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[APA] How do I cite an e-book on a device like a Kindle, Nook, or iPad?

A file downloaded to an e-book reader (APA 7.02; APA Electronic References #14)

  1. Select Book as the citation type
  2. Choose the eBook File tab.

When you fill in the form:

  1. For Digital file type add the word "version" following the type of e-book (e.g., Adobe Digital Editions version, Kindle iPad version, Nook eReader version). Do not add "version" after a file type like PDF.
  2. Use the DOI if given.  If a DOI isn't available, use the URL of the site from which you downloaded the book.


Roach, M. (2011). Packing for Mars: The curious science of life in the void [Adobe Digital Editions version]. Retrieved from http://www.kobo.com

If you are only citing a section or chapter:

  • To cite a chapter or section written by the author of the book, cite the book and use an in-text reference to identify the specific section you're quoting or paraphrasing.
  • If the introduction or preface is written by another contributor, fill in the section of the form called Chapter or Section to cite the author, section title and page numbers.

Parenthetical Reference:

If page numbers do not remain constant when you enlarge the text or if page numbers are device-specific, do not use them.

  • For example, some Kindle books will include page numbers that match print.  They are displayed next to locations when you push the Menu button.  Other Kindle "location numbers" are device specific and should not be used.

In general provide as much information as the reader needs to return to the material you are using.

  • Follow the instructions in Rule 9 for using alternate numbering systems like sections (sec.), chapters (chap.), books, figures, tables, parts, verses, lines, acts, or scenes (APA 6.05).


(Roach, 2011, Chapter 6, para. 2).

What if I'm reading the e-book online (as a PDF, HTML file, etc.)?

Some Web sites and databases provide versions of e-books that you can open directly within the browser, without downloading them to your computer or device. If you are reading the e-book online (and your reader could do the same), select the Web Site or Database tab (rather than the eBook File tab) to cite it as an e-book available online. In the case of citing an e-book from a database, you will likely either be providing the home page URL of the book's publisher or the name of the database (see the help text for those fields on the form to decide).

This article last revised: 02/10/2013

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