While I have yet to create a .deb file myself. it appears that http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/maint ... ex.en.html
is the officiall building guide. Look for sections 4 and 5. It notes the requires files and scripts to be included. Also be sure to lookup BINARY package.
For Mint specifc instruction, I found the following to work. This process is an example of downloading the new version of nmap, building it, then making a package. But from source.
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sudo apt-get install build-essential dh-make debhelper devscripts -y
tar xf nmap-5.00.tar.bz2
dh_make -s -e email@example.com -f ../nmap-5.00.tar.bz2
sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev flex bison libpcap0.8-dev libpcre3-dev binutils-dev python-all-dev -y
Lets build off the following instructions, and describe how a binary package will be different. Which I belive is includes adding something to the post install script file.