Mark Twain started to write his autobiography forty years before his death, in 1870, but did so sporadically. It wasn't until 1904 when he really began hitting his stride in his autobiography. As he called it, it was the “Final (and Right) Plan” for telling the story of his life. The stride was short, though, as by 1907 he resumed only writing sporadically.
Mark Twain had begun publishing “Chapters from My Autobiography” in twenty-five installments in the North American Review between 1906 and 1907, though these installments did not make up his entire biography. When Twain died, numerous attempts were made to republish the material. He had decided that it would be most entertaining if his autobiography went off on numerous whims and tangents in non-sequential order, but most of these attempts to republish tried to reorder the released autobiography into a linear format, reducing the humor.
But despite publishing twenty-five installments of his autobiography, Twain outlined a plan for his full autobiography to be published 100 years after his death. It is thought that this is because he was contemplating a 100 year ban. When it was released in 2010, it actually became a best seller, which means Twain holds the rare distinction of publishing a best seller in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.