How do I cite a book for which no organization is named as the publisher?

As noted on page 42 of the MLA Handbook, if the book is published by its author or editor, omit the publisher’s name from the works-cited-list entry:

Hocking, Amanda. Fate. 2010.

If the publisher is unknown—as in the example below—follow the guidelines on page 20 of the handbook: “An element should be omitted from the entry if it’s not relevant to the work being documented.”

Cummings, E. E. The Enormous Room. 2017.

Keep in mind, though, that a source whose publisher is unknown may not be reliable. Established publishers generally ensure that the texts they publish are accurate versions of the author’s work. A source from an unknown publisher could be missing text or contain inaccurate text, so if a version of the source is available from an established publisher, consider using that version instead.

Published 9 March 2017

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