After you unpack the tarball, is there a README or INSTALL file in the newly made directory? I would read this first. What procedure did you follow to attempt the install? Is there a <filename>.sh file, or a configure script? Please tell us what you did from the start, as there is not enough information given to be of much help.
EDIT: I would highly suggest reading http://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/...ms_from_Source
before you go any further.