Alert: Don Semora, "Professional Designer and Author"

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

Making money from authors can be good business, which probably explains why so many of those who exploit them return again and again to the trough. Case in point: Don Semora, whose brand-new website styles him a professional designer of book covers, games, websites, and more.  

Semora offers a smorgasbord of services for authors, from book layout to map design to a "self-marketing pack." His fees start at $60, with rates varying depending on the project. As you can see, the man's got mad skillz, at least in his own opinion:

Of course, mentioned nowhere on Semora's website is the fact that he's the former owner of Michigan-based pay-to-play publisher 2 Moon Press (now defunct), which was the focus of a police investigation based on dozens of author complaints of unpaid royalties, unfulfilled book orders, and breaches of contract (examples can be seen at the Better Business Bureau website, where 2 Moon Press has an F rating).

While Semora denies being the source of 2 Moon's problems (blaming them on Melinda Lundy, to whom he sold the publisher shortly before its 2013 demise), he has a prior history of fraudulent activity (including a 2004 conviction for Conspiracy to Commit Larceny by Conversion and Fraud), and has admitted to using 2 Moon Press funds for personal expenses, including vacations for himself and his wife.

Semora is being sued by 2 Moon author Bernard Zeitler for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, and fraudulent misrepresentation, among other charges. Semora's attorney recently petitioned to withdraw representation, citing as one of several causes Semora's failure to pay his bill.

This is at least the third business venture that Semora has established since his departure from 2 Moon Press. Others include an LLC called Fall River Publishing and Graphics, and another called Lightning Forge Games.

It's my understanding that an investigation of Semora, Lundy, and 2 Moon Press by the Calhoun County prosecutor remains open.

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