Cupcake books should take into account the actual skill level that it takes to create the looks that they show.
For instance, if it took the expert in the cupcake book with a degree in pastry an hour to make, it will take the beginner three hours to try and probably several batches of cupcakes and frosting as well.
If you have the time and patience as well as the realistic expectations for yourself, you might actually be able to enjoy working from these books. However, if you are more an eater than a doer, you might find that they are just as much fun to browse through.
Another great suggestion for these cupcake books is simple and obvious: buy them as a gift for your baking talented friend and book mark all the lovely creations that you will expect in return. These are great gift suggestions for birthdays, bridal showers, housewarmings and other events. Add in a great pan and some decorating tools and you have a very nice gift indeed.