Writing Installer

This is slightly off-topic here, but I'm sure ppl here can help me in 
this regard! 
I wish to write an installer to generate and install the binaries from 
my source code distribution. I find these files called "configure.in", 
"Makefile.am" etc in the source code distributions of most 
applications. I'm becoming bald, tearing my hair trying to figure out 
how these files are processed, and by whom. I guess tools like 
automake, autoconf... etc are there to make my life simpler, but... 
Can someone guide me to some comprehensive documentation that guides me 
about when and how to use each of the tools, like automake, autoconf, 
libtool etc.? I can check out the man pages of these individual tools, 
Please tell me about some documentation that guides me via a 
walk-through the entire process of generating these files 
"configure.in", "Makefile.am" etc, and how to use them. I am familiar 
with "make", and stuff like where header files and libraries are 
supposed to go, so we can start off from there. 
I hope someone will help me here! 

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