Then follow the names with a comma and the publication date.

(Marieb & Keller, 2018)

If the textbook has three or more authors, use only the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” and the publication date. If the textbook in this example had more than two authors, the citation would look like this:

(Marieb et al., 2018)


For an in-text narrative citation of a textbook featuring multiple authors, use the following APA format:

The insight by Marieb & Keller (2018) explains . . .

In the example above, the two authors’ last names are included in-text and are separated by an ampersand. The publication date follows in parentheses.

Textbooks that have three or more authors can be cited in-text using the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” and the publication date in parentheses:

Marieb et al. (2018) 

How to cite the Bible in APA format

There are APA format rules for citing scriptures and other religious texts. As the Bible is a commonly cited text in academic writing, we’ve provided specific guidance and examples for it below. 

Classical religious works, such as the Bible, might seem tricky to cite since they’re missing key elements, such as an author. You’ll also need to include the Bible version you’re referencing as its title, the date it was reprinted as its publication date, and a URL if you’re citing a digital source. Below is an example of how to cite the Bible in APA format.

The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2018). (Doré, G., Illus.). Barnes & Noble. (Original work published in 1611).

In this version of the Bible, Gustave Doré is credited as the illustrator, so the illustrator’s name is included in the same format as an author’s name. The citation ends with “Original work published in [DATE]” followed by a period and the URL source.

In-text citations

In a parenthetical APA-format citation, reference the Bible as follows: 

(The Holy Bible: King James Version, 1611/2018)

In parentheses, start with the Bible version in italics, and place a comma after it. Then include the original publication date, a slash, and the date it was republished.

For an in-text narrative citation in APA format, italicize the Bible version. Follow it with the publication and republication dates, separated by a slash, in parentheses. 

The Holy Bible: King James Version (1611/2018)

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