"He has a reputation as an author."
Translation:Li havas reputacion kiel verkisto.
Only the context can show this. There has been experiments with other little words like *estiel, but they never made it to daily use because the context almost every time shows the real meaning of kiel. If really necessary, you can write: Li havas tian reputacion, kian verkisto havas.
Ah OK. Also it is interesting to see that you get the "the instead of they"-typo, just like I do all the time. Are you using a QWERTZ-keyboard too? It really annoys me that Duolingo counts that as a mistake, not a typo.
Does your spellchecker change what you type? My spellchecker doesn't and is set to English, but since "The" is a valid English word it doesn't complain.